Introduction: Wood Chopper Windmill

This is a fun to build toy/decoration that easily provides entertainment or simply catches one's eye. It can be built with simple woodworking tools and can easily be throw together within a few evenings.

I know this is probably annoying, but I've entered this in the Toy, Fathers Day, and Epilog V Contest's. If you like it, show some love by giving me a vote :)

Materials/Toos
Tracing Paper
6" X 6" (1/4" thick)plywood-for arms
10 1/4" X 5 1/8" (1 3/8" thick) softwood-for body
13 3/4" X 8" (3/4" thick) plywood-for base
5 1/2" X 12 5/8" (1/16" thick) balsa or plywood-for windmill sails
2 3/4" diameter wooden wheel (can be purchased at a hardware store)
12" long stiff wire
2 x 12" long (5/8" thick) dowels-for uprights
9 1/2" coat hanger wire
1 x 1/4" nut, bolt, and washer (at least 3" long)
1 x 1/16" nut, bolt, and washer
wood glue
acrylic paints
Polyurethane varnish
Sharp craft knife
fretsaw
ruler
drill
drill bits to match dowels and bolts
needle nosed plyers
small saw
carving knife
sandpaper


( I included an image of the template I used)

Step 1: Cutting Out the Parts

The first step is very simple, cut the parts out with the template provided with the fretsaw.

Step 2:

Drill the holes needed in each of the body parts. Careful that the holes are straight, especially for the body, because if they are not, the moving parts will not work properly.

Step 3:

Shape the body as you like with the carving knife and sandpaper, then paint. Feel free to be as creative as you like :)

Step 4:


Glue the shoulder spacer onto the body.

Step 5:

Bend a small part of the wire around the tip of your needle nosed pliers. Make sure when you secure the wire under the bolt that the wire does not slip over the head of the bolt.

Step 6:

At this point, I fitted all the moving parts together, and made sure everything worked. I needed to trim the bolts down a bit so I cut them to length with a hack saw. Also glue the nut to the bolt and the washer with a bit of wood glue.

Step 7:

Now for the base. Measure 2 in. down from each corner and use those as reference points to cut off the corners evenly. Measure 3/4 in. down from one end and and mark the holes for the upright positions 2 in. apart. Drill the holes with a 5/8 in. drill bit and then fit the dowels in. This step may be a little hard to follow, but the most important thing is that the uprights are 2 in. apart and are about centered at one end of the base.

Step 8:

Measure 6 in. of coat hanger wire and cut it. Now make a 90 degree bend in the middle of it (doesn't have to be too accurate.) Make another 90 degree bend about 1/2 in. down, make your next 90 degree bend an inch away from your last one. The last bend will again be 90 degrees and 1/2 in. up from your previous bend. The piece of wire should have a U shape in the middle of it now.

Step 9:

Drill a 1/8 in. hole 2 in. down from the top of each upright. Fit the coat hanger, and bend the piece of wire you had fitted to the arm previously, to fit around the coat hanger wire.

Step 10:

Now for the windmill. For the wooden wheel, you can either make it yourself, or most bigger hardware stores carry stuff like that, anyway just make sure it is 7 in. in diameter. To measure where you will cut for the windmill blades, first take a ruler and draw four lines that will split the wheel up into 8 equal parts. Next, take a protractor, and wherever the line reaches the edge, draw a 45 degree angle across the curved edge of the wheel. You should then end up with 8, 45 degree lines. Cut with a handsaw about 1/8 in. deep. Now drill a 1/8 in. hole in the center of the wheel.

Step 11:

Use the template to cut out the windmill blades if you have not done so already. Glue each blade in.

Step 12:

To mount your windmill on the coat hanger wire, take your tape and wrap it around one spot on the wire until it fits snugly into the hole on the windmill. Glue the windmill onto the tape using a fairly large amount of wood glue.

Step 13:

Attach all the wires and such where they need to be and place the figure so that the wire is perpendicular from the coat hanger. Now glue the figure in place, and add any decorations you want. I decided to cut some smaller branches to look like logs that the wood chopper is cutting.

