Your Waterwheel Solution
Susquehanna State Park, Harford County, MD
Maryland State Park Restoration Project
32.5 foot inch wide waterwheel installed October 2006
Dual Coat Powder Coating metal finish
Old picture of the mill site
Fitz Waterwheel Company put in a new wheel in 1906 In 1965 the wheel was replaced with a new wheel. The spokes and axle remained. The company that replaced the wheel back then was just a regular welding shop and did not understand the dynamic of a large waterwheel.
They were unable to make new bucket sections that were uniform and the alignment of the wheel went out.
This caused stress on the wheel. You can see that the spokes were bowed.
The segment gear did not meet the spur gear, and when we took apart the old wheel, we found that some of the bolts holding the spokes had sheared off.
New drawings were made by the Maryland Park's department and the Waterwheel Factory won the bid to replace the buckets, spur gear and forebay box Twenty four new bucket sections were fabricated, welded and powdered coated with one coat of zinc primer and another coat of black outdoor powder. New square head 3/4 inch bolts were replaced on the hub The old bucket sections were cut out This is one of the old sections being craned out of the wheel pit The 14 bolts holding the forebay box were removed from the 20 inch feed pipe and the box was craned onto the ground.
The Spur gear was removed and a new gear is being re-casted and will be re-cut with new teeth. You can see that the core of the gear has a crack in it due to the pounding it took from the misalignment.
The last of the 24 new bucket sections is being put into place. The last bolt slide into placement. Keep in mind that we were using the 100 year old spokes as the basis for the new outer bucket rim. After three days of labor the team of people had smiles on their faces as the new wheel shined in the sun. The old spokes and axle were cleaned and a new coat of paint was applied.
The new forebay box and new spur gear was installed in May 2007.
Everything in place, we put water over the wheel after years of being still.