Before assembling the wheel, bolt on the pull-out crank lever. Fasten the cable or chain and have it ready to attach to the folding lever on top of the mill. If you don't do this first, when the wheel is assembled and untied, it will take off in the wind and probably take you with it.
Once you are safely belted and standing on your sturdy platform, bolt the wheel arms in place. Lift up one wheel section at a time and bolt it between two arms. Control rods will need to be fitted. Make sure these rods have double nuts on the threaded ends. Rotate the wheel 180 degrees and tie it off to insert the next section. Rotate the wheel 90 degrees, tie and insert.
Work your way around the wheel until you're ready for the last section. As with any windmill, the last section is difficult. It may take a spreader bar to spread the wheel arms enough so that this section can be inserted. Attach the pull-out chain and make doubly sure it works. Carefully check every bolt and nut for tightness. Rotate the wheel by hand to see that it operates correctly. Climb down and turn on your mill. A properly assembled and maintained sectional wheel windmill controls itself easily in the wind.
For more information: Coy Harris is the executive director of the American Wind Power Center in Lubbock, Texas. The AWPC can be contacted at 1501 Canyon Lake Drive, Lubbock, TX 79403, (806) 747-8734. For those with questions on windmills, contact Coy Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org
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