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drivemewilder

Ferris Wheel

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I've been out of the game for a couple of years now. For maybe 20 years i had a Christmas display that i was proud of. It went from a ferris wheel, to skating rinks, see-saws, gingerbread houses, and eventually i moved into the synchronized lights. After 2017 i was tired, fed up, and ready for a break. During this time i realized that i am fond...very fond of the motorized stuff! The synchronized stuff is amazing and they have a place and purpose, but for me a Christmas display is more serene and magical when there is no music blasting and flashing lights. I have too much experience and love for the motorized contraptions to just walk away completely. I've helped many people over the years and have promised to help others. If not for the help and tutelage of others, i would not have what i have or know what i know. Today, i walked out of Lowes with much of what i need to complete a ferris wheel build, as this was the most magical Christmas display i saw as a little boy! Many others here on PC and other websites have there own ferris wheel tutorials, i'm not trying to compete with them or say you should choose my method. My method is just another tool for you to use should you decide it works for you. I welcome any thoughts anyone has. I'll be back with pictures and more details as the ferris wheel comes along. Check out my FB page (bowerfamilychristmas) to stay up to date as i will most likely use Facebook more regularly than PlanetChristmas. Merry Christmas everyone!  Troy

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Accomplished building the octagon and the spokes today with 3/4” pvc. Using an online octagon calculator I figured out all the lengths. Each spoke is around 5’ and that includes the tee in the center that will be used to connect the 2 octagons for support. Each leg of the octagon is 4’ from the center of each 45 degree fitting. I paint the pipe with white paint to help keep it from getting brittle as it sits outside in the heat and cold. 

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Yes the joints are glued. However on each octagon I leave 2 joints unglued opposite each other. This way I can pop it out and fold it over, basically folding it in half. Make sense? So I can store a half octagon instead of a full height octagon.

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7 minutes ago, Big J Illinois said:

So how wide is it,and do those slip apart or glued? Which slip ring is it? 

I think it’s just shy of 10’ high. As I said, it is glued except for 2 joints opposite each other. I can take more pics tomorrow for you if that doesn’t make sense. I use a mercotac slip ring.

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The picture on the left is the octagon folded in half at the joints NOT glued together. Imagine the pieces standing instead of laying flat on the ground. The top Hal would fold down and zip tie to the bottom half. This will make a 10 foot Ferris wheel only 5 feet tall so I can store it in my shop. The picture on the right is the 8 spokes on each side connected by a support that strengthens the wheel. If you look at the picture of the completed wheel in the previous post, you can see these spokes coming from the hub out towards the seat.

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Here is what I’ve done next. I used an existing metal hub from my previous Ferris wheel. Whatever material and diameter you use is completely up to you. Keep the end of the spokes at least an inch away from the hole in the center where the axle will be. Otherwise they get bunched up together and it’s hard to align the spoke with the holes. Normally I would do this on my driveway where it’s flat and a hard surface. But I was too lazy to walk this to the front yard! So the red circle you see under the metal hub is just there for support. It is not attached to the Ferris wheel. I used 1/4” carriage bolts to tighten the hub onto the spokes. Since the spokes are made of PVC, be sure not to over tighten. The PVC will crush some, but don’t overdo it. Be sure that the Tees that you can see in the center of each spoke are pointed down. That’s where the driveway comes in handy. You can make sure that it’s laying flat on a firm surface. The next step will be to flip this over and assemble the next octagon and spokes directly on top of this one making sure that the hubs and spokes and octagons are exactly the same lengths and lined up perfectly. You will make sure that the Tees are lined up because there will be pipe connecting the Tees as you can see in the assembled Ferris wheel picture in my last post.

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2 hours ago, Big J Illinois said:

Where do you get the hub(s) from amd what is needed, for the motor/ drive assembly? Any pics?

You can make them out of plywood, but I used steel. Went to a metal shop in town and had them fabricate round hubs out of their scrap metal on the cheap. I’ll get pics later if the motor but you want a gear motor, as low of RPM as you can find, duty continuous.

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