Making a Wood Windmill Tower

Making a wood windmill tower is an easy task depending up the amount of power wanted.

Modern windmills have less blades than the original windmills.Modern windmills have less blades than the original windmills.
The modern economic crisis has caused people to try to find alternate sources of energy through the wind and the sun. A large windmill tower is used to pull water from a deep, underground lake or use strong winds to generate large amounts of power. A small windmill tower can find softer breezes and create power or make a lovely yard ornament. The size is entirely flexible.

Use a ruler and pencil to divide a 6-inch diameter circle of plywood into eight equal sections. Mark across the edge of the circle where the section lines end.

Turn the circle over and mark spots 1/4 inch to the right of the lines on the edge of the circle that connect to the eight division lines from the other side. Separate the circle into eight equal sections using the pencil and ruler on this side using the marks that are 1/4-inch to the right of the original lines.

Erase the lines that were on the edge of the circle of plywood. Replace those lines with lines that connect the corresponding eight division lines on each side. This should result in eight lines at a slant drawn around the outside edge of the circular plywood disc.

Cut the slanting lines, carefully following up the divisional lines to make slanted slits, with the 2 cm blade of the saw to a depth of 2 inches each.

Affix the eight blades into the eight slots on the circle with wood glue. Allow to dry overnight in a secure area.

Drill a 1/8-inch hole into the center of the wooden circle and into one end of a 15-inch long, 1-inch thick dowel. Connect the dowel to the circle with a 2-inch wood screw. Place one metal washer on the front of the circle, one rubber washer and a metal washer on the back of the circle and screw the circle to the dowel tight enough that it will not come off but loose enough that it will move when wind hits it. The best way to test the correct tightness is to spin the circle and watch for wobbling or obstructed spinning.

Design a tail for the wood windmill by cutting a 6-inch-by-6-inch piece of plywood into a shape. The shape can be any the designer desires as long as there is a wide section of the tail that can catch wind and turn the windmill. A 4-inch-by-4-inch section of the plywood, with the rest of the wood being decorated in scroll or other shapes, is enough for a small- to medium-sized windmill.

Attach the tail to the end of the 15-inch dowel, which is now called the boom of the windmill. Screw the tail to the end or saw a divot into the dowel and attach the tail with wood glue. Either way, the tail will work.

Find the center of the windmill accessory by balancing it upon a finger. The point on the boom where the finger sits when the accessory does not topple is the center. Mark this place with the pencil.

Screw the windmill accessory to the top of a long dowel of about 6 feet using a washer above the center mark, a rubber washer and a metal washer on the bottom of the center mark and a 2-inch wood screw. Make sure to leave the same amount of looseness in this part as was used in the circle earlier. Test the looseness by spinning the windmill. If it wobbles, it is not tight enough.

Things You Will Need

  • Eight plywood boards, 2-inch-by-12-inch-by-2 cm
  • 6-inch diameter plywood circle
  • 15-inch long, 1-inch thick dowel
  • 6-foot long, 1-inch thick dowel
  • 6-inch-by-6-inch plywood board
  • Two wood screws, 2-inch long
  • Four metal washers
  • Rubber washer
  • Drill with Philips head bit
  • Saw with 2 cm blade
  • Wood glue
  • Ruler

Tip

  • Decorate the windmill tower in anyway desired, but since it is an outdoor project, using treated wood and varnish is essential to longevity.

Warnings

  • Keep all tools away from small children.
  • Any tower over 6 feet will need anchors or a wider base.

About the Author

Amy Lea has been writing since 1993. Her work has been published on numerous websites. She specializes in writing how-to and education articles. Lea received an Associate of Arts in teacher education from St. Louis Community College.