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Picture of Canoe Paddle Weather Vane
We're gonna make a cheap and funky weather vane, aka a wind vane, in the shape of a canoe paddle. Gather your materials from your junk bins and follow along.
 
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Step 1: Parts is parts

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Find a fan, a length of pipe and some scrap wood.

Step 2: Remove the fan blades

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Cut away the fan blades to fit your pipe.

Step 3: The rotating parts are done

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This is the essence of your easy rotating wind vane.

Step 4: Assemble and fly

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Some screws, a couple of nuts and bolts, and you're ready for the wind.
Using a case fan as the bearing (or bushing) makes me think this could become a wind power generator. But I suspect that the elements will take their toll pretty quickly on the fan... Traditional weather vanes just have a rod with a single ball bearing at its tip, stuck up inside a tube coming down out of the vane itself, and some of them are still spinning after hundreds of years, which suggests that sturdiness beats smoothness in the long run.
stickmop (author)  blacksmith_tb5 years ago
My weathervane is still...er, vaning. The T grip on the canoe paddle blew off last month though. I really should snap a new photo.
stickmop (author)  blacksmith_tb7 years ago
Yes, I'm curious to see if it'll last the whole summer. It's now mounted in a bit more secure location (no rocks holding the base down anymore, lol), but it's easily accessible with a step ladder. I painted the paddle black and it looks better. I may bring it in for the winter if it does last that long, paint one side silver and see if the solar heat would make it rotate inside next to a window. I don't think I could find a big enough vacuum sphere to stick it in though!
Very cool. Your images are nice too!
stickmop (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Thanks - I'm going to post a better cover shot soon, assuming a gale doesn't destroy it before I can grab my camera, lol.