How to build a model wooden windmill

Written by andrew dewitt
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  • Introduction

    How to build a model wooden windmill

    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.

    (Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt)

  • 1 / 5

    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.

  • 2 / 5

    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.

  • 3 / 5

    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.

  • 4 / 5

    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.

  • 5 / 5

    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.

  • Checklist

    Things you will 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
  • More information

    Tips and warnings

    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.


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