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I have made 6 windmills the same as this. Five were given to friends as presents. The mill has a gearing system from the fantail so that when the wind is direct on the front it wont turn, but from the side at any angle it will and through a worm gear turns the top or cap to make sails face into wind, about 100 to 1 gear ratio, it has glass windows and a lamp inside that looks great in the dark.
Here is a sketch of the drive from the fantail to the cap, its quite simple, this type of mill is called a smock mill of Dutch type made of wood so not many still around, notice the sails are twisted like a propeller this prevents the tips stalling and means all parts of the sails ( blades produce power evenly ) olden day engineers really knew there stuff, the one problem with this system was that when the wind was directly from the rear the fantail remained still so the miller had to wind the cap angled to the wind then it would turn the sails into wind, quite hard work.
The windmill seen in the first photograph is 4 years old and still working fine, but coming up for an overhaul.
by Bob Lane