Hand-cranked gear driven windmill toy

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Project by DaleMaley posted 10-28-2018 08:47 PM 549 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have built so many different types of hand-cranked wood toys for the grandkids, I have sort of run out of ideas for new hand-cranked toys. I saw a plastic toy that was hand-cranked, used 5 gears, to drive a propellor or windmill. I decided to adapt the plastic design over to an all-wood design.

I used the free GearDXF program to design the gears….........imported the designs into Sketchup, then printed off full scale paper patterns. I white Elmer glued the paper patterns to the red oak gear blanks, then cut them on the scroll saw.

On past hand-cranked wood toys, I just used a 1/4” or 3/8” diameter dowel glued to a round wheel, to make the hand crank. This means the crank pin must turn in your hand as you crank.

On the old time hand-cranked tools, like grinders or drills, the handle rotates with respect to the wheel…....meaning the handle you grip stays in the same location in your hand as you crank. I was able to incorporate this feature into this toy.

I made a Youtube video, showing this toy in action….........

The grandkids [and many adults] should have fun playing with this new toy!

For more details on how I built this toy, see my woodworking web site.

-- Dale, Illinois,

4 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


5534 posts in 2504 days

#1 posted 10-28-2018 09:23 PM

Very nicely made.

Fast cranking should get you a good breeze as the gears are speeding up the fan rotations.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View DaleMaley's profile


475 posts in 2473 days

#2 posted 10-28-2018 09:31 PM

Very nicely made.

Fast cranking should get you a good breeze as the gears are speeding up the fan rotations.

- ralbuck


The gear ratio is 1.57:1, so yes, you can feel the breeze if you crank it up :)

-- Dale, Illinois,

View therealSteveN's profile


1903 posts in 812 days

#3 posted 10-29-2018 03:01 AM

I’m thinking you smile a lot when the grandkids play with these crank toys. It was fun just watching the video.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Think safe, be safe

View majuvla's profile


13605 posts in 3105 days

#4 posted 10-29-2018 06:25 AM

Sounds like fun project to me.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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