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Starting with the water wheel and spur wheel

Posted on June 11th, 2012 by Patty Sturman

Building the mill from scratch:

The First stage:

All I had to go from was a pamphlet (you see in the pic) and photographs I took of a real Tilt Forge. I had to make the machinery first, to give me an idea of the size the building needed to be. Starting with the water wheel and spur gear.

The water wheel and spur

I made the water wheel, spur and axle with Balsa and cut the spur teeth with a small triangular file.  I sized all the balsa with 50/50 PVA and water  then after a light sanding,  gave it 2 coats of stain varnish.


The water wheel alone contains around 200 cut pieces of balsa, the outside rims are each  made from 8 segments to make the full circle. The  axle 34 pieces and the spur around 20 pieces , the metal straps on the spur is aluminium lager can cut into thin strips (wear leather gloves when cutting metal!) This assembly took two attempts (after the first one failed and I began to wonder if this project was at all possible ) and 10 weeks to complete.  Enough of  statistics and doubts…….let’s get on with it!!

After some more weeks of plotting , planning, cutting many more pieces (and my fingers!) with a craft knife , peppered with a bit of early 18th century old fashioned “Dolls house talk!” (as my husband calls it!) LOL!………..I got this far.

………………….Things are now looking up!

Main drive shaft, flywheel, spur gear, (which meshes with spur wheel to turn the main dive shaft) cam rings (to trip the hammers), the supports for the hammers, the hammers and heads. O the end of the main drive shaft is a guillotine which cuts metal into usable pieces.   Step 2 will be …….Designing the House to fit the machinery……………. Starting with a cardboard model!

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