A Windmill; Three Bladed Wonder…


Here are the materials you need, the blades can be made from cardboard, but it is better to find a piece of poster board which is made of waterproof plastic, just go to a sing maker and they have some scrap that will do… The rest is a piece of plywood and two sticks, plus two nails and some tape to decorate the parts. The sticks can be cut from an old broomstick or you can saw the out of a small plank.  The hub of the windmill is a piece from an old sun-umbrella pole. Oh, you need a straw to make some washers. That’s it…

windmill projecct 2013

windmill project aug 20 2013 c

We begin with the base and the upright, just nail the upright to the base with the nail through the bottom. We drilled a small hole in the base at its centre, and also into the bottom of the upright. The decorative tape also protects the upright from splitting, especially when you put it on and pull hard at the same time. We used electric insulation tape for all our projects, it is colourful and sticks well to itself. Always overlap the end of the tape with itself!

windmill project aug 20 2013 e

Next we put the three blades into the hub. The hub is made of a piece of sun-umbrella post and we cut it with a fine saw at an angle as you can see here. The thickness of the blade made from plastic poster material, or a good quality cardboard, should be almost equal to the thickness of the saw blade,  if it slides in too easy add a piece of paper at the base of the blade and always use some carpenter’s glue or craft glue to fix the blades more permanently in place.

windmill project aug 20 2013 d

The hub is fastened to the body by a nail, note the small piece of plastic drinking straw that we cut off to act like a washer. It make the hub go faster because it lowers the friction between the hub and the body.

windmill project aug 20 2013 f

We also add a tail to keep the windmill headed into the wind. The tail is slipped it a saw cut at the end of the body. Then you drill a hole through the body, perpendicular to the tail. Make sure you find the balance  point of the body where it balances on your finger with the front equally acting about your balance point than the rear and tail. After you have drilled the hole at the balance point you are ready to assemble the wind mill.

You might need some adult help depending on how many projects you have made and your experience with simple tools. To drill holes and saw off pieces of wood you most likely need the help of an adult or younger crafts person. You will be surprised how many people, neighbours and friends are willing to help a little or lend you a tool.

windmill project aug 20 2013 b

Here is the finished wind mill, isn’t it a beauty? We made twelve of these at the Boys and Girls Club look at the next photo to see all those happy children trying the wind mill out in front of a fan. But it works fine if you walk it around or if you put it outside when there is just a little wind, or….lots! More wind will make it run faster of course.

windmill project aug 20 2013