Water Wheel & Pizza

Thu, 2 May 2013

And so to Ambleside (my alma mater) to meet friend and website regular Smelter and his partner for pizza and chat. A very pleasant time was had by all but all to soon I was heading back to the car and home. I was briefly diverted by this intriguing mechanism on the side of a gallery near the famous bridge house. 

You can have a virtual wander round the area on google maps here.


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The water wheel is directly linked to a large gear which in turn drives the smaller pinion wheel. On the pictures I took I was able to estimate the number of teeth on each gear. The small gear has seven per quarter section, a total of twenty eight. On the larger gear seems to be thirteen teeth per eighth section making a total of one hundred and four teeth. 

104:28 or roughly 3.7:1 so the smaller wheel spins at roughly 3.7 times the speed of the water wheel itself.


The smaller wheel has wooden teeth but the large wheel seems to be cast from a single piece of iron. I'm guessing (this is a guess mind you) that the mixed materials are so that if anything is gets jammed in the mechanism, tree truck, stone, tourist, that sort of thing, then the wooden teeth will fail rather than the iron ones. A broken wooden tooth would be much easier to fix. The miller could probably whittle a new one in their lunch break. 


But what is this? A bicycle chain connected to the pinion wheel!? This isn't a real water wheel! It looks like the whole thing is powered by an electric motor hidden away in the wings. Putting on a show for the tourists? Fancy that.


The pizza? Delicious Zucchini & Chilli Pizza from Zeffirelis. Thanks Smelter!