plywood archimedean screw water pump
is an archimedean screw
water pump made out of thin plywood and resourcinol
It is made like a
christmas decoration, the center is made of a wooden space frame covered with
The stress is concentrated at the
top in the middle, so this bit has to be made stronger than the rest.
This animation shows how water is carried up by the pump
This shows how to glue two plywood disks together; more disks, longer pump. After glueing the disks together they should be held in a jig while the center is inserted and the outer cover formed.
Although the disks are glued together flat, they have to be stretched in order to form the archimedean screw. They have to be held in this form while the pump is completed.
The pump is turned by means of a solid post along the middle; this must be a good fit in the centre space frame to prevent stress concentration. My pump used metal end fittings and plumber block bearings.
This is a design by Jeff Bindon available from him as a kit:
it is uncannily similar to the very first model archimedean screw I made, although his one works. My one didn't.
This is another one of his kits
If you have a low-melt glue gun & lots of styrofoam cups it's possible to make a screw pump by cutting the bottoms off lots of cups at the same shallow angle (use one as a pattern) then glue them all together with a slight rotational offset on each one so they don't just go round in a circle.
Someone (Daryl Adams) sent me this picture recently
made me wonder could you make one by modifying a standard length of plastic pipe by glueing plastic sections to the inside of it.
Can be run in reverse as a turbine
very imaginative turbine design
This is a pump that can be made by children:
This is another pump which can be made by children by glueing two drinking straws together with a third, short section across the top
This pumps plastic beads from the bottom to the top of a plastic bottle; it differs from the water pumps in that the outer cover (in this case the bottle) doesn't rotate with the screw. movie
mark out a can using a bit of cotton as a guide
cut cardboard rings slightly larger diameter than the tin, sellotape them together then tape the resulting spiral to the can
make a handle from bent wire & tape it to the bottom of the can, make a hole in the base of the bottle
if you want it to pump glass marbles you need to use a narrower can to make the screw, this gives more clearance between the can & the bottle. There may be something to be said for making plastic bead runs instead of marble runs. Plastic beads are a lot lighter than marbles and the construction would I think be much easier.
This is a smaller version made from paper using a drinking straw as the axle
The beads come out of a hole underneath at the top & go down the triangular chute. Powered by a single AA battery. Motor partially hidden by my thumb drives wooden pulley wheel by a rubber band
This one features a bent paperclip handle for manual use
progressive cavity pump
Read about marble runs
excellent overview of pumps
make a pump from a toothpaste tube
solar steam pump
more advanced solar steam pump
really simple airlift pump
airlift pump demo
sliding shoe pump
good site for motors etc
my email is email@example.com
back to main site