How (not) to Make a Bicycle-Powered Washing-Machine

It was a very long time ago that I was in Copenhagen and took part in this workshop, but due to a request I am posting this recipe here.

Ingredients: washing machine, bicycle, some stuff to make a stand.

Tools: angle-grinder, screwdriver, tire-levers

Ok, so this experiment actually failed. Why? Well, the drive belt didn’t work for a start. It kept slipping off. Perhaps a bike inner tube might work better – maybe even the one you removed from the bike, made smaller. Much experimenting is needed. Also, rigging up a way of securing the belt to the washing machine, without impeding on its turning would help.

If anyone manages to sort this out, please leave a comment.

6 thoughts on “How (not) to Make a Bicycle-Powered Washing-Machine

  1. You need a tensioner across the belt to increase friction. It will pull up the slack.
    Did you try removing the centre cog and replacing it with a sprocket instead? If you turned the bike around, you could attach the drive directly to the machine using the front derailleur. Plus you can have gears.

    • Thanks for the suggestions! This was a good few years ago now and my recollection is pretty foggy, but this is still one of my post that gets the most hits, so I’m sure someone will get something useful out of your comments.

  2. You efforts and experiences are really timely. My 16 year old Son has a high school project goal exactly same as what you have tried. He has mentally / conceptually taken the path you have taken. However he was sure he wants a chain driven system. It should get over in a day or two. I promise to update again on this site once it is through..

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