A blog about Johann Bessler and the Orffyreus Code and my efforts to decipher it. I'll comment on things connected with it and anything I think might be of interest to anyone else.
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Friday, 2 October 2009
Construction, composition and update
This is a brief update, because I have so many things going on at the moment.
I have been unable to do much work on my reconstruction recently, although things are looking more promising next week. Hopefully I can get some way towards finishing it. I have had numerous emails asking for clues about the principle behind my wheel and I have not revealed anything yet, however some people may be interested in having some of the details about the construction itself, now that it is nearing completion.
It is built with 40 moving parts, plus several swivel posts and stops all mounted on an MDF backplate or disk, which is only two feet in diameter. The axle is a threaded rod, held in place by two heavy nuts and washers and the whole thing rests in two plastic cup-shaped bearings which were originally designed to hold central-heating pipes to the walls. There is a little friction but not enough to stop the wheel turnng easily, and anyway the wheel is designed to do work so a little friction should not be a problem for the proof-of-principle demo. I've used two kinds of material for the parts, mostly mild steel but some GRP.
I acquired an old set of meccano parts but I have found that they are proving awkward to accomodate in the design, partly because this model is so small (my fault!) and partly because they are old, bent and buckled, (sounds like me) and the fiddly nuts and bolts are too small for my large and arthritic fingers! I am using alternatives that seem to be ok.
40 moving parts may seem like a lot but when you consider the number of parts composing a number of mechanisms and weights it's not so much. The basic principle which, I believe, lies behind the successful operation of the wheel is simple but it is something I have never heard or seen described. The only clue about its operation which I can give is to quote Bessler himself who said something along the lines of, 'I found it where everyone else had looked'.