Sunday, 14 June 2015

My Progress - an update

My current, and I hope, final attempt to reconstruct Bessler's wheel, continues.......(perpetually?)

The base of the wheel structure is still provided by an MDF disc 2 feet in diameter, to which everything is attached.  It has been divided into five equal segments  This is according to my understanding of the information left to us by Bessler.  I know that many, or most maybe, believe that it makes no difference whether you have four, five or eight segments, but I understand why five is the minimum and why any more need to be odd numbered as far as space permits.

Talking of space, my mechanisms are composed from cannibalised parts from many, many failed previous incarnations, and in an effort to conserve the rapidly diminishing number of available parts of a suitable length, I tend to use the part which is closest to my current requirement.  The result is that the mechanisms on my latest project are a little larger than intended, so that they project beyond the rim of the MDF disc.  This is not a problem from a mechanical point of view although it lacks the finesse apparent in my previous constructions.  It means that I must add a little to the height of the axle supports so that the finished article will be able to spin unencumbered by the floor of the support structure (should it feel inclined to do so!). In order to enclose the enlarged mechanisms the MDF disc would need to be 3 feet in diameter not 2, and if it comes to reproducing a more attractive wheel, that is something I shall take into consideration.

Friction among some of the moving parts has occasionally been a problem, but I resolved it a long time ago by using stiff nuts, washers and bolts, so that I can adjust the tightness to the optimum level, allowing the joints to move freely but not too loosely.  I use small disc lead weights, about the size of an old English penny, which are normally used to make curtains hang properly, and they are ideal for the size of the mechanisms.  I stack them in 5s and sometimes more to provide the necessary weights.

My previous blog about making false assumptions was inspired by my own stupid assumption!  I had designed two alternative mechanical actions, one of which I rejected about three years ago because I thought it wasn't right.  The result was that my chosen action, the other one, did not produce enough lift quickly enough to generate continuous rotation.  At that time I had not discovered what I call the Bessler/Collins principle and even after I had defined it, I ignored the one I had previously dismissed, the rejected alternative, and continued to modify the action I had chosen instead because I thought it held the most promise.  Recently I discovered my error and it prompted me to urge people to be aware of unconscious assumptions which might be in error but not immediately obviously so.

So my mechanisms are almost finished, and there will be one more procedure to accomplish before I can mount the wheel on its bearing supports and then my fingers will be crossed for success (and my eyes and legs).

I would like to explain more about my wheel, but it's difficult to say anything more without risking giving away too much information, but I think that I am close to getting it right - but haven't I; haven't we all, been here so many times before?  Anyway I hope that this will work or that it becomes clear why it won't. Then I must decide whether to publish all yet or keep trying.




  1. i thought you had already promised to show your idea, whether or not it worked.
    What changed your mind?

    1. Yes and the year before last and the year before that and ...................

    2. Yes dougsubous, I did and I'm not saying I won't show what I've done, but I must be sure I haven't made a simple error that I can correct easily, before I publish anything.

      And yes too, to anonymous, I have promised to publish my work, when I had finished working on it, and that will be soon, this year.


  2. Good luck John,
    if not, I've seen a device on youtube that works, but it's one of those energy multiplying things, and the small moving weight is driven by a motor.
    However, I've been playing around with some weights and a spring, and I think I can do away with the motor drive, making it purely mechanical.

  3. Good luck with the current build, John. I hope it continually turns so fast, it flies right off the axle. lol

    Spent birthday # 59 today actually finishing up my current build, leaving just final adjustments and testing left to do.

    Sounds like we both have the same problem. My build is roughly 4' diameter, but the mechanisms are a bit bigger, which means I, too, have to raise the support another few inches. It's also amazing how much room a four foot wheel takes up. Darn thing is constantly in the way of all my machinery!

    Again, good luck! May this be the one!



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