Tuesday, 15 May 2012
There was a comment on here and I've had some emails asking me why my wheel is taking so long. People have said that it sounded very complex - maybe too complex to be similar to Bessler's wheel. So with only 21 days left 'til the 300th anniversary I'm sharing some of the details of its build although I doubt you will find it very illuminating - it's not meant to be - yet!
I think I shall finish it in time but I'm not quite there yet. I am committed to being away for a couple of weeks at the beginning of June so I may save the result 'til I return - or I may not - it probably depends on whether it works or not! I'm disappointed to be away on the very day we should be remembering Bessler's first exhibition but it can't be helped. Families make arrangements without considering the possibility that they might clash with an important date in my Bessler calendar!
The backplate on which it's all mounted is three feet wide. There are five mechanisms for reasons I understand but which are not immediately obvious at first sight. Each mechanism has ten parts plus two weights, so in total the whole wheel has 60 parts, plus the axle. I wish it had eleven parts per mechanism then it would total 55!
The axle runs all the way through the wheel - for those who have suggested that it didn't. The mechanisms employ the 'kiiking' principle and the wheel is designed to turn in one direction only.
There are no springs employed in my version although I could find a use for them if required, but the scissor linkage otherwise known as "stork's bill", or" lazy tongs" is present.
The method of working is readily apparent to a casual observer however longer study would be necessary to appreciate the finer points of detail without which it would fail. If it works, the wheel will begin to spin spontaneously as soon as any brake mechanism that might be applied is released.
The main reason why it has taken so long is that although I had the basic principle, there were some parts of the mechanism whose precise design arrangement was open to interpretation so I had to test each configuration to determine which worked the best. I have now got the mechanism arrangement I think works best so all I have to do is complete all five and test the wheel.
I'm convinced that even if it doesn't work the principle is sound and will lead to someone succeeding in making a working wheel. Watch this space.
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