The Bottom Boards:

     The waterwheel bottom is put together like awine barrel so you need to cut those boards. You will also dado the edges so that they will mesh with one another. Here is what I'm talking about.

     We are going to cut out the bottom boards that are really simple. I want to make my 5 1/2 foot diameter waterwheel about 12 inches wide so I cut them 11 inches long and 2 3/4 inches wide.
     I set up my dado to cut half the thickness of the board and wide enough to cut a 1/4 in notch along the edge. You can see in the picture how the notch is cut on opposite sides of the board so that they will interlace with one another.
     That's all there is to it now just repeat it another 72 times. It took 73 pieces to go around my waterwheel.
     Now would be a good time to place an order for the steel center hub. My hub is made out of 1/8 inch CRS. I had it fabricated by our friends at Rusty Cat Creations in Seattle, They did a really nice job on this and they do really nice metal yard sculptures. He used an NC plasma jet cutter and did a very accurate job. You should be able to find someone in your area to do the same.
     My center hub is 18 inches in diameter. The center hole is 1 inch to accommodate the 1 inch steel rod the whole thing will ride on. I had the boltholes cut square for 1/2 inch carriage bolts. The hole pattern is at the same angles as the segments. The outer holes are 1 inch in from the outside edge and three inches apart. Here's what the finished plate looks like.

     The hardware required for the hub is 32 each:
  • 1/2"-13 X 2 1/2" Zinc Carriage Bolt
  • 1/2" Zinc Lock Washer
  • 1/2" X 2" O.D. Zinc Fender Washer
  • 1/2"-13 Zinc Hex Full Nut

I also picked up enough 1/4" threaded rod to make 16 pieces long enough to hold both wheel halves together. Also 32 each 1/4" nuts, fender washers and lock washers.
That ought to keep you busy for the week, in between shopping, wrapping, gift making, partying and everything else you have to do.


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