Step 14:

There you have it! This little guy definitely looks very cool on a windy day and will turn many eyes. Happy Building :)

Comments

author
myusernameoops (author)2014-12-06

Selling for 300 pound

author
chandshar (author)2013-09-11

I would use a drop of nail varnish on the nut to hold it in place as it is waterproof

author
trike road poet (author)2013-09-05

Animate a bit of the back yard!!! fun

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-07-20

I definitely do not mind! That's pretty cool :)

author
robertl01 (author)2013-07-17

Hya Steveo1357, hope you do not mind but i used you instructable and modelled it for 3D printing!
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:117275

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-07-02

How did I miss this one? This is totally awesome, thank you for sharing your awesomeness :[).

author
fantasticx2 (author)2013-06-30

Very Nice, Impressed! Wish I knew someone could make me one

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-06-28

Yea, it was an adaptation from something I found in an old book

author
cutshopguy (author)2013-06-27

Great project. Well done - looks really cool. I think I might try to adapt this for a kinetic metal sculpture.

author
WVSundown (author)2013-06-27

Thanks for this post! My great-grandfather made things like this for the grandkids . . . brought back many sweet memories for me. Maybe I can try to make some of my own, too!

author
jgeepers (author)2013-06-27

Hi, nice work. Just curious, the template says, "Woodcutter page 82 to 87". Is that a magazine or book you got the template from?

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-06-27

oh and quiltslongarm, the figure should be about 10 in. tall

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-06-27

There, the video should be up now :) sorry for the wait. Bodmer, that's definitely a good point, I've been looking around for some different hardware that I could use for the windmill mechanism but I haven't found anything very suitable. Thanks for all the helpful comments! :)

author
t800 (author)2013-06-27

Hey Steve, do you have a short video of it by any chance?..it would be very nice to see it running...errrr, I mean chopping ;-) Very nice project, well done :-)

author
Bodmer (author)2013-06-27

Great. The mechanism side needs some development, it won't last long outside. Add proper bearings and end stops to take the "thrust" from the prop. Constrain the push rod on the crank so it does not drop over the bend.

author
aekent (author)2013-06-27

I really enjoyed seeing this. It makes my mind race at all the things I could make...well, think I could make.

author
quiltslongarm (author)2013-06-27

Stefan, the template does not appear to be full scale. What size should the main
body be?
Thank you,
Pam

author
sssaksena (author)2013-06-27

Here's an even easy and fun way to make a whirligig

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y0SnkLCiyI

author
triumphman (author)2013-06-27

I am going to make this with plastic and metal parts. It will last much longer outdoors than wood. There is a Fisherman one like this too. Oh, and a Hen & Chicks. They are wind powered (animated) too! If I find the plans I will post them. Thanks, I now have another reason to go down into my cool basement workshop on these hot days!

author
Shiseiji (author)2013-06-27

I love whirly-gigs and automata! Great job!

author
Wheatridge (author)2013-06-27

Nice job Steveo.

author
NickGriffin (author)2013-06-27

You got my vote...I do a little toymaking and have never tried a windmill before...hope to use your plans! Thanks for sharing!

author
Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-06-26

This is wonderfully done! I love these things, but have never seen one made before! Thanks for sharing :)

author
No_Limits (author)2013-06-23

Awesome Job! This would look great with my picnic table!

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-06-23

Yea you really should, that would be pretty impressive

author
Hey Jude (author)2013-06-23

Really clever.... I feel this should be a standard D&T excercise at schools. I just did this a few weekends ago in Berlin http://youtu.be/-0h5nvo3luE and am wondering if I should do a wind-powered one now: Thanks for the inspiration!!

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-06-23

Thanks :) yea ill try and get one up soon

author
ynze (author)2013-06-23

Nice project! Do you have a video of the finished wood chopping mill? (with some wind, of course :-))

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-06-23

But if you can print the image on regular A4 size paper it should end up being the right size.

author
steveo1357 (author)2013-06-23

I only have it as an image file, i'll try and convert it to a pdf for you.

author
BrittLiv (author)2013-06-23

Awesome, but I don't see the template, can you please try to reattach it?

author
emilyvanleemput (author)2013-06-23

Awesome!

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Bio: Hey I'm Stefan, I'm 16 years old and I live way up in Canada :P I am passionate about music, especially my violin ... More »
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