View Full Version : PVC Farris Wheels

08-12-2011, 08:54 AM
Number one I hate seeing the forum item still empty. I love the little PVC Farris wheels sized for stuffed animals. The 6-15ft tall range, 4-10 chairs. We've all seen these and the basic frame and pivoting seats are not too hard to figure out (not simple but doable). I would like to see some ideas on the cheap to run them and the hardware to get it done. Anyone here play with this yet?


08-12-2011, 10:27 AM
I couldn't locate it, but I know I saw this somewhere when I was looking at ideas for a train. Much like you are saying and it used a Wiper Motor with Bicycle chain and sprockets to turn the wheel.

08-12-2011, 10:30 AM
I've seen a couple on ebay made by gemmy.


I know this is DIYC but for about $50 it would probably be less.

Just a thought...

08-19-2011, 03:25 PM
Using CPVC (the white stuff) you can slip a 3/4" T coupler directly over a 1/2" CPVC pipe the play/slack/slop is not too bad and if it can be used for Halloween coffin jumpers, It can be used for Ferris wheels on the seat buckets too!

As for a center hub for the main wheel, a pair of childs rear wheels off a trike 8" diameter, would hide nicely behind a plywood hub plate

You could even consider Pillow blocks or a mandrel to act as the center hub.

01-17-2014, 12:14 AM
Has anyone ever used a rotating tree base for a center hub? I picked up two in the after christmas sales. It already has a motor and transfers power.

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01-17-2014, 11:32 AM
Transfer of power is the big one. Anything super easy and cheap might not be reliable and need to be covered. And most slip rings that carry enough power are spendy.

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01-17-2014, 12:14 PM
I wonder if you could use the brushes from an old alternator, or if they're cheap enough buy them new, and mount them on a larger PVC pipe.

01-17-2014, 12:25 PM
The stands were $30 so I picked one up at 50% off and another at 75% off. Fairly cheap for a motor and hub if I can get to building it.

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01-17-2014, 12:26 PM
Wonder if a power line network adapter will work with it...will need some time to tinker.

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01-17-2014, 12:29 PM
Where did you find the tree stands?

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01-17-2014, 12:30 PM

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01-17-2014, 12:35 PM

Here is one that JoeyTx(Joey Corbello) done. He is a member here but is not on here too much. Great guy and would give you some ideas if you PMd him. You might be able to do a scaled down version of his.


01-17-2014, 01:11 PM
Though I haven't done it, there are some sites out there for how to make a slip ring if you are going to want power to rotate as well (if you were going to use blowmolds for the character or have lights stung across the beams).

Where would you get your outdoor characters (people/animals) to sit in the chairs? That is something I've often wondered about (since stuffed animals would become a heavy, moldy mess after a few rains.

01-17-2014, 01:16 PM
I'm not actually making a Ferris wheel with chairs, but using components to create moving lights. But a merry go round is similar.

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01-17-2014, 02:22 PM
hmmm could be a fun build. dont really have a use for one though:(. id prob just build it to say i did but never use it haha.

01-17-2014, 02:54 PM
Lol. Well we've got plenty of time. I think I could animate some lights with it and a wireless controler.

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01-17-2014, 03:53 PM
Where's that wireless power cord when you need it?

" id prob just build it to say i did but never use it haha. "

I don't think your the only one with experience with this ;-)

01-17-2014, 05:45 PM
i built a sleigh out of pvc just b/c i thought i could. turned out well lol.


01-17-2014, 05:47 PM
Powered by one cat and a toddler. Lol

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01-17-2014, 06:08 PM
Hi all
First post and 2014 will be my first year doing controlled lighting.
one project im going to do is build a 5 or 6 foot Ferris wheel. it will have 6 or 8 carts and leds on the spindles,
I was going to use rgb strip lights but I thought its just more channels to control so I decided to go with 4 different coloured led's in a pattern flashing between them (1st on 2nd off 3rd on 4off/ 1st off 2nd on 3rd off 4th on ETC)
the wheel will be rotating and will be mostly made of aluminium with a simple 555 timer/relay circuit installed in the hub. I have not decided on the final size yet or the final materials but I will be starting to build in the next 4-6 weeks. once I get my idea and all the items I need together.

01-17-2014, 06:43 PM
Welcome to DIYC!!!! Looks like you've got some good ideas going. Keep us posted on how it's going and maybe we'll be able to help out!!!

01-17-2014, 10:49 PM
I built a carousel this past year, used a dumb ribbon around the top. I picked up an inexpensive slip ring off Amazon - light duty but worked well. I thought I had a video up on YouTube, but it was posted on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201290971945420&set=vb.262711093770649&type=2&theater

03-28-2015, 10:07 AM
looks great nice job

12-24-2016, 05:07 PM
Hello everyone. I built a 7 feeet diameter ferris wheel out of 1/2" PVC 500 12mm leds and it has baskets with stuffed animals. I want to thank everyone for your post, and sequece sharing. I am still leaning. Here is the link. Merry christmas from Hawthorne california. https://youtu.be/c5w3OnkrjWU

12-24-2016, 06:21 PM
Looks awesome! Great work.

12-25-2019, 05:29 PM
Where would you get your outdoor characters (people/animals) to sit in the chairs? That is something I've often wondered about (since stuffed animals would become a heavy, moldy mess after a few rains.

All you have to do is remove the filler, and fill with Great Foam. Now they don't soak up water and stay light (weight).
Both my penguins skating and my Ferris Wheel riders were done that way.


12-25-2019, 05:46 PM
built PVC Ferris wheels back in 2010...here were some pics from it all (lasted 2 seasons...the original deer motor worked really well...until it didn't. Then I didn't have another exactly like it and the motor to shaft was off with the new motor, making it ruin that motor. Attempted wiper motor but then lost interest in spending all my time on this project only)

First pic is before redesign and final version, but has good info embedded in it.


How original motor mounted:


Final version:


Added lights (but wasn't 'safe'...no slip ring...just two strips of metal pushed into a slot to connect to two copper pipe on shaft)...note, pic makes it look like it's going faster than light...was actually very slow.


Some other pics showing important pieces...

Designed to be able to break down for easy storage (until I added lights).

12-25-2019, 05:56 PM

Main shaft:


Thumbnail was final paint...video was before painting...


Added lights (solar lights powered with wall-wart


12-25-2019, 05:57 PM
Windshield wiper motor is your friend for this. I highly recommend going with that? Amazing torque, good prices, and can regulate the speed by adjusting the voltage to it.

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