How to Build a Water Wheel Pump

By learning how to build a water wheel pump, you’ll be able to grind granules and other materials. Pumping water will also become a simpler task.

Required Tools and Materials

Wood planks

Step 1: Create the Paddles

Take one of the wood planks and place the ruler a couple of inches from the edge. Now draw a straight line. Divide this line into ten equal parts. Use the ruler to make sure the division is equal.

Step 2: Create the Wheels

Draw circles using a protractor. Any size will do; just remember this will determine the dimensions of the wheels. Mark the midpoint of both circles.

Step 3: Create the Stand

Saw two wood planks so they are shaped like a triangle. When you build a water wheel pump, the stand can be any shape. But it’s a good idea to make a beam to support the stand. Make some indentation for the wheels. Make sure the stand is big enough for the wheels.

Step 4: Create the Paddles

Retrieve the wood plank with the ten segmented lines. Saw them along the lines you made. These are the paddles. Now cut the circles you drew earlier. These will be the wheels.

Step 5: Assembling the Water Wheel Pump

Position the paddles 40 degrees along the wheels. Put plenty of glue so the paddles stick. Place the skewer through the wheels’ center point. After you build a water wheel pump, it’s time to put it on the stand. Position the buckets.

Notes on the Wheel Size

You can look at existing models of water wheel pumps as reference. As a general rule, large wheels are needed if the pump will be used for saw wood.


The 40 degree angle is very important; departing from it will affect the device’s movement. You should also pay attention to the base. If it’s too small, the structure might collapse under the weight of the wheels. To be on the safe side, wear goggles so none of the splinters or dust gets into your eyes.


Bring cloth or towels to wipe the excess glue. When you build a water wheel pump, a cutter can be used instead of a saw. To test the utility, place it under running water. Done correctly, the wheel should spin as soon as water hits it.

If it doesn’t work, there are problems with the measurements. You can also make a handle for the water wheel pump. Get a carton and create holes at the topmost section. Place a string around the carton and set it on the axle. Test to see if it works.

Make sure the bucket you use is large enough for the granules or water you’re going to be pumping through it.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to build a water wheel pump. You can increase your productivity by creating a few more. Once you have the basic concepts understood, making a bunch will be straightforward.

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