Friday, 27 January 2012

Water wheel re-build

Its been in the pipeline for a few months now, but the timber has now arrived in the yard, and we're set to begin this most interesting project. Phase 1 is to re-construct the wheel, which was originally from a mill at Grampound. The cast iron rim and shroud sections have been reconditionned, as have the axle, hubs and bearings...but all the woodwork that makes the buckets will be from new air-dried oak boards. Assembly will have to be well thought out; slow, safe and methodical, with a few puzzles along the way to keep us sharp.

Phase 2 will be to build the flume that feeds the water into the wheel...again plenty of careful planning required to calculate flow rates and entry angles. The finished wheel will rotate at about 6 rpm and will drive a generator, feeding directly into the national grid. A perfect marriage of old and new technologies. I enjoy all of my carpentry projects, but these are the jobs I really dig.

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