You can take a nail, string, and pencil, draw circle on a heavy piece of plywood, and bolt
that to your axle 4x4 and the car axles. The hardest part would be the bolt circle pattern
where the wheel mounts to the hub. I would make the circle of plywood the same
diameter so as to fit inside the wheel rim and then mark the hole pattern. Do it with
cardboard from a large scrap box first and then you can look at how it fits before you
waste a piece of plywood or whatever. An old carpenter's trick I learned once. You might
use 2 car front axles like that and mount a v-belt pulley (large as you can find) at the one
end. 8 inches or more diameter. The 4 ft. by 8 ft. paddles may not develop enough torque
to turn that car axle, drive shaft and transmission. You may need paddles on the order of 8
x 16 ft. to turn all of that.
You can carve a propeller from a 2x4 like my Dad did. If you have a rotating sander it would help. Remember the longer the prop the more horse power. It's really a rotating lever. 6 or 7 ft would be OK for what we are discussing. Keep the angle slight to start in slower wind. The leading edge will be rounded to the backside and tapered to the following edge like an airplane wing, which in effect each half resembles somewhat. It won't look like the airplane propeller. The Nebraska type doesn't work only in one direction, it works in about 6 angles like an x with a line through the center but half of the rotation would be in reverse which doesn't matter if you're grinding grain or pumping water, but most of our wind is prevailing westerly. If the axle runs north -south it won't work in north or south winds. We hardly see any here. But you can make it work in all directions and leave out the fence. You build it from canvas and run the sails at an angle instead of straight across and it will look like a large screw shape. There are many variations of this design.
Offered by Darrell.
If I am understanding you correctly, your mock up would work fine on the rear axle to
paddle wheel axle interface, but may not have taken into account the front car axle on the
hub assembly sticking out further than the bolts that hold the rim on. One would need to
cut a hole in the end of the 4x4 or use very, very thick plywood. A possible way to attach
the paddle axle to the front car wheel hub assemblies. Turn the tire rim around and bolt it
back on the hub using the same lug nuts. In most cases, this will cause the outer part of the
rim to extend beyond the tip or end of the car axle. Once this is done, plywood or a 2"x8"
can be cut to fit the size of the rim. This 2"x8" or plywood piece would then be bolted to
the end of the paddle wheel axle. With long bolts and possibly spacers this wood piece
can be bolted to the tire rim. Either drill holes or use the gaps and slots already present in
the rims to assist ease of construction. Under these conditions - what do you consider the
maximum blade width and height for a paddle wheel so constructed? Would you use 4 or
What's the best wood to use? Whats the technique to balance windmill blades and paddle wheels? What I can think of now is - mount the blade or paddle wheel on its bearings free to rotate. The heavy side will rotate to the bottom or closest to earth. Shave off some of this bottom side until the paddle wheel or propeller can be turned to any position and it just hangs there without rotation. Now get it rotating as fast as you can. With a pencil or chalk hold it to barely touch the shaft on the high side as it wobbles. Be careful not to get in the way of the turning propeller or paddle wheel. Now stop the blade and take off more material on the side where the mark is. Repeat until balanced with minimal shaft wobble. In some cases weight may need to be added to the light side. This will be the case if no material can be taken off the heavy side. For example, paddle wheel type with canvas over 2"x2".
Offered by Mike.