|Project by bushmaster||posted 07-22-2016 04:37 AM||3920 views||7 times favorited||26 comments|
This project was completed several years ago and has been making music ever since, takes a holiday every winter. I grew up with water wheels on the farm, my dad and his brother made several power generating systems over the years. The first provided the farm with electricity for over 20 years before the power lines came through the valley. Even then his dream was to put a power system farther up stream where he could get 120 feet fall, that system has been upgraded and is still producing electricity for years to come. This is just a small project following in the dreams of my dad.
I just have a small stream flowing through my campsite, with making a small dam i could raise the water level to operate a small wooden waterwheel. I chose 5 feet as the diameter and about 16 inches wide. The construction was quite straight forward, cut the angles, spine the sections together, Hard to describe but if the pictures are zoomed in you can see how it was put together.
Two sides assembled on a scrap shaft that I picked up somewhere.
To dado the buckets in I had to make two jigs to cut dado’s so they would match on both sides. Nothing scientific about the angle, just so it looked about right.
Then assemble buckets and back pieces, couple of pictures showing assembled wheel and pulley.
The last thing I had to do was to lathe the wheel round, that took alittle pondering, I came up with this idea of using a jig and router, jig is fastened to the axle. one had to just spin the wheel psst the router, infact it was self powering with the rotation of the router bit.
The next thing was to make the dam and supporting beams and install it and let it kick up its heals and spray water
I first set it up as an undershot wheel just to get it operating, then I set it up as a breast wheel. the breast wheel captures the water in the buckets in a curved section. The weight of the water increases torque. An advantage if you are not able to have an overshot setup. The first summer the wheel was operating I had a expansion problem with the water and it would jamb. For the next year I dried it out and lathed it round again, reducing the diameter of the sides to fit a steel ring. I made the steel ring smaller, heated it up till it would just slip on with a slege hammer, cooled it just like they use to make wooden wagon wheels. has not been a problem since.
I had to cut a vee grove in the pulley, I came up with a very easy way to do that, after I tryed mounting it on my lathe, not a good idea to day the least, it is 3 feet in diameter.
Anyway it was a fun project and I love watching it and listening to the paddles striking the water. You can hear it in the short video that I prepared from footage I took with my picture camera at the time. It is about 5 minutes.
Thanks for looking and watching, I can answer any questions you might have, comment appreciated.
-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia