Waterwheel!

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by wassermensch, 24 Oct 2010.

  1. wassermensch

    wassermensch

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    I am making an all metal waterwheel, using trampoline frames! The cost is really low, as people are just giving them away nowadays. I have four, 2 x 8' and 2 x 12', I plan to weld the paddles to the concentric trampoline hoops, which are very strong, and mount on an axle.

    I fear I will have to buy the sheet metal paddles! Unless, of course you have any lo-cost lo-tech suggestions!
     
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  3. Deluks

    Deluks

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    Interesting project. How about oil drums, cut into sections and reinforced at the edges?

    Why does it have to be all metal? Paddles were traditionally made from elm planks, although any hardwood or cedar could be used. You might even have some success with wbp plywood.
     
  4. wassermensch

    wassermensch

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    Many thanks Deluks, very good indeed.
    It has to be metal because even elm wood deteriorates quickly here in N Scotland, the wood gets saturated, swells and the frost works away at the grain, metal is the future, and it can be bent to an efficient shape easily.
    My problem is that the paddlewheel has to be 8' wide, I suppose I could easily weld two together, I will do that, very many thanks indeed.
     
  5. gregers

    gregers

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    just a thought how about pallets,there seem to a load of them around,i:e ready free material that when it wears out easy and cheap to replace?
     
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  6. wassermensch

    wassermensch

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    I can get an unlimited amount of pallets, I suppose I could weld tabs to the rims and screw the slats on, then paint them, But I really like the oil drum option, and think I can get a whole load of them too. Grind the tops off, leaving the rim on one edge, weld the other ends together and, crucially, bend them in a jig to give a curve for the water to run up and stop. [​IMG]
     
  7. Deluks

    Deluks

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    Also my idea for using ply. Easily replaceable.

    I don't see frost being a problem in running water. And metal is going to rust anyway so you'll still need to maintain/replace parts.

    8' wide :eek: That's a serious DIY project!
     
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  8. gregers

    gregers

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    wait until you see the pics of him digging the new stream to run the wheel :eek:
     
  9. wassermensch

    wassermensch

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    Ah, the groundwork is all done, digger put away, and the axle supports have been built, luckily at 8' centre, so a sheet of ply would cut well into paddles, but my plan is that the paddles hold the structure together, not too sure that a wood/metal mix would work as well as all metal. I really want a progressive 90 degree curve to wring all the kinetic and potential energy out of the water.
    Ply is very expensive, about £40 a sheet, and each sheet would only make 2 paddles, I reckon I need 74, £1500 odd, or go with your oil barrel idea, bit of extra work, but my favourite price....
     
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  11. Hitachimad

    Hitachimad

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    an 8ft wide water wheel made from ply snd old trampolines eh.....

    Bit lighter than the last water wheel i did any work on , and 8ft wide? :eek:
     
  12. wassermensch

    wassermensch

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    Hitachimad -I acknowledge your reservations, but the trampoline frames are amazingly strong, galvanized and perfectly circular, I will attach them with strong spokes to a very solid axle I have. I think this sort of thing should be a branch of engineering, re-using items for a totally different but worthwhile project, what could be better than a waterwheel. Must have started by reading "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" in the 70's.
     
  13. ladylola

    ladylola

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    Are we to assume that this waterwheel will be used to generate electricity?
    What will you be using as your generator and what sort of output are you looking at, and will it be connected to the grid? Let us know it is interesting.
     
  14. wassermensch

    wassermensch

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    I am actually building a fish farm, see my www.aquaponics.me.uk and will use the water power to pump water, mix fish food and extrude it through dies. It is an 11th Century watermill, but I just cannot market flour or rolled oats, its hard work and poorly paid, so its fish production for me.
    I have always found that my best ideas come from other people, so am deeply appreciative of the help, and will follow it.
     
  15. foamit

    foamit

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    Are you German bye any chance Water man?
     
  16. sparkiedave

    sparkiedave

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    instead of steel oil drums, what about plastic 45 gallon drums, cut in half and bolted together end to end, perhaps with some re-enforcing, plastic won't rust or rot
     
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  17. wassermensch

    wassermensch

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    Nein, ich bein ein Englander
    but nevertheless I very much like the idea of plastic paddles, light, strong, rust proof, easily cut and joined, straight, unlike corrugated oil drums, can be bolted on tabs, and changed for new. The power is low, it is the last of three wheels on the same waterway, high volume slow flow.
     
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