Welcome to The PlanetChristmas Forums
Register now to gain access to all of the PlanetChristmas forums. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing topics, give reputation to other members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This ugly looking message disappears once you have signed in.

PVC Ferris wheel

35 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

wheel-info-2.jpg

Hi Everyone -

I asked my wife what she wanted next in our small Christmas display and this was it. When she first said a Ferris wheel, I thought it would be impossible, since

1. I can't even cut a board straight

2. Don't have the tools to do any woodworking (and then see #1)

3. Would be even worse with attempting something with metal

So, doing this in pvc was the only option (and even on this, the wheels aren't straight).

Now, I'm very happy with how it all turned out (as far as a first try on it), but, I would like to add some type of bearing to get rid of the pvc-on-pvc squeaking from the main axle. The 1/2" PVC goes through the 3/4" cross-connectors with no type of support. Could use some assistance on ideas - I would like to do it with something that is easily purchased/re-cycled.

CIMG9062.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

That looks great! What did you use for the motor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The motor is one of those deer motors - (standing buck that swings it's head back and forth).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Dude you nailed it! The wifey has to be pleased. Great work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Looks awesome Thehoghunter!:cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Great job on ferris wheel, thanks for shareing and I am sure there will be lots of copies, I know of one, me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I must admit it, I did print the two photos for later use....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Nice work!

I would modify the design slightly to use 22.5 degree elbows, rather than the 45s. That would give you a rounder look with 8 seats vs 4. The problem is that they are a bit hard to find in the 3/4" size - you may need to special order them....

Berrings.... Hmmm...

What about something like this:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200331470_200331470

You'll have to re-design your mounts, and use a solid axle, but they could work. The upside is that you could then use a slip-ring and light the whole thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Nice work!

I would modify the design slightly to use 22.5 degree elbows, rather than the 45s. That would give you a rounder look with 8 seats vs 4. The problem is that they are a bit hard to find in the 3/4" size - you may need to special order them....

Berrings.... Hmmm...

What about something like this:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200331470_200331470

You'll have to re-design your mounts, and use a solid axle, but they could work. The upside is that you could then use a slip-ring and light the whole thing.

Great idea, do you have an idea for which slip ring is most practical, pictures maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Great idea, do you have an idea for which slip ring is most practical, pictures maybe?

I have to research/find the one I am thinking of.... This particular vendor had liquid filled slip rings with multiple connections so you could animate the wheel as well. They were a little bit expensive (think $40), but worth the price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Oldcqr - I've never seen 22.5 degree elbows (and those are 1/2", not 3/4" on the wheel - just fyi). You are correct that it would make it look more round using them.

The other thing is you state I would have to use a solid axle - I thought slip rings required a non-solid axle (to run the wires through). I had thought of doing a slip-ring, but not at that stage yet. Still want to get the other 'kinks' ironed out.

I looked at your link for bearings and then found more - still don't know what may work but you have certainly given me some good ideas for it.

And for everyone else who wants to steal this, be sure to check out all the pics - the secret is in cutting a hole through the two 3/4" cross-connectors (the mounting point of the 2 wheels) to allow the 1/2" pvc to go through as the main axle. But, you need something to then turn it -

CIMG9066.jpg so I drilled through the axle (1/4" drill bit) - filed it smooth, and added a threaded rod through the axle and 3/4" cross-connectors - held in with self-locking nuts. The motor turns the axle, which turns the threaded rod, which turns the 3/4" cross-connectors that are the mounts for the wheels. I made one mistake with this in that I made both threaded rods on the same side, versus 90 degrees from each other on the axle. This has given me a speed-up/slow-down portion (which possibly could be fixed with a washer on both ends of the threaded rod which keep it steady against the inside of the cross-connector).

You can see a screw there in the picture...that's me trying to out think myself in making something simple. I have to re-do the main axle since my 'additions to make it easier to dis-assemble' are useless.

Edited by thehoghunter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

You are correct. For some reason, I had it in my head that slip rings are hollow in the middle with connectors on the outsides and the axle through the middle..... Age :( ...

Here are the ones I was talking about:

http://www.mercotac.com/html/products.html

edit: And I was a bit low on the price... I said $40, and it looks like it is closer to $60.

Edited by oldcqr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

If I could go back into time (2 years) I would make my wheel out of PVC pipe as well.

I kept my wooden Ferris Wheel going for two years now and I keep it together all year ( I made it to come apart).

I have it on wheels to pull/push it from the back yard, and even with wheels the Ferris Wheel is heavy. It stands about 9 feet high (the wheel is 7 feet by it's self).

