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He Built His Own Paddle Wheel Windmill
Don Shepherd operates a windmill museum near Shattuck, Okla., with more than 50 rare windmills. But when he went looking for a simple paddle wheel-style mill – the kind used by early homesteaders in the West – he couldn’t find one. “So I built one using materials that I already had,” says Don Shepherd.
  The 4 paddle wheels measure 32 in. wide and are made from lumber from an old hay loft. The wheels are contained inside a 3 by 8-ft. wooden box and fastened to a horizontal axis set squarely across the direction of the prevailing wind, with the lower half boxed in. A hand-operated water pump is located just outside the box. “It’s all hooked up to pump water but I don’t have it over a well,” says Shepherd. “Most of the pumping parts are off a junked Hesston swather.”
  The swather’s driveshaft serves as the axle for the paddle wheels and is connected to the swather’s sicklebar drive system. The sicklebar drive gear mounts on one side of the box and drives the sicklebar shaft, which runs horizontally at ground level and is attached to the pump.
  “I enjoyed building it, and people seem to think it’s a good addition to our windmill museum,” says Shepherd. “I got the lumber that I used to build the box from an old hayloft. It doesn’t take a lot of wind to move the paddles, so they turn a lot of the time. If it was installed over a well it would definitely pump water. The big limitation to a paddle wheel is that the wheels don’t swivel into the wind, so you just get the benefit of the wind from 2 different directions.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don Shepherd, P.O. Box 115, Shattuck, Okla. 73858 (ph 580 334-3962).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #4