Yes, we build a custom wood windmill tower to your specifications, or we can supply you with the windmill and the interface needed if you wish to build your own wood tower.
Our standard wood windmill tower is made out of 6×6 Number One grade Douglas Fir. We use 2×6 Fir for the cross braces and girts.
We custom build each wood windmill tower and the tower must be assembled here to prevent twisting.
Here are a few photos of some of the custom towers we have built.
The Interface between the windmill and wood tower is critical. We include a galvanized metal tower top or “stub tower” with the furl linkage hardware and the mast pipe for the windmill. The stub tower can be short or long depending on your personal needs. The wood can nest inside the stub tower legs or can sit on top of a flat tower top.
The oiling platform can be a handy accessory for all windmill towers. It gives a nice solid place for a ladder to lean against and good place to stand to service the windmill. A nice simple deck works well but sometimes it is fun to add gingerbread. The photo above shows metal acorns and oak leaves that we powder coated as well as some wooden scroll work painted red.
It is essential to use correct hardware for constructing a wooden windmill tower. We use galvanized hardware that is rated for earthquakes and windmill loads. We also like to add the old fashion cast iron washers to give the tower a historical look.
The wooden windmill tower legs should not contact the ground. The legs can sit on concrete that is tapered to prevent standing water or we can provide hot dipped galvanized metal supports with feet. On historical projects, we hide the metal supports with stone work or sister wood over the legs and add wooden plugs to hide all the hardware.
Here in Northern California, we have great access to fresh milled lumber so we can pick and choose the best lumber for your tower. We have four saw mills in our home town so we can select the best timbers for your tower. One of our windmill clients even has a saw mill to custom cut timbers out of recycled wood or fallen redwoods.
Here is our friend Ron and his redwood saw mill, along with Rick, Tom and Ray at the shop with a 20 foot 8 X 8 Doug-fir timber.
As you can image, it is difficult to ship something this big so we must deliver it ourselves our you can pick it up at our shop.
Which is better, a wood or steel windmill tower is a common question. It is a matter of personal preference but our hot dipped galvanized steel towers are maintenance free. Wood towers require some upkeep over time.
Each of our towers are custom made and delivered by us assembled with the stub tower ready to be installed or you can pick it up. We do not sell wood tower kits or wood tower plans. But, we do make custom water tank towers to go with your windmill. Feel free to call and ask about our wooden windmill towers.
PS: You will see our windmills and towers all over the country as well as in movies and commercials. I always enjoy emails of good looking windmills and towers, so please email your photos!
At the turn of the century, here in California, larger timbers were easily obtained and the lack of hard freezes meant that redwood towers and exposed redwood water tanks could be commonly found. Here are a few fun historic photos for you to enjoy.
A windmill on a redwood tree stump. (If you look carefully, you will see the lumber jack climbing the pole to service the windmill.) A typical Aermotor windmill on a redwood post with redwood water tanks not far from my home at the turn of the century and downtown San Francisco in 1887.