For some time now I have been wanting to make a Horse Powered Ice Cream Machine. I was originally told about this by a wheelwright friend of mine in Vancouver Canada, where he had seen one at a country fair and it seems like a really fun thing to make.
Apparently the horse walks around in a circle turning a mechanism in the centre called a “Gin” which connects to a shaft which runs across the floor to an ice cream machine outside the circle. Sounds simple if you say it quickly.
The first part of the project is to make the Gin. These are quite a rare beast. I have seen a couple of photos so I understand the principle but the reality is something else. the Gin supports the pole which the horse pulls along behind them, as well as housing the gear mechanism transferring the motion from the horse walking in a circle to turning the shaft across the floor, so it needs to be a fairly substantial structure, however I need to allow for the fact that this needs to be a transportable unit and inevitably it will be me thats doing the transporting without the benefit of lifting equipment, so it needs to be able to disassemble into transportable pieces, just to complicate matters.
Anyway we are committed now I have ordered the gears, one of the few bits I wont be making. Never having worked with gears before I have spent a long time on the phone with the manufacturers HPC Gears in Chesterfield who have been generous with the help and advice, and once I get them I can start.
So what shall I do whilst I wait?
By now I would guess that you have the gears for the gin drive for the horse powered ice cream maker. I had a thought of how entertaining this could be for a Sunday afternoon. You could offer the youngsters in the neighborhood free ice cream, and then silently laugh as you watch them march in circles churning the ice cream. Of course you treat them with the ice cream, but its true value is the entertainment.