PVC ferris wheel

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  • PVC ferris wheel

    Here is the start of a Christmas ferris wheel although I really don't know what a ferris wheel has to do with Christmas. But this was probably one of the easiest things I've built and lots of fun to do. I'm lousy at using wood/metal so PVC is my saving grace.

    edit - figured I would show what you end up with...
    edit2 - link to pics broken going to photobucket...pics link below


    First - the plan

    The 'seats' - baskets were from Target (only a buck each!) Just cut out one side to make the seat for your riders, keep the handle as the seat safety bar so the riders don't get thrown out!

    Just cut all your pieces the same size and you should have no problems (well, in theory). I tried to make this so it would be easy to store, so not every piece of PVC is glued.

    Assembled (no motor yet)

    More pictures will be coming along with some of the secrets to making it! You may wonder why a square wheel - first time it's the easiest thing to do. To make a 'round' wheel - just move the 45 degree connectors out from the Tee's. I'll probably do that on the next wheel I build.
    Last edited by thehoghunter; 01-05-2018, 01:11 PM.
    It's about giving, not getting.

  • #2
    A picture is worth a thousand words...

    (unfortunately, I can't seem to get the picture to load here at the correct size...will try adding it to the end of the thread...)

    so a picture with words is worth what?
    Last edited by thehoghunter; 01-06-2018, 12:54 PM. Reason: attempt to fix pics
    It's about giving, not getting.


    • #3
      Dude! This is totally awesome! I'm wondering the cost of this?
      People really act weird at Christmas time. After all, what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?


      • #4
        Looks really good, hoghunter!
        What kind of motor are you going to use to animate it?


        • #5
          That is great. I kind of like the square frame. At first I wasn't sure but after a min I decided I like it better cuz it's unique, and looks good. Great design, and really cute. Looking forward to seeing it finished and animated. Thanks.


          • #6
            LOL When I first saw it - it reminded me of the early star wars ships. You know, th ekind with the big plate wings and the ball in the center?
            People really act weird at Christmas time. After all, what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?


            • #7
              Oh yea! T.I.E. Fighters. (Twin Ion Engine)

              And no, I'm not a geek! I built one from a model kit when I was 16.


              • #8
                cost? It's a ferris wheel! Who cares about cost?

                Actually, I don't know the cost but I will be buying the same parts for at least 2 more so I will update this when that happens. Here is the parts list for those of you who may want to figure out the cost:

                Parts used/bought to build ferris wheel (note - I'm doing this from memory and looking at the pictures posted - do your due diligence!):
                5 each 3/4" PVC sch 40 (there may have been some scrap pieces I used also)
                2 or 3 each (not real sure how many) - 1/2" PVC sch 40

                1 each 7/8 inch drill bit
                4 each baskets from Target ($1.00 each)
                1 Deer motor (that answers the motor question - it is actually on right now but in my stupidity I tried to make it easier to dis-assembly and now have to re-do the main axle. Motor isn't mounted yet but is connected to the axle)

                16 each 45 degree 1/2" connectors
                16 each 1/2" Tee connectors
                8 each 1/2" to 3/4" adapters
                2 each 3/4" cross-connectors
                8 each 1/2" to 3/4" adapters

                Leg supports
                4 each 45 degree 3/4" adapters
                2 each 3/4" cross connector
                6 each 3/4" Tee connector (there is actually 2 more you can't see in the pics but the only reason they are there are to make the front-to-back support 3/4" pvc long enough [I think I used 3 pieces I had laying around])
                1 each 1/2" end cap (I don't count both seen in the pics since the motor is attached to the other end of the axle now)

                Seat assembly:
                (Target baskets noted above)
                8 3/4" tee connector
                8 1/2" to 3/4" adapter
                4 each 1/2" connector (to keep baskets from sliding to one side of axle)
                16 cable ties
                (fyi - further post shows single mounting pole for seats - this will reduce by half the number of 3/4" tee's and 1/2" to 3/4" adapters and increase (times 2x) the number of 1/2" connectors)

                The axle is simply a piece of 1/2" sch 40 PVC. well, almost...

