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Discussion Starter #1
Well this time it ran for 2 weeks.

I checked on the paddlewheel this morning and it was doing fine. Then about 4 hours later I found that the shaft had snapped in 2. The shaft is solid 1" round hot rolled. It snapped right where the first brackets were welded to the shaft.

Thursday I noticed the clamps were loosening on the bottom of the board that holds the gearbox and motor allowing the board to twist slightly. I brought the parts to fix it today but it was too late. When it broke last time I found that 1 clamp had broken. The clamps were metal 3/4" conduit clamps. I think it's possible that the motor board came loose from the pivot point and twisted over far enough to jam the paddlewheel but I haven't had to check. It looks like the chain is also broken.

The welder got one set of brackets slightly off and that put a 1" bow in the 8' shaft. It didn't interfer with the spinning that I could tell when I spun it by hand but I thought I would avoid that in the next draft.

Am I correct in thinking that a 1 1/2"-2" pipe (like well pipe) will make a better shaft since the 1" solid shaft was fairly flexible.

At this rate I think I'm going to lose a seasons production but if I can work out the bugs this summer I can jump on it first thing next spring.

I'll get a better motor/gearbox combination for the next season.

Any ideas to make the next paddlewheel better?
 

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For 1" hot rolled steel to break there had to either be a defect in it or extreme torque applied. I doubt the latter. I would try 1" again over pipe. If there is an elevation under the shaft you might try a bearing. Find one which will just slide onto the shaft then make a bracket to hold it in place.
 

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agmantoo
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FishHead, remember the reference to using an automobile differential and transmission. The hot walker for the horses is very heavy and the horses sometimes abuse the device until they become accustom. The drive motor is not over 1 HP on the input and the speed can be adjust in increments from a slow walk to a brisk walk. The unit is very rugged and rather water resistant.
 

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If there were photographs we could quickly tell what the orientations were concerning this project. Without visual input or 10,000 word dissertations there is not much we can do toward helping.
 

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Out here all the irrigation canals have a fish wheel to keep salmon from trying to spawn in your alfalfa. It is a basic paddlewheel about 8-10' diameter. They use about a 2-3" shaft. Water is pretty powerful, and will exploit any weakness.
 

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on shafting use a hub that slips on to the shaft, (don't weld it), you may have to take it to a machine shop and have a key way put in it. but there is very little machinery that has any thing welded to shafts, all most with out fail they use a hub of some form and that is slipped on to the shaft and keyed on, welding can crystalize the metal and warp it,

use the C or d or flanged face motor to the gear box or a flex connector if not, if the gear box has a hollow shaft, use a stub shaft in the hollow shaft to put the flex connector on,

going back to the hub there is a system called "weldahub" and "Weldasprocket"
http://www.ggmfg.com/aboutus.asp

or jsut find a cheap sprocket, http://www.surpluscenter.com/powerTrans.asp?&catname=powerTrans at surplus center, and use that for your hubs, drill holes in them and attach your arms or weld to the sprocket, (with the teeth you can easily divide out the arms so the spacing is correct).

with the weld a hub system you can either us a sprocket of choice to make a flange to weld up to the chosen hub, or have blank metal disk cut and a hole machined to fit the hub and weld the flange to the hub, (if you would use the pre made sprocket if it is to hard to drill, heat it to a nice dull red and take the temper out of the harding of the steel and then usually one can drill it. the welda sprocket are drill-able),

jsut some Ideas,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I've already gotten 2 orders of sprockets from surplus center. :)

A friend suggested that the shaft may have been flexing and that caused the shaft to break.

I think I will get a keyway cut into the shaft so that I can slide the sprockets to match the gearbox easier. The gearbox has a shaft on both sides so I'll probably use 2 sprockets on the paddlewheel shaft to keep it pulling evenly.

Here are some photos of the set-up.





 

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Yes the fles in the shaft is probily what caused it to break. I would put a pillow block bering in the ends and in the midle that would easier than anything else you can do. If you are going to use the wheel for along time you might want want to use metal to make the frame. I see one flaw in the construction . I would have a bering on each side of the motor and one at the pattle wheel end. This would keep the motor from flesing the long shaft and make it more stable. Pillow block bearings would be the way to fix what you have and three of them would not cost as much as a motor.
 

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also a set of truss rods could help a lot, on my combine reel it is 20' wide and there is a truss rods that is bent from the middle support to the out side ends on each paddle and it keeps it from flexing,
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What if I split the paddles and put a bearing in the center as well as both ends? As slow as it turns (<16 rpms) I could make one out of oak since it will only run 3 one month runs and I can always replace it between runs.

I'm still thinking that a 2" well pipe or similar wouldn't have any flex to it compared to that 1" round stock I used. Before I fastened the paddles the weight of the brackets would cause it to sag 2-3" if I picked up an end.

I used wood this time for the frame because that's all I can build with because of lack of welder. Also, I knew this was just a first draft. Once I get it so it's dependable I'll draw up some prints and take it to a welding shop or buy a welder and build it myself.
 

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agmantoo
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Fishhead, if you will mount the paddles on an automobile wheel Or two and then put the paddlewheels on a differential you will essentially have what you need made. Put a sprocket on the input shaft of the differential and drive the unit with your existing gearbox and motor but face mount the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Agman,

Isn't that going to weigh a ton? My frame was borderline even with just the gearbox and motor.

I'm trying to think of a way to have one end of the paddlewheel frame on dry land.
 

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agmantoo
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Put a hydraulic motor on the paddle wheel axle and connect hydraulic lines to the motor. On shore mount a small hydraulic pump to the drive motor along with a small reservoir and make the line connections. Use vegetable oil as the fluid. You can buy a variable speed control to set the paddle wheel to the RPMs desired. This will make the system light and portable and with very little shock hazard.
 

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Grand Master
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Regarding the use of a bigger diameter pipe than a solid shaft. Just how many solid drive shaft trucks and RWD cars have we seen? I have only had one RWD car with a solid drive shaft and that broke!

I think your idea of using a drill pipe to get a stiffer but no heavier shaft is a good idea plus you can weld to it without the same concerns as welding to the solid shaft.

P.S. I dont see anything wrong with using wood as you have, IMHO wood and water go together better than steel and water.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If I went to hydraulic drive with variable speed control could I do away with the gearbox?

The study I read used a hydraulic set-up but they didn't give any details.

The wood frame seems to be holding up and is the only thing I haven't broken.....yet! I'm concerned that over time it will flex enough times to become loose and unstable.
 

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agmantoo
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Yes you could eliminate the gearbox but you would need a coupler between the paddle axle and the hydraulic motor. I have observed that your workmanship is great and you could make a coupler or buy one of the spider designed ones. WW Grainger should have the components you need for a hydraulic version.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think I may finally be getting it. Instead of sprockets perpendicular to the shaft I can attach the hydraulic drive on the end of the paddlewheel shaft. I can buy the spider connectors easily enough.

That would allow me to put the motor on land on a concrete pad.

I've seen hydraulic pumps in Northern Tool also. Back to the drawing board I go.

Now the question is what do I do with my collection of sprockets and gearboxes. :)
 
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