How to Make a Cheap Windmill


This article will show you how to build a cheap fully functioning windmill. You will need to find the materials for the tail prop and blades before you actually begin constructing the bicycle wheel windmill. This example uses five plexiglass blades which are cut with a utility knife in the shape of blades. These blades are 4" at the top, slimming to 2" bottom. The tops are rounded and the overall length results in a 20" blade. The prop used here is also constructed out of plexiglass (20" by 4").

Making the Windmill

Step 1

Attach the blades. To do this you will need to take one of your functioning rims and make five angled cuts evenly spaced around the rim. These cuts will need to be wide enough for the 1/4-inch plexiglass blade to fit tightly into and will be cut nicely with the grinder and cutting wheel. Once you have your cuts completed, lightly tap the blades into place and apply the JB Weld to ensure they stay into place.

Step 2

Drill 5/16-inch holes in the center of the rim you will be using as our directional swivel. The center is in reference to where the rubber tube originally goes. You will need two holes drilled directly across from each other on each side. These holes will be used to attach your blade rim and the tail prop to the directional swivel.

Step 3

Attach the blade rim to your directional center rim. Using the 5/15-inch peg located on the center of your blade rim, bolt through one of the holes you just drilled in Step 2. Be sure to use the lock washers for safety.

Step 4

Prepare the rear tail prop. With your prop already cut, all you will need to do is position your mounting brace and drill holes for attaching. Place the flat brace so that both holes are able to be marked on the prop. Be sure to leave room for the other side of the brace for a clear vertical hang for attachment. Drill bolting holes.

Step 5

Attach the braces. For the tail prop you will need three of the braces. First you will use the corner mount to bolt to the rim for support of the prop mounting. Next, attach the other corner brace directly to it, positioning it to either the right or the left. Last, you want to attach the flat brace with the unused side facing to the rear. Be sure to tighten down all bolts firmly.

Step 6

Mount the prop. Using the last of the bolts, bolt the prop to your mount.

Step 7

Attach the remaining brace to the bottom of center rim. Once you have completed attaching the brace, you are ready to mount your new windmill to a stand.

Tips and Warnings

  • Failure to use lock washers while bolting together your windmill may case structural failure and parts to come loose. This could result in flying objects that could be harmful. With your new windmill complete, you are ready to sit back and enjoy. As the wind blows, you will be able to see the windmill change directions automatically into the wind.

Things You'll Need

  • Five plexiglass blades (1/4-inch thick)
  • Two 16-inch by 20-inch bicycle rims
  • Five 5/16-inch bolts
  • Seven 5/16-inch nuts
  • Seven 5/16-inch washers
  • Seven 5/16-inch lock washers
  • Three 2-inch by 2-inch by 1/2-inch corner braces, two holes on each side
  • One 3-inch by 3-inch Flat Corner Brace, two holes on each side
  • JB Weld compound


  • Monster Guide
Keywords: crafts, windmills

About this Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.

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