Cotton Gin Replica

Cotton Classroom has long been encouraged to develop a Cotton Gin Replica.  If you are interested in “Renting a Replica Cotton Gin” for your classroom, please email to discuss this possability.  Those interested in purchasing there own “Cotton Gin Replica”, the cost is $1350 which includes delivery and 10 lbs of raw cotton.  Lead time is 12 weeks.  

Here it is!  The final design of my Eli Whitney Cotton Gin Replica.  

Cotton Gin Replica


2/25/18 –  Final Details

Everything functional is done!!  Now just focusing on the minor details of ensuring it is reliable.  The leather belt works well but will stretch with time.  I will likely offer both a uerthane and leather belt option for purchase and use the uerthane for classroom demonstration.



2/10/18 –  Working on Power Transfer

I am back researching options for using leather instead of uerthane for my power transfer belt.  Uerthane is easier to work with and won’t stretch like leather will, but leather just looks better.  I have to learn how to attach the end together.  Options include glue and sew and wire stitching.  There is a lot of information on the web about old sewing machines which use one staple.  I think the forces during a demonstration will require a strong connection.

Replica Cotton Gin Leather Power Transfer Belt

2/9/18 –  Both Drums Installed

I drilled the brush drum axle hole and installed it next to the saw stand drum.  I’m very happy with the fit.  Next time I will make this hole before I mill the sides so centering the hole isn’t so much work.

Cotton Gin Saw Stand and Brush Drum

2/4/18 –  Almost Done!

All major hurdles have been solved.  Now just taking my time to enjoy the final steps of designing the ribs and putting it altogether.

Cotton Gin Replica - Saw Blades Close-up

Cotton Gin Replica - From the Back

1/6/18 –  Final Blue Print

After closely considering all the pros and cons of the dimensions I could create, I landed on scaling down the “saw stand” to the smallest blade that resembled the patent drawing.  This scaled down the overall gin size which will further reduce on shipping weight.  Here is drill hole template I just finished.

Cotton Gin Replica - Eli Whitney Cotton Gin - Right Side

Cotton Gin Replica - Eli Whitney Cotton Gin - Left Side

9/24/17 –  Overdue update

The Cotton Replica is again on hold.  Some health problems with both my parents will require that this endevour wait.  Being realistic, the next window of time for a push towards the finish line will be December 2017.  So very close.

2/20/17 –  Rib time

Getting ready to order custom metal to make the ribs.

2/19/17 – Update pictures

Here is where the prototype is today.  I’ve solved a number of issues with the saw stand and tested the belting.  I can officially say the the saw stand is done.


2/5/17- How to fuse the uerthane belting

2/2/17 – The Power Transfer Belt

Until now, I haven’t worried about how I would transfer power.  I knew I couldn’t use a twisted rubber band as that would likely fail often.  Doing a little research, I found this uerthane belting.  It is commonly used as a replacement belt for historical Singer sewing machines.  While it doesn’t look historical, it should provide reliable service.


1/20/17 – Making Circles

I will need to make lots of circles.  Each saw will need a circle of wood and the pullies will need circles for the belt.  Cutting these with a jigsaw will be impractical.  I found this circle jig on YouTube.

12/30/16 – The “saw stand”

The main part of the cotton gin are saws the pull the cotton through the metal ribs.  The “inspiration” model has homemade saws due to how small they scaled down the gin.  I do not want to make homemade saws due to time and consistency.  I decided to research modern gins as found they essentially use large circle saw blades.  I will do the same.

Inspiration saws above

12/29/16 – Video of the Example

The only working model I could find also has a video on YouTube.  

12/28/16 – Research Continues

I didn’t find any other examples but did find more details related to this working model.  This will be my inspiration.

12/27/16 – Research

I started my planning how I build a working replica cotton gin.  My first attempt in 2009 stalled out due moving, have our second child, and a lack of tools.  I really want to succeed this time.  Back in 2009, internet research proved no one had produced a working replica and documented it online.  Using Google, I found the following examples:

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