Picture of Turnabout - A K'nex windmill
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Intro (2).JPG
Intro (1).JPG
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Many a time now I have tried to come up with a design for a little windmill, and this is my latest and most successful attempt. It's a small, simple and stable design that catches the air very well. The best feature of this windmill is the rotating head, which allows the tail to rotate the blades straight into the wind, regardless of direction.  It preforms very well in light wind yet can handle very rough and gusty weather. I've left it out for days on end without having it malfunction.


All photographs and video taken in Whiteshell Provincial park, Canada.

Step 1: Parts list

Picture of Parts list
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Here's the glorious parts list. Gather them up and head onto the next step!

Green - 165
White - 152
Blue - 232
Yellow - 69
Tan - 1
Black - 1

Dark gray - 4
Light gray - 20
Red - 28
Green - 28
Orange - 61
White - 17
Purple 3d - 112
Blue 3d - 46

3-holed triangle panel - 18
9-holed square panel - 14
37-holed square panel (photo 2) - 1
Small wheel (with tire) - 4
Blue spacer - 3
Silver spacer - 6
Y-connector - 4
Gray cap (photo1) - 1
That's it! Let's make a start.
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how many yellow 5 way connectors
I_am_Canadian (author)  the_boss_builder2 years ago
Bah, I forgot to put them in the piece list I see, my apologies. I'd say somewhere between 50-70.
thank you very much very helpful
dood, the max. wind power is 20mph. mine fell over then!
Well 20MPH is pretty brisk. Make sure it's on a really flat surface, it should be able to handle quite a bit.
it was on the sidewalk.
Huh! Strange, beats me. You could always fill up a soda bottle with sand and stick in in the base if you really wanted more stability (or you could extend the feet).
Okay, thanks! I'll try that when it's windy again! :)
mdman103 years ago
great job this looks sweet! i tried to build a wind turbine out of micro knex and i wrapped the blade frame in paper. the head doesnt rotate though.... anyway nice windthingy
I_am_Canadian (author)  mdman103 years ago
Thanks! I too tried using saran wrap blades, it was effective, if not a little flimsy.

Knexman153 years ago
I really want to build this, and I have all the pieces except I only have two (2) square-9 hole panels. Help?
wrap the frame in plastic wrap duct tape,packaging tape, a it'll work even better ;)
I_am_Canadian (author)  Knexman153 years ago
Sure, just make as dense a panel as you can with snowflake and yellow connectors, green and white rods. It probably wont be quite as efficient, but hey, its K'nex :-)
Ok, I wasn't sure if it would still spin because of more gaps in the tail and the blades, but I guess it will work. Thanks!
I_am_Canadian (author)  Knexman153 years ago
Im sure it will work, it probably just wont spin as fast.
Can you make it so the video is only viewable from instructibles not youtube???
I_am_Canadian (author)  Zeethesquirrel3 years ago
Why would I do that?
Ha i knew this was from you just by looking at the first picture. Wonderful job.

MegaMetal83 years ago
Very Nice, keep it up.
I_am_Canadian (author)  MegaMetal83 years ago
Thank you!
Tis Ok
I have a question I_am_Canadian next ball machine can u make it not using the orange 5-ways with tabs? because I only have 20 of those and I can't build any of your ball machines (but maby the circle one
Im Not IAC. You replyed to me. =)
anyways he still got the message so it doesn't matter
I did ???
I_am_Canadian (author)  Zeethesquirrel3 years ago
Hey :-)

I'm not building another turnpike-style ball machine, but most of my ball machines use those pieces regardless.

Stay tuned :-)
Cool I only have 26 of the orange tabbed but I have a butload of peices and just something else I built your circle ball machiene and I have big ideas I'm building a ball machiene on top of it :D if I make a vid I'll give u a link
I_am_Canadian (author)  Zeethesquirrel3 years ago
Sounds great!
hey mate, this looks sweeeeeeet, i might build this
~Vortex~3 years ago
I_am_Canadian (author)  ~Vortex~3 years ago
Thanks very much!
DJ Radio3 years ago
Cool stuff bro. What exactly is the purpose of the wheels though?
I_am_Canadian (author)  DJ Radio3 years ago

It allows the head to rotate on the base, so that it can take wind from all sides.
Couldn't that happen without the wheels though?
Ball Bearings, works in the same way.
I_am_Canadian (author)  DJ Radio3 years ago
You could, but depending on your design you'd either have enormous amounts of friction or just an extremely unstable connection.
Seleziona3 years ago
I don't know where anyone gets any of those square panels. I personally don't have any and have never seen one before. But anyways, that's a great windmill you have there :D
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