I was supposed to be cleaning up my workshop yesterday afternoon when I came across an old fan that I had with a burned out motor. This was a three bladed barn fan that my neighbor had given me, and it really moved a lot of air, but when it burned up I figured it wasn't worth the expense of fixing. Anyhow, when you are self employed and your boss is a pushover it is easy to get away with spending an afternoon in pursuit of a kakamame scheme. I have been wanting to build a little windmill for some time. I ended up welding an overhead garage door roller on the bottom of the motor and welding a stem on the back of the motor that could get a fin or rudder welded onto it. Then I bent a piece of pipe to the right shape and welded a plate to that so I could attach it to one of the rafters in the old Gut Hut (now the woodshed). Then I just mounted the windmill on the pipe by putting the spindle from the door roller into the end of the pipe. The roller turns to allow the windmill to always face the wind.
Ultimately this thing is just a fancy weathervane, but it is fun to watch. I would like to have a windmill that would generate some electricity, but I guess this is a good start. It is a little hard to tell from this picture but the blades are spinning so fast that they look like a solid wheel. It also makes a whirling sound, which our dog Sheila barked at for quite some time last night. I like the sound it makes. It sounds like harnessed natural non polluting energy.