Like an old barn or a gently turning windmill, a water wheel is one of those rustic structures that's familiar and appealing to almost everyone. There's just something peaceful and relaxing about the sight and sound of the wooden wheel turning under the gentle pressure of running water.
If you're a do-it-yourselfer, this classic water wheel project makes it easy to enjoy the tranquility of water cascading over a wooden wheel right in your own backyard. A great outdoor accent, the project will also attract birds and keep the local plant life happy.
Made from redwood (as pictured; cedar, cypress or treated lumber also work well), the project uses a recirculating pump (No. CP1) to keep the water moving. Although the water wheel is designed to be free-standing–with the wheel straddling the trough–its modular design also makes it easy to add to an existing pond.
Step-by-step instructions and full-size traceable patterns simplify construction; the wheel itself is constructed from a series of traceable arcs. To build, trace the pieces onto wood and cut everything out, assemble using glue, screws and nails and apply finish of choice. The wheel is three feet in diameter and the entire project stands about four feet tall.
The Water Wheel plan (No. 891) includes detailed step-by-step instructions with photos, full-size patterns, a shopping list and cutting schedule and a toll-free help line for project questions.