Make Your Own Wooden Wind Turbine Blades

An easy introduction into DIY wind power generation is to make your own PVC wind turbine blades and fit them onto a permanent magnet alternator , Sturmey Archer Dynohub or stepper motor However, if you want to build a high power wind turbine which can survive for 20+ years, wooden wind turbine blades are well worth the cost and effort. Set angle is absolutely minimal, and total kerf width is barely 1/32 inch.(Due to the blade’s minimal set the Wood Slicer® is not recommended for cutting green wood or curves.) This means you waste about half as much wood as with a regular bandsaw blade, and you demand half as much work from your bandsaw, which gives you less back pressure, faster feed rates, and lower impact on thrust bearings and lateral guides.

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Some blades incorporate anti- kickback” shoulders, which help prevent overfeeding that can invite kickback (photo c). If you work without a splitter on your saw (which you definitely shouldn’t), this kind of blade is a safer choice. Composite wood is a broad term that describes a variety of wood types including plywood, chipboard, particle board, medium density fiberboard and the newest addition, wood and plastic composites primarily used on outdoor construction, like decks. The teeth on ATB blades are angled across the top edge, with every other tooth leaning” in the opposite direction.

These instructions were used for a project (the ‘windkit’) which I entered into with Proven Wind Turbines , based on an alternator which they were able to supply at the time. The alternating face bevel on these blades planes both sides of the cut as you go, leaving an amazingly smooth surface and eliminating tear-out. I know I can tell what the blade is used for, based on the teeth, but I just keep the case the blades came in handy, so I can match models with uses. However, technological advances in blade design have generated thin-kerf blades that rival the best industrial-quality full-kerf saw blades.

Aircraft leading edge tape, fiberglass, or epoxy resin can be applied to the leading edges of the blades to give extra protection – particularly if the wind turbine is to be located somewhere with frequent rain. The only drawback I see is it’s a $30 (assuming mid range mass produced saw blade) purchase on top of an already $100 dado stack investment. All blades are made to order and we take the utmost pride in making sure that we only sell the highest quality blades available. Pictured below are a completed set of OtherPower laminated red cedar wind turbine blades showing the beautiful shape of the carved aerofoil.

Use care when installing blades and store them so that they are not in contact with other blades or bits. Rip saw blades have a fewer number of teeth than crosscut or combination blades, typically twenty-four on a ten inch blade. Blades that are thinner and less wide are weaker but are better suited for cutting sharp curves and intricate patterns. The drawback to the blades is that they are also the weakest and wear out the fastest.

Only basic tools are required for making wind turbine blades from wood – a drawknife (pictured above), saw, hammer and chisel, and a plane. Your first attempts will probably take about 10-12 hours per blade – if you take your time and work carefully – and you are likely to end up with a few practice blades while you are learning. Triple chip style blades are designed primarily for use on composite boards, such as MDF, chipboard and particle board. Because blades are not supported on the bottom end, longer blades will be thicker to prevent bending.

If you saw a lot of hardwoods, it’s worth investing in a 24-tooth rip blade to speed up your work and to save wear on your premium all-purpose blade. If you have a power planer and a power band saw then the job will be much faster but the end result will be the same. This will also extend to using those blades for my Dremel MultiSaw Attachment for my Rotary Tools. Hook tooth blades are commonly used for long cuts into thicker wood, hardwood, plastic and metal. The bevel angle is sharp, typically 15 degrees, in order to cleanly shear the tough end-grain fibers. Simple Wind Turbine Blades – A simple formula for wind turbine blades from OtherPower.