If you’re like me, I’m constantly finding things to build in my wood shop. Woodworking is one of the most rewarding hobbies I know of, and I can get rid of a weeks worth of stress in one evening in the woodshop.
Searching the internet you’ll find a wealth of project plans free to whoever wants to download them. But sometimes there are projects I’m wanting to build that can’t be found online. My solution is to create my own plans from whatever research I’ve done on the subject that needs building. I’m a trained professional drafter. A drafter is someone who draws mechanical and architectural plans professionally, so at least I’m qualified to do the task.
One of the things I wasn’t able to find were plans for was a water wheel. I own a farm and wanted to pump water from my spring to the barn without installing an electric pump. So I looked online to get all the facts, decided what size wheel would work in my spring, and started making a prototype drawing. After a day or two drawing, I was able to come up with a design not only for the water wheel, but also the braces, stand, and pump frame to mount on the bottom of the stream.
From these drawings I was able to build cut sheets for each part of the wheel and then start creating the pieces. Within a day or two I had a functional water wheel. After you build a concept drawing, you can dissect the drawing to come up with all the parts and their dimensions. That’s by far better than using the old trial and error method many use in the woodshop. And the wheel works great by the way.
Tim Davis has created a very complete course on learning to draw mechanical drawings in a CAD program at http://mechanicaldrawing.us/.