Purchasing the Wind Tunnel Fan

Dear Fellow Basement Scientists,

I hope you all are pursuing your interests and attempting to satisfy your curiosity. With many other good things, it is fun and rewarding, but can take hard work. Alright, in our wind tunnel project our next piece of construction takes us to the diffuser! Recall our general wind tunnel design (in blue), appropriately drawn on the back on an envelope, You can see the diffuser on the right of the test section, it is long and expands to larger than the fan, in order to house it:

Continuing Wind Tunnel Construction

Dear Fellow Basement Scientist,

We return to wind tunnel construction. Our extended absence in construction is unfortunate, but this is a lesson in many pursuits which are not our day job. These evening and weekend tasks often hit delays and sometimes we can’t return to them for a while. However, don’t give up. We may get discouraged and think our goals not worth attempting. Don’t believe this, have patience and return when the opportunity arises again. With diligence life often has enough little opportunities and breaks, so that after a few years of intermittent work, we can look back and be surprised at how much we’ve accomplished. So it is with basement science, and now we return to constructing the wind tunnel

Read moreContinuing Wind Tunnel Construction

Getting in the Wind Tunnel: Design

Dear Fellow Basement Scientists,

Ever wonder why textbooks are so long? Well, I figured it out! Its because there is a lot of information out there to learn and it takes quite a few pieces of paper to fit it all. Well, this blog post is a little longer, though not quite textbook length, because there is a lot of information required in applying that textbook knowledge to building our wind tunnel.

Its time for another day in the lab (basement). Lets review our situation: We built the tunnel, legs for the tunnel, and finished the bell mouth including the honeycomb. Before we go on to the fan and diffuser, we can’t forget the minor detail of accessing the inside of the wind tunnel once it’s built. We must have an opening so we can put our specimens into the wind tunnel. Otherwise we would have a very fancy and long fan. I was hoping for more than that.

Read moreGetting in the Wind Tunnel: Design

Wind Tunnel Honeycomb

Dear Fellow Basement Scientists,

Here we are, placing the last finishing touches on the entrance to the wind tunnel. This is pretty exciting! We are discussing today what is known at the honeycomb. I very briefly mentioned this part of the project in Wind Tunnel Design Overview, but now we will discuss its purpose and construction.

So, if you remember, the purpose of the bell mouth entrance is to reduce all the whirly-twirly turbulence coming into the test section. Reducing this turbulence increases the accuracy and consistency of lift and drag measurements. Well, believe it or not, despite all our valiant efforts on the bell mouth, there is still turbulence in the flow. Bummer! Well, no worries because we can simply install a honeycomb to help us out (as a note, there is always some turbulence in this flow, we are just reducing it as much as possible). A honeycomb consists of lots of little tubes. These tubes kill turbulence because there can’t be big swirls in a little tube.  Here is a highly technical drawing laying out the details of this complicated phenomenon:

Honeycomb Detail

Read moreWind Tunnel Honeycomb

Surface of the Bell Mouth

Dear Fellow Basement Scientists,

I am sorry, but of late I have been absent. This is due to what is commonly known as moving. It was a lot of work, but now we are back.

For those concerned, I did move the wind tunnel! It required care and thought of how to pack it, but it is here and in its new location.  With honesty in mind, I must admit that it is no longer in a basement. Hmm, what to do? Should I relocate to a living quarters with a basement? Should I stop investigating because I no longer have a basement to conduct it? No! I shall make do with what I have and continue in the spirit of basement science! Our name shall remain because the spirit endures. Just because our laboratory is now above ground does not change our goals or opportunities. Thanks be to God. Let’s begin again.

Read moreSurface of the Bell Mouth

Wind Tunnel Rib Cage

Dear Fellow Basement Scientists,

Wind Tunnel construction had taken a little break for our adventure into the world of interesting photos, but its time to meander back to our basements. Last time we planned the construction of the bell mouth so now we shall execute our plan. This part of the wind tunnel construction is a little more detailed oriented, which makes it more difficult, but the joy seeing it completed is even greater! There is unspeakable satisfaction when I behold on the table what I pictured in my mind.

Read moreWind Tunnel Rib Cage

Welcome to Basement Science

Welcome all to Basement Science,

Hello, this is Ben Washington and you are reading our blog of Basement Science. I say “our” because I hope for you to perform your own research as well. We are a fledgling research group but with great potential. We have just been initiated to Scienceblog and are thrilled about the upcoming wonderful blogging experience.

The heart of this communication is the belief that real science does not require a University or laboratory named after someone famous. Research and discovery is right at our fingertips and can be found even in our basements (when paired with some hard work). After all, many scientists before us had little more than an interests and determined will.

Currently, we are chronicling the construction of our wind tunnel in order to perform tests in fluid mechanics and perhaps some aeronautics. Build your own, offer suggestions, or follow along as we conduct Basement Science.

Best Regards,
Ben Washington


Alright, a little disclaimer. Research can be very expensive, which is why you get labs named after famous, and often wealthy, people/companies. This is fine and good and where a lot of grad students, like myself, find themselves. So, this research group will avail ourselves to that research which can be done inexpensively. I study mechanical engineering, so most of this work will be in that realm of study and can be built with mainly wood or what can be found at Home Depot and using only typical shop tools. No National Ignition Facility here, but we sure can build a lot of other things. Lets get to work.