How to build a model wooden windmill

Updated April 17, 2017

Windmills have been used for hundreds of years to harness the power of the wind and apply that energy in a useful manner. This has been used for everything from grinding pieces of grain into flour to even technological feats such as generating electrical power from the windmill. Creating a wooden model of a windmill could serve as an excellent visual aid for a project on green energy, the history of harnessing power or even as an architecture lesson. One of the advantages of a project like this is that the materials are inexpensive and the model itself can last for many years if it is treated with care.

Place 3 strips of balsa wood together so they form a "U" shape. The left and right side should be 12-inches long and the bottom piece 6-inches long. Cut 2 strips of balsa wood into 6-inch sections. Cut 2 more strips into 5-inch long sections and 1 more section that is 3-inches long. Hot glue the 12-inch sections to the 6-inch bottom section. Glue these so that the 12-inch sections are tilted slightly diagonally towards each other. Add the 6 inch sections in an "X" shape near the base of the shape. Add another "X" shape for support in just above this using the 5-inch sections. Add the 3-inch long section horizontally. Repeat this 5 times to create all the sections you will need for the wooden windmill.

Drill 1-inch diameter hole into the wooden dome. Drill this three-quarters of the way into the dome. Drill 1-inch diameter holes onto 5 sides of the wooden cube. Drill these 1/4th of an inch into the cube.

Cut two of the dowel rods in half so that they are 6-inches long. Place a drop of hot glue on one end of the dowels. Stick the dowels into the four of the cube sides. Cut another dowel into a 4-inch section. Glue and stick this into the centre hole of the cube and place the 4-inch section into the dome without using an glue so that the blades can spin.

Cut four rectangular shapes 5-inches long and 2-inches wide out the sheet of balsa wood. Make the bottom side of this rectangle come to an angle like the blade of a knife. Hot glue the sides of these shapes to the right sides of the dowels.

Hot glue the base sections together to form a hexagon shape. Let this dry and then place a drop of hot glue on the tip of each dowel stick and place the dome on top of the hexagon base.


You can stain the wood of the windmill with any common wood stainer to give the model a more antique look.


Avoid spinning the blades of the windmill too fast or the blades will come out of the dome.

Things You'll Need

  • 12 balsa wood strips 12-inches long and 3/8ths of an inch wide
  • 6-inch diameter wooden dome
  • 2-by-2-inch wooden cube
  • Drill
  • Sheet of 36-inch long 8-inch wide and 1/8th of an inch thick balsa wood
  • Hot Glue


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About the Author

Andrew DeWitt is a freelance writer/illustrator and stand-up comic with more than eight years of professional experience. He has written for Chicago Public Radio, Vocalo Radio, Second City Chicago, and The Lemming. DeWitt has a liberal arts degree with a double major in theater and creative writing.