                Still have to get pictures of the following but they are part of the build:

                Piece of wood dowel laying around that fits inside a 1/2" PVC sch 40 pipe
                1 each 1/4" threaded rod (don't recall how long it was but I cut it in half and used both halves)
                4 each 1/4" self-locking nuts

                It has been a really great experience building this...therapeutic even. I added the motor, held it with my hand so it would not move around in circles (my hand was the 'mounting hardware'), and it ran the ferris wheel. Not perfectly smooth but nice enough for what this is suppose to be - a build your own Ferris wheel without any real skill and using tools most of us should already have.

                Speaking of tools:
                1/4" drill bit and a 7/8" drill bit (7/8" is the kind to cut a hole - spade drill bit?)
                7/16" socket & driver
                PVC cutter
                flat and rat-tail file
                vise to hold threaded rod when cutting
                PVC glue

                And OMG, I CAN NOW MAKE MY OWN T.I.E. FIGHTER!!! Now what to use as the ball?

                Oh, here is the total of the tee's/connectors/adapters - I think I counted it correctly!

                1 each 1/2" end cap
                4 each 1/2" connector
                16 each 45 degree 1/2" connectors
                16 each 1/2" Tee connectors
                24 each 1/2" to 3/4" adapters
                4 each 3/4" cross-connectors
                4 each 45 degree 3/4" adapters
                14 each 3/4" Tee connector
                16 cable ties
                Last edited by thehoghunter; 02-08-2010, 12:41 PM.
                It's about giving, not getting.


                • #9
                  Your Christmas ferris wheel is awesome great job Thehoghunter!
                  Now if I could just get one more... right there... what the...


                  • #10
                    Thanks for giving the construction! I appreciate all the time you took to post this and to build it!
                    People really act weird at Christmas time. After all, what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?


                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone for the kind comments - this project was thought out at the beginning to be one that could be easily stored, easily built, and for everyone to try.

                      So, there are still kinks to work out and new things to try. Sometimes, those new things mess it up (like my main axle - I added two 1/2" connectors thinking it would be easier to dis-assemble - it just messed up the movement I think).

                      I sort of figured out how to mount the motor (it works but still needs refinement).

                      So add another 2 each 3/4" tee connectors (one on each side to keep things even). Another 1/2" to 3/4" adapter and a 1/2" 90 degree connector.
                      It's about giving, not getting.


                      • #12
                        And this is what you have been waiting for...


                        Note the slow-down and speed up...I think it's something to do with my axle but won't know until I take it back apart. I had thought it was the little character's different size/weight, but I took them all out and still had the issue.
                        It could also be different 1/2" PVC used on some of the seat assembly or wheel assembly - some of it isn't sch 40 (which means different weight). It may be as easy as the threaded rods being on the same place inside the connections - moving one 90 degrees from the other may solve this problem (although my wife was happy with the movement after I mentioned it...she said it's like the ride was over and the characters are yelling "more! more!" and so the 'operator' keeps the ride going.
                        It's about giving, not getting.


                        • #13
                          Looks really good in the video!
                          That's the first ferris wheel prop I've seen anybody make.
                          Great job!


                          • #14
                            Well, it's definitely not the first one made - but it may be one of the first done with only PVC. I saw others on Planet Christmas that have PVC in them, but most used either wood or metal in the support stand or axle. I don't have the tools or craftsmanship for that.

                            Update on seat assembly: In an attempt to further bring down cost and weight, I've replaced the double support to a single support. Works just as well.

                            Instead of a single 1/2" pipe connector, you use 2 to keep the basket in the middle of the wheels. This eliminates one 3/4" Tee and one 1/2" to 3/4" adapter (and the PVC pipe).

                            And here is a picture of the inside of the main axle where the thread rod is going through to spin the wheel - there is one in each of the 3/4" cross-connectors (one on each wheel). This is where my slow-down/speed-up problem lies since they are not 90 degrees from each other. I don't have the PVC laying around to do another main axle yet so you will have to wait to see if this fixes the issue. Plus, drilling those holes correctly may be a pain and not really get rid of the issue.

                            It may work to place a washer inside to take up any slack and keep the wheel moving along with the motor - that's another thought I had.
                            Last edited by thehoghunter; 02-07-2010, 02:58 PM.
                            It's about giving, not getting.


                            • #15
                              The vid was awesome great work!
                              Now if I could just get one more... right there... what the...


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