and Craig, you asked for some additional info, so here it is.
My only paid magazine subscription is for Homepower (see www.homepower.com).
I read it for years even before I lived off grid. It turns out I grew up
on the east coast with one of the editors. He had both moved to the
Seattle Area years before. Turns out we both live on islands, and we both
live off the grid. My friend is really into windmills, he has 3 of them up
right now, one 1 of them on top of a pole at the top of a tree.
Anyway my friend Ian (I guess I can use his first name) is also part of
Solar Energy International (www.Solarenergy.org)
and they run a number of workshops all over the world. Ian is a
great organizer of these SEI courses in Washington, and one of the courses
was building windmills with Hugh Piggott (www.scoraigwind.com)
who I had heard of several times. I was originally intrigued by Hughís
brake drum windmill book, and knew it was going to be a good course.
I took the course, loved it, meet some incredible people and had a great
time. If there was any doubt before the course, there was none after
it. Windmills are for me. BTW, Hugh will be in
Washington state for a couple of courses this Apr/May (http://www.scoraigwind.com/#calendar
) and I can highly recommend any course taught by Hugh.
There is one other group of people who I have to give credit to, and that
the Danís at OtherPower (www.OtherPower.com).
The Danís are a real inspiration. They made me realize that Wind
power generation does not require the precision most people think it does.
The Danís sell magnets as a business (http://www.forcefieldmagnets.com/catalog/)
and host an INCREDIBLE discussion board (http://www.forcefieldmagnets.com/catalog/)
Personally I thought that the blade carving would take the longest time,
so I started these first. The First blade took me one whole day. I
was a little slow carving my first blad. On my second day, I managed to
carve 2 more blades and on my 3rd day I completed my 4th
blade (I used best 3 out of 4).
It took me a couple of months to get the bearing and frame welded up. What
took the longest however was the Windmill Tower. My tower is a scavenged
radio tower, it was not my first choice but it was a very good deal. It
took me over a year to get the footing with anchors in and then to raise
the tower was another big deal. But luckily a done deal.
Iíve attached some additional pictures, let me know if there are any