I have had numerous requests for a metal handwheel for the wagon vise and have experimented with various sizes and materials from 5″ to 8″ in diameter, from polished aluminum to rough finished cast iron. I have found that the 5″ diameter seems to be about the right size and the polished aluminum has a very attractive appearance plus it is relatively corrosion free.
What I have finally selected is a 5″ diameter dished aluminum handwheel with a highly polished rim. The wheel is spaced out slightly from the bench end with a polished brass spacer to allow hand clearance. The hub is capped off with a matching brass cap turned from solid 360 brass and polished. I really like the contrast between the polished brass and aluminum. The hand wheel is held onto the shaft with a split pin through the clamp shaft so there are no worries about loosening. I think the brass cap would be ideal for custom engraving and I hope to offer that in the future.
I hope to have this option ready to sell in the very near future. It will probably be a very modest increase in price over the wooden handle on the wagon vise.