This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
The whole wheel is carried on two uprights, each 3 by 4 in., by 10 ft. long. In the upper ends of these pieces, A, a half circle is cut out to receive the main shaft B. The end of the uprights are sunk 3 ft. into the earth and about 4 ft. apart, then braced as shown. They are further braced by wires attached to rings which are secured with staples near the top. The bearings should each have a cap to keep the shaft in place. These can be made of blocks of wood with a semicircle cut out, the blocks being nailed over the shaft, while it is in place, the nails entering the ends of the uprights.
Ill: Detail of the Uprights, Axle and Spokes, and the End and Side Elevations of the Completed Wheel, Showing Braces and Cars Attached
The main shaft C is made of a 2 1/2-in. square piece of good material, 4 ft. long. The ends are made round to serve as bearings, and the square part is fitted with the spokes or car carriers. These consist of 4 pieces, each 1 in. thick, 4 in. wide and 13 ft. long. In the center of each piece cut a notch one-half the thickness so that when each pair of pieces is crossed they will fit together with the surfaces smooth, as shown at D. A square hole is cut through the pieces as shown to fit on the square part of the main axle. While it is not shown in the illustration, it is best to strengthen this joint with another piece of wood, cut to fit on the axle and securely attached to the spokes.
The cars or carriers are made of two sugar barrels cut in half. The hoops are then securely nailed, both inside and outside; a block of wood, E, securely attached to the half barrel on the outside, and another block on the inside opposite the outside blook. Holes are bored 2 1/2 ft. from the ends of the spokes and a bolt run through them and through the blocks on the edges of the half barrels. The extending ends of the spokes are used to propel the wheel. Four children can ride in the wheel at one time. - Contributed by Maurice Baudier, New Orleans, La.