Here's How To...

Build a Windmill

This ingenious little windmill will develop quite some power for its size, and you can run miniature machinery with it. You can make all of the parts, including the large pulleys, of soft pine.

The base is a board 1 inch think, 5 inches wide and 24 inches long. It has a slot 3/4 of an inch wide and 5 inches long cut in the pointed end, and a 5/16 of an inch hole bored 8 inches in from the square end. Make a pair of bearing blocks with caps that screw down to them; the blocks are 3/4 of an inch think, 4 inches high and 5 inches wide, while the caps are 3/4 of an inch thick, 1 inch long and 5 inches long.

Screw the caps on the blocks and then bore a 3/8 of an inch hole in the middle of the line that separates them. Get two 3/4-inch lengths of brass or copper tubing, the inside of which is a 1/4 of an inch, and the outside diameter of 3/8 of an inch, and fit these into the holes for the bearings for the shaft to run in. Drill an 1/8-inch hole through each cap for the oil hole, and  this must go on through the bearings. Now screw the blocks to the base. There are two shafts, the driving shaft and the driven shaft. Both of these are 1/4 of an inch in diameter; the former one is 2 feet long while the latter is as long as the tower is high.

The next step is to make th vane and this is formed of a 3/4-inch thick board that is 10 inches wide and 16 inches long. Before you fix this in place in the slot of the baseboard, the transmission gear must be secured to the latter. It consists of a 2 1/2-inch pulley that is keyed, or otherwise fixed on the driving shaft, two small iron pulleys that screw into the baseboard and a 5-inch pulley keyed to one en of the driven shaft. The pulleys are 3/4 of an inch thick and have V-grooves cut in their rims.

The wheel has eight blades, and each of these is made of a piece of wood 1 inch thick by 1 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long; the wood is cut away on the two opposite corners until the remaining part is about 3/16 of an inch thick. The thick ends of the blades are screwed to the face of a wooden disk that is 1 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter, and this is secured to a hub either with pins or screws. The disk and hub have a 1/4-inch hole bored through the center of them so that the end of the driving shaft can be forced into them.

The blades are set at equidistant points around the disk and to hold them in place and so that there will be no undue strain on them when the wind is high. Fasten a soft iron wire to their free ends and twist the ends of the wire together. Slip the 2 1/2-inch pulley on the shaft and key, or otherwise fix it, 9 inches back from one end so that it will come directly over the small iron pulleys on the base and then mount the shaft in its bearings.

The next thing to do is make the swivel bearing, which is the part that permits the windmill to turn about in a horizontal plane and enables it to adjust itself so that regardless of the direction that the wind is blowing the blades will receive the maximum amount of power from it.

There are different ways to get this result but about the simplest one is to use the covers of two tin coffee cans which are 5 inches in diameter. Cut an 1/8 of an inch piece out of the rim of one of them and on down to the center so that it will spread out enough to let the other one slip easily into it. Cut a 3/8 of an inch hole in the center of each of the covers and then saw out a wood disk that will fit snugly into the first cover; bore a 3/8 of an inch hole through the center of the disk and screw it to the bottom of the base, and be sure that the holes in them are exactly in a line with each other. Now put the cover over it and fasten them together with either brads or small screws through the rim.

This done, push an end of the driven shaft through the upper block of the tower, thence on through the can covers and the base and key the 5-inch pulley to it. Put some heavy motor-car oil in the lower can cover, and then let the base of the windmill down until the upper can cover rests in the lower one, when you will find that the base will turn easily round in a horizontal plane.

Finally, use a piece of fish line for the belt, and to do this loop it over the small pulley, lush the ends of it under the little iron pulleys, then bring it around the large pulley and tie the ends of it together so that it will be taut. If there is any tendency for the belt to slip you can loop a rubber band over each one of the large pulleys when they will offer enough frictional resistance to prevent it.

Working With Tools for Fun and Profit by A. Frederick Collins
Working With Tools for Fun and Profit

Working With Tools for Fun and Profit

by A. Frederick Collins
D. Appleton-Century Co., 1937

Things For You To Build

> A Work Bench and a Tool Chest

> A Window Conservatory

> A Printing-press

> A Wood-turning Lathe

> A Flat-Bottom Boat

> A Wheelbarrow

> A Bicycle Trailer

> An Ice Yacht


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