How to Cut Wood Bevel Gears

By Eric Benac

Things Needed

  • Piece of paper
  • Drawing compass.
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • 2-by-2-foot piece of 1/2-inch plywood
  • Electric tape
  • Jigsaw
  • Wood file

Making beveled wood gears is a relatively simple project and the product can have many applications. You can build wooden gears simply to test your woodworking ability. You can also build them to create simple decorative clocks or even working clocks if you understand clockwork. Building a wooden gear requires creating a template that you can trace onto a piece of wood and then cut out with a jigsaw. You will also have to understand how to use an electric hand drill.

Place the metal point of your drawing compass on the piece of paper and the pencil at the distance you want. Hold the top and drag the pencil to create a perfect circle.

Draw a circle one-tenth the size of the larger circle using the drawing compass at the same center. Make another circle underneath your larger circle by moving your compass half the distance of your desired gear tooth height.

Decide on the number of teeth you want on the gear. Multiple that number by two and divide the circumference of the circle by that product to find the width of the gears and the gear gaps.

Measure the gear width and gear gaps on the second largest circle. Freehand draw the shape of the teeth on another piece of paper. Cut this out and use it to trace the gear teeth onto the inner circle at the proper places. Separate each gear tooth by a gear gap.

Darken the lines of the smallest circle as well as the outline of the gear with a pen. Rub the eraser over the gear design to erase the lines you no longer need. Tape the gear template on top of the plywood to hold it in place.

Place the plywood and the template on the jigsaw. Cut around the template edges to cut out the piece of wood. Move and turn the wood slowly to avoid damaging the blade and avoid backing the blade out if at all possible.

Continue to cut around the edges of the template until you have removed all the wood. Discard the wood you have cut away. File the cut edges of the gear with the wood file to remove splinters.

About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.