Anyhow, your wheel looks good, and if you decide to modify it into an octagon shape, or more of a round shape, well at least you have some experience now and some help via the forum.

I know that forum member "Drivemewilder" makes Ferris wheels out of PVC.

So you are (in my books) on the right track using PVC.

Good job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Not bad! Very good start. I would suggest taking some looks at my pvc ferris wheel, just to gain a few more ideas. How much does it weigh? Just curious how much weight those deer motors will move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I wonder if a rotisserie motor would work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Well, the deer motor doesn't like it when I put more than one Great-Foam filled character in each seat (so far) but that may also be part of my other issue where the wheels are slipping a bit.

I'm kind of fond of those deer motors - no thinking involved - it was made for outdoors, some (like the one pictured) have extra outlet on them. Easily replaced if it burns out/goes bad. And they automatically switch direction if something happens (which hopefully gets one out of trouble then getting into more). But, I think my design was good enough that you could use a wiper motor, or most anything else. It would be a bit different in mounting the motor, but should not be a big issue. I actually matched up a wiper motor to the 3/4" cross connection where the axle come through and would have been able to put in all three mounting bolts- I just don't know if the design would have held it up - there may have been a need for another support pole for that motor (or mount it more like a real Ferris wheel with a belt/chain drive off the motor).

I'm not sure of the weight - I know I can lift the whole thing with one hand by grabbing the main axle so it's not that heavy. It's probably about 4 1/2 to 5 feet tall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Check out the web site flexpvc.com for some unusual shape and sized pvc fitting. They even carry a 6 way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Added a fender washer inside one of the cross-connectors and that seems to have straighten out my issue of the slow-down/speed-up as it went around.

Also did some measurements - assembled - base is 6 feet long, 2 and 1/2 feet wide. It's at 4 feet 3 inches tall and weights 19 lbs total. I had to take it apart so my granddaughter didn't see it as the next one I'm building for her. It took me 20 minutes to put it back together, so a pretty quick set up.

CIMG9216.jpg

th_FW-2character.jpg

?action=view&current=FW-2character.flv

Edited by thehoghunter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I watched your video and your off kilter. If you watch the outer square of your wheel, on the left side, you will notice that you're out of alignment. It could easily be just that one of your fittings at the "point" isn't true and straight. This may cause you problems later on, and may rectify your issue of it slowing down at certain times. Your weight distribution looks ok, as far as i can tell, but be sure to make sure seats opposite each other are the exact same weight. It's best to make sure ALL seats weight the same, but especially seats opposite one another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Yes, and actually neither wheel is straight - they were until I went to glue them together. It was one of the problems I discovered in building this for the first time. Next time, once I get them straight as I can, I'll use a thin magic marker to mark the connections to insure when I dis-assemble one connection at a time for glueing, I have something to tell me if I'm putting it back together straight. (of course, pvc glue fastens so quickly...ah well, live and learn! :) )

So this one will be a bit crooked unless someone knows of something that will dissolve PVC Glue without damaging the pvc? Otherwise, this will wait until I can build two new wheels for it.

And my father-in-law was over - he said I should see if I could find some felt packing, which was used in wagons before bearings were made - said that should work fine for this. (and no, he isn't that old that he was around with covered wagons...just one smart man)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Laying each wheel flat on the pavement will ensure that all fittings are straight when you glue it. If you don't want to glue it, you can use self-tapping screws to hold it together. Just label each leg (A, B, C) and fitting, and if you use screws...just align the holes when you re-assemble each year. Personally, i would just glue everything up. Once you take out the middle joints and sandwich the 2 wheels together, you're only taking up 3". That can easily fit under your bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Just an update on re-design of base of FW - uses less pvc and storage space.

Also changed to octagon shaped wheel which was much easier to get 'straight'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Looks great!

If you want to get you baskets to hang straight add a bit of counter weight to the back side on a small arm away from the Center of Gravity...

Edit: or yo could turn the tee 90 degrees add a short piece of PVC and an elbow causing the basket's C.G. to move back. Check out picture...

I'm not criticizing, just trying to help...

Edited by Toymakr000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Fantastic Job! Looks perfect to me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

... yo could turn the tee 90 degrees add a short piece of PVC and an elbow causing the basket's C.G. to move back.

I would hide it a bit more if a 45

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

Our Three Rules

At PlanetChristmas we are always positive, family friendly and Christmas-centric.

Lots More Information

What Drives Over-The-Top Christmas Decorators?

It is all about making lifelong memories and family traditions.