Friday, November 20, 2009

TILTING AT WINDMILLS

For the past eight years or so, I’ve wanted a windmill for my yard. Not one of those lawn art type imitation windmills, but a real full sized one. Why, you ask? Because I think they look neat and I want to watch it turning from my front window. Over the years I have looked for one on our travels in the southwest. We see lots of them standing abandoned on vast rangeland and next to old farm houses throughout the west, some still in use, but many standing derelict and in a gradual state of decline. When on the rare occasion, I’ve checked online to find one for sale, the price has been out of reach for me, as I am always looking for a deal. But I’ve always continued looking and on occasion photographing them.


After returning home from our last trip, on which I saw numerous windmills, I got a call from my neighbor Willie. Willie told me about a windmill in Sunnyside, just three miles from our house that was for sale. The asking price was something I was willing to pay and far less expensive than anything I have seen before. I went and took a look and discovered that it was down on the ground, saving a lot of headache getting it down. It also appeared that all the parts were there. According to the owner, he had bought it in West Texas in 1969 with the intention of putting it on his well. He never did, so it just sat in his yard for the last 40 years. The 30 foot tower seemed to be in pretty good shape, but the engine, the part the wind vanes attached to, needed work. After several days of consideration and in serious consultation with my engineer friend Duane, I decided it was a project I could tackle. I made the owner an offer he couldn’t refuse, shaving several hundred dollars of the asking price. The owner, who had been tipping a few at the time of our negotiation, made a counter offer and we had a deal. I was now the owner of a real life Aerometer model 702 30 foot windmill. Now I had to get it home.

Luckily, Willie happens to own a construction company, has a 30 food flatbed trailer in his inventory of equipment. So with sons, Gray, Eric, friend Duane and Willie and his trailer, we managed to load the tower on the trailer for the trip to its new home.

The windmill is now in my back yard, and Duane and I have begun the process of overhauling the windmill engine. It is nearly completely dismantled, with the exception of the final gears, which are rusted in place. With a little luck and a gallon of WD-40, in due time we’ll manage to break though the rust and begin the reassembly portion of this, my new project.

I don’t know how long it will take to get everything ready, but there will be a windmill raisin party when we raise the windmill at its new home in our front yard.



GETTING READY TO LOAD IT

IT'S ON THE TRAILER

OFF LOADING

THE ENGINE





2 comments:

john neibert said...

Nice Dana. Next you can pick up a couple milking cows, some chickens and hogs, and don't forget the straw to chew on.
With you being pretty close to Lindbergh's flight path will you have to put a little red light on top?

John

天兵 said...

cool blog,期待更新.........................