Category: "Watson Mill"

Watson Mill - sails, part 5

by brae  

Continuing work on the windmill sails.  It's time to figure out the hub and shaft portion for the sails.  I've developed a hub inspired by the 1:30 scale mill kit by Amati and this windmill build by Penterbak.

I decided to build my hub from styrene (plastic) instead of wood because I worried about longevity and solidity during operation.  I used square tubing from Evergreen, glued in a cross formation using Testors cement.

I will likely add further detailing before painting.  I'm giving some thought to a few ideas. I cut the excess wood from the ends of the whips.  Shims were required to make the whips square where they entered the hub as was sanding to fit, my least favorite phrase in mini making.  :D  However, a tight fit in the hub means no glue or pins are required to keep it all in place.  If I need to replace anything, just pull it apart at the hub.  On the back, I glued a cap cut from round tubing to connect to the shaft.  This is the only place it's a little loose, but I have a couple of ideas for a solution.

The shaft is a 5/16" diameter wood dowel with a hole drilled in the center on one end.

The motor has a threaded shaft, so my friend and I went to the hardware store to find a suitable screw to fit.

Another friend cut the heads from a few of the screws so I could attach one end to the wood shaft, and now I have a few spares for the future (or for the other motor in my stash).

Right now, nothing is glued or taped or pinned, and it works well.  I might add a bit of adhesive later as needed, but I do want the parts easy to separate for transport or replacement.  Interestingly, the inner portion of the square tubing was angled a bit, so the sails are now tipped slightly.  Works in my favor since they are like this in real life.  :]

Gustav's Mill - introduction

by brae  

One of the reasons I cut new walls to make Watson Mill larger on the inside was to accommodate Gustav's hobby.  Turns out, in addition to avid reading, he's a miniaturist.  :D  In researching mini mills, I found this delightful Archistories Windmill "Marienfehn" in Z scale.

Here's a penny to show the size of the pieces.  There's excellent detailing as well.  The pieces seem to be made from some kind of chipboard material, and they recommend the use of wood glue.  There are 10 pages of illustrated instructions, but it seems fairly straightforward.

There's even a motor for it.  Yep, the sails go roundy roundy.  :D  It's a DC 3V motor, so this should work with a battery holder and switch.  I can build a work table to disguise the switch underneath.

For now, I have four of the parts sheets pressed flat since they curled a bit in the kit envelope.

Watson Mill - sails, part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the windmill sails.  Just a short update that is long on work hours.  I now have four completed sails and will move on to the hub and shaft next.  I had such a hard time getting motivated to do the last three sails after completing the first.  Yes, I can stand the "tedium" of needlework for hours, but this insanity just pushed me over the edge.  haaaaa!  I am glad to move on now.

I think these are just the right size for the facade.

There was a question about whether these weigh more than the mockup versions and if the motor would be able to handle the extra weight.  Interestingly enough, the wood sails weigh the same as the foam core board mockup sails (1.1 ounces on my postal scale).  Of course, the cloth I add later will increase the weight, but the motor should be able to handle it without issue.

Watson Mill - sails, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the windmill sails.  I've done some research on windmills and a fair bit of virtual sightseeing, but I am by no means an expert.  I am also not planning a precise model, though there are some remarkable works out there.  The first one I ran into is a 1:30 scale mill kit by Amati.  The model has a hub made from wood that looks fairly straightforward for me to recreate for my own model.  I've been using an offset alignment on the mock-up hub mainly for ease of use, but I plan to have a hub setup more like the real life mills (and this Amati model).

Another fabulous resource is Penterbak, where you find many different scale models with exacting details.  It's in Dutch and google translate works only so well, but you can see from the photos alone just how much work went into these.  The hub on the windshaft here is remarkable and gives me some ideas on how to dress it up.  :]

Finally, let's learn some terminology.  There's a wealth of information in the online publication of The Dutch Windmill by Frederick Stokhuyzen, though I admit I skipped around to parts I needed.  There's also this awesome website with a video by The Yorktown Windmill Project showing how to make a common sail.  (They also have a great page on the conical roof, which I have done in miniature in the past.)

After seeing this real life example, I decided to change my design to match.  My sails won't have the gentle curve of the true sails unless the wood warps so let's hope it warps in the right direction.  :\

In the Bruce Hirst model, he used 1/8" square strip wood, but mine will have mainly 1/16" x 1/8" strip wood.  The adhesives used were Elmer's Wood Glue supplemented with super glue gel.  The Easy Cutter Ultimate was a lifesaver here.  Mom also gave me a box of 100 X-Acto blades for Christmas.  Maybe that will be enough.  haaaaa  :D

I cut four 12" lengths of 1/4" x 1/8" strip wood to make the whip (center shaft of the sail). This is longer than I will need, but I wanted extra just in case.   Instead of trying to cut holes in the whip to form mortises, I notched the pieces every 3/4" from the end.

Time to cut 44 sailbars, 11 per sail, at a length of 2.75" each.  This is more than I had in my cardboard mockup, but it should add stability.  I also cut 12 hemlaths (outer vertical strips), 3 per sail, at a length of 9" each.  Again, this is slightly longer than my mockup, but it made for easier math.

Since I was cutting by hand, there were some gaps.  I used Minwax Wood Putty in natural pine as filler.  Could I have been more precise?  Maybe, but I get in a hurry for tedious portions of a project.  Once it's all stained and aged, it will all blend in.   :D

A corresponding piece of 1/4" x 1/16" strip wood encloses the notches to make the mortises in the whip.  I cut and added the little blocks (don't know the term) that keep the sailbars uniform along the whip.  This makes me lament all the times I've discarded tiny bits of wood.  Who knew?!!  They add detailing that makes the sails seem more realistic.

This might have been a bit of overkill for a model, but I also used nails in addition to the glue.  I don't need these suckers popping apart later on down the line, and since they will be motorized it's likely worth the extra time and effort.  I did drill pilot holes so I wouldn't split the boards.

I am going to leave the final finishing as far as stain goes until after I have all the parts fabricated just in case something breaks along the line and needs to be redone.

One sail down, three more to go.  :]

Watson Mill - sails, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the windmill sails.  I did a foam core board mock-up the last time I worked on the mill.  These gave me the measurements I needed for each sail.

Before I do all the work of cutting tiny pieces of wood to make a true sail frame, I wanted to mock them up further.  I used cardboard scraps to make a grid approximation for the sails.

I wasn't especially careful in cutting so it went reasonably fast.  I taped the new grid sails to the bamboo skewers and inserted those into the hub.

I put the sails on the foam core mock-up front to see if these still look good for size.  Yep, I think that'll do.  :]

1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 ...8 ...9 11 13