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Cotton Gin Replica

Cotton Classroom has long been encouraged to develop a replica cotton gin.  Now the journey to build a simple, economical, and sturdy working replica of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin has begun.  Below are some short updates on the progression of this project.  After the prototype is complete, and assuming it works well, Cotton Classroom plans to produce 5 replica cotton gins for rent.  


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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