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Thread: A Wind Powered Sawmill

  1. #1
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    A Wind Powered Sawmill

    I read a story about Jonathan Fisher a woodworker who died in 1847. He used wind power for his mill and lathe. I could see it for a lathe but a mill? Sure enough it's not only possible it can be done.This amazing video is proof!

    https://youtu.be/Q6FxG3ll-lw
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
    - Henry Ford

  2. #2
    That's amazing.
    JR

  3. #3
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    East Virginia
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    Interesting, thanks for posting.

    Make mine water-powered:

    http://www.folkstreams.net/film-detail.php?id=187

  4. #4
    Back in the 1980s there was an episode of "This Old House" where they had window shutters made at an old water powered factory. I wonder if anyone remembers that and knows the location of the shop.

  5. #5
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    I remember looking in the shop at Knights Foundry where the had a water powered tablesaw to cut firewood for the melting pot. It was a small Pelton wheel, in a case, belt driving the arbor. This was in the 1980's before they shut down I think they were pouring iron once or twice a week.
    Bill D.

    https://knightfoundry.com/

  6. #6
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    Very good. A few years ago I was sent some photographs of a 1 horse power Dewalt router. It was actually powered by a horse walking around in a circle. I think the woodworker was in Indiana.

  7. #7
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    Lots of wind farms around here now. Can we say our electric motors are wind powered now?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Joiner View Post
    I read a story about Jonathan Fisher a woodworker who died in 1847. He used wind power for his mill and lathe. I could see it for a lathe but a mill? Sure enough it's not only possible it can be done.This amazing video is proof!

    https://youtu.be/Q6FxG3ll-lw
    Nice story, fascinating mechanism! And we think we're clever.

    JKJ

  9. #9
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    Sacramento, CA
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    At the the end of the video he mentions that they soaked the wood in water for a year prior to cutting and that this removed sugars and made the wood less likely to warp or twist after milling. Does anyone know if there is any evidence to back this up? I've heard it was common practice to store wood underwater, ex. some of the best violins were made from wood that had soaked underwater for several years. There is speculation and some evidence that this resulted in absorption of minerals that affected tone, in addition to the natural aging of wood and resulting increase in density (see candle test). There are also manufacturers touting "sinker mahogany" for guitars, though the argument is for tone, not stability.

  10. #10
    The land I live on had a water powered saw mill on it before my grandfather bought it. The race part of the land can still be seen. I wanted to use my water wheel to run something like a mill but piping the water to a good working space is just to much work.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Beitz View Post
    The land I live on had a water powered saw mill on it before my grandfather bought it. The race part of the land can still be seen. I wanted to use my water wheel to run something like a mill but piping the water to a good working space is just to much work.
    If I had that kind of option, I'd have hydroelectric power in an instant!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Perry View Post
    Back in the 1980s there was an episode of "This Old House" where they had window shutters made at an old water powered factory. I wonder if anyone remembers that and knows the location of the shop.
    I found the answer:


    Beech River Mill,
    located in Center Ossipee, N.H.
    Featured in 1987 on "This Old House" ("The Westwood House," Episode No. 714).

  13. #13
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    Jun 2014
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    Western PA
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    I source my power solely through wind turbine generation, so my whole shop is wind powered. Has been for a few years. I would encourage everyone to look into it in their area, I think The bill averages 5%+/- more than fossil fuel sources.

    Interesting video. Iíve been in a few shops that each tool was powered via some complex series of belts and drives. I think the Boeing museum of flightís original shop was like that.

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