During the Strawbees build night at FBRKN we got the idea of making a windmill out of the strawbees.
It's now attached to our roof and lights up a small lamp during the windy days here in the western harbour of Malmö.
Step 1: Get Your Materials!
Besides the strawbees and straws we used:
an old bike dynamo
You will also need the following tools:
Step 2: Make the Mill Blades
We began with making a pattern for the blades, you can download the file (wing.ai). It is based on the angels from the five-connector strawbees bit and the seam allowance is included.
We then cut out the pieces in our Laser cutter (because everything gets better with lasers) but you can easily use a scissor. Depending on what fabric you use you might want to zig-zag the edges or use a serger to stop the fabric from fraying. Since we used a polyester fabric and the laser cutter the edges of our fabric were welded together by the heat so the fabric won't fray.
When the pieces were cut we then folded them and sew the folds down. The blue line on the pattern indicates where the fold is made. We used the inner marking on the presser foot to follow the edge of the fabric.
Do this to all of your pieces.
Step 3: Assemble!
Now its time to put everything together. Slide two straws into the folds you just made. Then push one 5-armed strawbees piece in one of the straws as in the second picture. Take another 5-strawbee piece and push it in the second straw (picture 4)
Then attach the second blade to the strawbees you just used like in picture 5 and continue with all the blades.
When you lay the blades flat on the table make sure that all the left straws of the blades go to the top strawbee and the right straw of the blades go in the bottom one. This makes the blades face the same way to catch the wind.
Step 4: Almost There
Now its time to stretch the blades and make them more stable.
Take a strawbee with two legs and push it in the top of the straws on the blade. (picture 1) Do this to all of the blades' straws. Then take a new straw and use it to stretch out the blades like in picture 4. We cut the straws by about five to six centimeters (about two inches) to make them fit nicely.
To prevent the fabric from sliding down we glued it with a small drop of glue from a glue gun at the top edge of each blade.
Step 5: The Last Piece
When we had the mill blades we then used the glue gun to glue it onto the dynamo. You can also screw it onto a piece of wood or any other object where you want to place it.
We mounted our wind mill on the roof and in the lase video you can see it spin :)