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View Full Version : I'm going to build a water wheel---



brian Rupnow
04-27-2008, 04:34 PM
Not one that does anything---just something that will go around in the little stream behind my house and amuse my grand daughter. I am tentatively thinking of a 3" or 4" diameter aluminum hub, 1" thick with a 3/4" i.d. oilite bronze bushing pressed into it for a bearing. I will use 1/4" diameter aluminum round rod arms x 12" long, with a 1" long thread on one end and will drill and tap the hub 8 places at 45 degrees. Not sure yet what I will use for the paddles---I have no welding apparatus for aluminum here, so whatever I use they will have to bolt or rivet to the ends of the arms. I think I seen some aluminum egg poaching cups at the cookware store that were about 3" diameter x 3/4" deep.---I may use 8 of them, and flatten the ends of the 1/4" aluminum rods on my anvil so that I can drill them for a 1/8" aluminum pop rivet thru the center of the egg poaching cups.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/assemblyMedium.jpg

JBL37
04-27-2008, 04:54 PM
brian: Put a crank on the shaft, Then one could add an action feature. Jim

Fasttrack
04-27-2008, 05:13 PM
Might think about a hoop around the outside of your spokes which the cups/paddles attach to. 1/4" aluminum is pretty flabby. A little bit of rain might bend things up pretty bad.

Just for another thought - have you seen the tesla turbines? Alot more material and work for your application but they are pretty neat.

brian Rupnow
04-27-2008, 06:52 PM
brian: Put a crank on the shaft, Then one could add an action feature. Jim
Its going to have a "fixed" shaft. There will be plenty of action to see just having the wheel go around. I grew up in northern Ontario, and our house was beside a stream. I used to build waterwheels all the time when I was a kid. Sometimes I would run a live shaft with a crank on the end and a trip wire running to a cow bell. ----That was really great untill you tried to go to sleep at night!!!!!!!!

brian Rupnow
04-27-2008, 06:53 PM
Might think about a hoop around the outside of your spokes which the cups/paddles attach to. 1/4" aluminum is pretty flabby. A little bit of rain might bend things up pretty bad.

Just for another thought - have you seen the tesla turbines? Alot more material and work for your application but they are pretty neat.

If it rains hard enough to bend 1/4" diameter aluminum rod, I'll probably have other things to worry about!!!

Fasttrack
04-27-2008, 07:45 PM
See around here it rains for a day and then all the creeks look like raging rivers. I guess thats not the case everywhere!

Post pics of your progress!

J Tiers
04-27-2008, 09:17 PM
So for more action and fun to watch stuff, put a line of small cups around the outside. Set them so they scoop up some water, lift it, and pour out to let it run down a trough and splash back in.

Guaranteed to provide amusement. If you really want fun, make the falling water run something like those "deerscarers" of bamboo, that fill up, tip and pour out.

Your grand-daughter will probably still remember that when she is 60.

JRouche
04-27-2008, 09:29 PM
Ok, Im so jealous!!! When I was growing up we had a good stream of water that ran pretty much all year. Now out here in So. Calif. theres no water running unless you want to count the gutter water.

I miss the water, used to hunt for salamanders too, those were the best, now all we have are their dry skinned cousins the lizards.. Frogs, salamanders and turtles are so much more fun for the kids..

I love the idea of you building a water wheel for yer GD.. Very good pops!!! She will love it!!!! JR

Evan
04-27-2008, 09:31 PM
I would build it from wood. A lot cheaper and more authentic looking. Also, as you are in Ontario, it won't be as big a deal if the Fish and Wildlife officer catches wind of it and tells you to take it out of the creek.

kf2qd
04-28-2008, 01:31 PM
You might hunt down a spindle & hub from a small car or lawn mower. Has nice bearings & seals and saves on some engineering time...

Swarf&Sparks
04-28-2008, 01:39 PM
Rip the head drum out of an old VCR.
Bearings don't come much better than that.
Hard drive assemblies are not quite so easy to hack.

brian Rupnow
04-28-2008, 07:09 PM
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/assemblyMedium.jpgWell actually----I'm looking for a project to use my new lathe on. Wood gets waterlogged, and bearings rust and seize up. I'm thinking all aluminum, with an oilite bronze bushing, and a stainless steel shaft. There is a peice of 3" galvanized pipe setting vertically on one side of the stream already, from a left over bridge abutment (wooden bridge that rotted away), so I will probably make a clamp collar from aluminum with a stainless shaft about 6" long bolted to it. this can be clamped to the peice of pipe.---The wheel will rotate on that.