10,337 Pieces Later, A Ferris Wheel! : 8.11.09

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Photo By Tommy Stafford : ©2009 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Chris Hodge (center) stands with his brothers and cousin that helped build this giant replica of a Ferris Wheel @ RVCC.
Photo By Tommy Stafford : ©2009 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Chris Hodge (center) stands with his brothers and cousin that helped build this giant replica of a Ferris Wheel @ RVCC.

Afton
Nelson County, Virginia

It took three tries and several months, but 16 year old Chris Hodge of Nelson County, Virginia – with some help from his brothers and cousin, Ben Samuels, succeeded. This past weekend they finished their replica ferris wheel in the gym at The Rockfish Valley Community Center in Afton. “It took probably about a week. I built most of it at home in sections and then set it up here,” Chris told us Monday. He left the ferris wheel up so we could grab a picture before crashing it all down. The wheel is made from roughly 10,337 pieces of Connex, a distant cousin of Legos!

Cousin, Ben Samuels, measures the 136 inch high ferris wheel from atop a ladder in the old gym at RVCC.
Cousin, Ben Samuels, measures the 136 inch high ferris wheel from atop a ladder in the old gym at RVCC.


Most of you may remember the Hodge family from their fame as professional jugglers who recently set three world records in juggling. It’s a family affair, including Chris.

On two previous attempts the ferris wheel fell before Chris got the design just right.
On two previous attempts the ferris wheel fell before Chris got the design just right.

“The first try the axle wasn’t strong and it just fell out. The second time we had too many seats on and it had too much weight and it collapsed. This time we put half as many seats on and it worked,” Chris adds.

A quick shot just as they toppled the ferris wheel Monday morning to take it away.
A quick shot just as they toppled the ferris wheel Monday morning to take it away.
Ben with one of the remaining sections after they collapsed the huge ferris wheel.
Ben with one of the remaining sections after they collapsed the huge ferris wheel.

It took about 3 seconds for the entire wheel to fall to the gym floor after pulling out a couple of key pieces!

Very neat guys, very neat!

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