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See Scott Winegar's comments from when he built this waterwheel at the bottom of Gary's instructions.

This waterwheel comes to us from Gary Mastolier in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. We love it when people share their woodworking plans with us and Gary did a wonderful job on this waterwheel.

Here's what Gary wrote:

I was very interested in your water wheel project.

Here is the water wheel I built earlier this summer. Some of my construction techniques are quite similar to yours. I will be building our water feature and adding the waterwheel to it next summer.

Gary Mastolier
Bonners Ferry, Idaho

It is made from mostly cedar except for the side cheeks which are Doug fir. It is 36 inches in diameter and the 16 buckets are 12 inches wide.

The pattern I saved of one of the face cheeks.

Routed and ready for assembly.

The face cheeks were all put together using biscuit joinery and Titebond III glue. You are right, the cutting of these has to be very precise.

I made pillow blocks from wood which seem to work just fine. That's two pieces of 3/4" Doug fir glued together cross grain to each other.

The only metal in this project other than a few screws are the axle, two roller bearings and the metal flanges to hold the bearings centered in the wooden pillow blocks.

The two outer hubs are two pieces of cedar laminated together at cross grain to each other. Ditto for the larger inner hubs.

I burned the cedar with a propane torch to bring out the grain and give it contrast. The entire wheel is coated with three coats of hot linseed oil. This was a fun project. The next one will be six feet in diameter.

This is a Sketchup rendition of approximately what our water feature will look like. The waterwheel will be raised higher than shown and will drain into a cascading waterfall. The filter system and pump will be housed inside the building for ease of access.

I just got the 10X20 foot "Garden shed/Grist mill" done in time to button it up for winter. Siding, windows and door as well as the pond for our water feature will have to wait until next summer.

That's about it. We hope you liked this project. Thanks a million Gary for sharing this wonderful waterwheel. We look forward to a picture of the finished pond.
If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

Scott Winegar's comments from when he built this waterwheel.

I used Gary's plan to make my own water wheel. I had some pieces of cumaru left from a deck project. Although they were only 5.5 in wide, Gary's plan worked fine.

My wheel is 12" wide, and I laminated pieces to form the "buckets."

I joined them with a waterproof polypropylene glue, and I used my Festool domino jointer. I was concerned that the standard biscuits would rot out, so I made biscuits from scraps of cumaru.

Gary's plan for an exoskeleton made great sense, so I use 5/4 x 4 cumaru to do what Gary did.

I joined the exoskeleton with stainless pocket screws, and joined the exoskeleton to the "buckets" with stainless screws from the inside. Cumaru will eat up any metal except stainless so I threaded in some 1" x 1/2" stainless plumbing bushings for the pivot shaft.

The wheel will be used to run a piston style pump on a crank and a spiral pump mounted to the side of the wheel. It is for decoration only, and not actual work, but it looks great.

I wanted to thank Gary for sharing his design, rather than charging a bunch of money like everyone else does.

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