Introduction: Upcycled Oak Triskelion Weather Station
I had an old clock that could no longer tell time. It was cheap plastic that I acquired from an old coworker and I was not really interested in the clock function, but it had analog weather readouts for Temperature, Humidity, and Atmospheric Pressure. I have had it in my Sunroom for many years, and one day while relaxing, I was looking at it and thought "why don't I mount the weather gauges in something else since the clock doesn't work anymore...".
That got me thinking, and I realized I could make a nice wooden holder for it, but was not sure what shape and design did I want to go with. Being that the new mounting would be 'connected' to the weather and the earth, I wanted something that represented nature. Come along with me as I show you how I made this amazing sturdy Upcycled Oak Triskelion Weather Station.
I decided I was going to use some Oak Pallet Wood that I have had for a while and was waiting on something nice to use it for.
In total, here is a list of what I used to complete the project:
- Oak Pallet Wood
- Reclaimed Weather Gauges
- Clear Resin
- Glow Power
- Picture Hanger
- Danish Oil
- Wood Glue
- Painters Tape
- Dixie Cups
- Table Saw
- Chop/Miter Saw
- Cross-Cut Sled
- Router (Straight & Rounded Bit)
- Random Orbital Sander
- Drill / Hole Saw
- Push Pin
- Tape Measurer
- Wood Clamps
- Circle Compass
- Double Stick Tape
- Hot Glue Gun
Step 1: Research & Inspiration
The first picture is the old plastic clock/weather-station that I had and wanted to repurpose the weather gauges.
I researched what wooden weather stations were available to see if I could find any inspiration, and most were all pretty basic and didn't represent nature or the earth (ex: second and third pics).
One day I was thinking I really wanted to go with something rounded like the earth, and saw our Triskelion (4th pic), that we picked up along Merlin's Trail in Scotland on our Honeymoon. It was the perfect inspiration... round, Celtic, three-pointed and often found carved into stone or wood, with the first one being recorded in Neolithic Europe.
I researched different versions of the Triskelion, and found one like in the last photo- with a circle 'behind' the three spirals, and I liked that version.
I now knew what shape, and design, so I started planning...
Step 2: Cutting & Gluing Boards
I cut all of the boards to the length I needed, then cleaned up their edges on my Table Saw. I made sure that two opposite edges that I did not want to see were a nice clean 'jointed' edge to be able to glue them correctly. I typically had the sides with the holes from nails and imperfections as the sides that would be glued together so they would not be seen.
Once I had them all cleaned up, I moved the order around to get a grain pattern I liked, then glued and clamped them to dry over night.
Step 3: Cutting a Perfect Circle
I had recently watched a video from the Woodworking For Mere Mortals channel by Steve Ramsey on how to use your Cross-Cut Sled to cut a perfect circle on your Table Saw:
I decided that I would adopt this method of cutting a circle, but decided to use a drywall-screw from underneath the cross cut sled opposed to the nail that he used in the video as I thought the nail might come loose due to the size of the circle I needed to cut (mistake I'll explain later).
I sanded the wood after it came out of the clamps from being glued together, and got it nice and smooth to slide/rotate on the cross-cut sled better.
I then found the center of the board (corner to corner) and used a compass to draw my circle from the center.
I then installed my cross-cut sled onto my table saw and measured from the blade the radius of the circle to find where the screw would need to be placed. I removed the cross-cut sled, drilled a small pilot hole where the screw needed to be and then installed the screw from underneath the sled. Once the sled with the screw were back on the table saw I drilled a small pilot hole in the bottom of the board (do not go all of the way through).
Once the board was placed on the screw, and tightened down, I started cutting the corners off of the board... Cut, rotate, cut again, repeat (just like in the video).
Within about 10 minutes, I had a perfect circle and was amazed at how easy it was to cut in that manner.
After I removed the circular board, I realized that the screw had been spinning with the board and had come a bit loose. Not enough to change the shape of the circle, but the screw was pushing into my table saw and scratched it up pretty good (last pic).
Step 4: Transferring Triskelion to the Board
To make transferring the Triskelion onto the board a little easier, I sketched it up in a free online drafting program the size I needed, and then printed it out on four pieces of paper.
I taped these pieces of paper together to have the entire image at the correct scale.
I placed a small piece of double-stick tape on the under side of the papers in an area where the design was not present, then placed the papers onto the board so that it could not shift or slide.
Knowing that I was going to use a Router to carve the design into the wood, I used a push-pin to trace every line of the design onto the wood. This took a bit, but I just kept it on my lap while watching some TV one night.
Once I had the entire design replicated from the paper to the wood, I used a pencil to trace the design so I had something easier to see when I went to carve it in.
Step 5: Carving in the Triskelion
Using a wood clamp to secure the board to my table, I used a 1/4" Rounded Plunge Bit in my router. Set the depth, then carved in the Triskelion.
I did not get any 'in process' pictures as this went much faster than I thought it would.
Step 6: Adding Resin & Glow Powder
After the Triskelion was carved into the wood and cleaned up, it was time to pour in the Resin.
I used painters tape and made a crude 'barrier' so the Resin didn't drip over the edges.
Once ready I measured the same amount of each of the Resin parts in small Dixie cups.
I then measured out the Glow Powder and once ready, I combined all three ingredients into a larger Dixie cup and mixed for the appropriate time (instructions tell you how long and how to mix).
Once mixed, I poured the Resin with the Glow Powder directly into the carved Triskelion, with the excess on top in case it settled a bit as it dried, I didn't want it concave in the grooves.
To test, I went down a few hours later and turned the light off to see how it was glowing and it was beautiful!
Step 7: Cutting the Gauge Holes & Sanding the Resin
I used a Hole-Saw in a drill to cut the openings for the Gauges just slightly smaller than their Diameter.
Once cut, I used a 1/4" Straight Plunge Router Bit with the depth set to leave a ledge about 1/2" thick to mount the Gauges.
The openings in the back didn't need to be pretty, as long as they were wide enough to insert and mount the Gauges.
With the holes cut, I flipped the board over and used my Random Orbital Sander to get rid of the excess Resin. I used 80, 120, and 220, then once it was fairly smooth I used a 400 sheet by hand and polished the resin and smoothed out the wood.
To see how the wood and resin would look I applied one light coat of Danish Oil, and the result was immediate and beautiful.
Step 8: Mounting Gauges
It was now time to mount the Gauges into the piece.
I debated on using CA Glue, but decided that I would use Hot Glue as it would not be permanent in case I mounted one of them slightly crooked.
I removed the first Gage from the old plastic clock by just breaking the little plastic pins holding it in place and installed it in position using a bead of Hot Glue around the edge of the Gage onto the wood.
I repeated the same steps for the second, then third Gage. Using Hot Glue it went pretty quick, and soon I had all three Gauges mounted in the wood.
It was then that I noticed that the Barometer was thicker than the Thermometer and Hydrometer by a good amount and stuck up and out of the back of the board. I'm glad I used Hot Glue!!!
Step 9: Re-Mounting the Gauges
Luckily the Hot Glue was east yo peel out using a flat-head screwdriver, and I was able to remove all three Gauges in about 20 minutes.
I then used the Router with the depth set to only leave a 1/4" thick 'ledge' for the Gauges to rest on.
I re-mounted the Gauges with Hot Glue, and after the change the Barometer was at just the right depth.
Knowing that the work on the back was done, I added a Picture Hanger so it can be mounted to the wall.
Step 10: Finishing & Mounting
With everything else done, I lightly sanded the face one last time with the 400 sand paper, and applied a nice final coat of the Danish Oil.
The 2nd picture is natural sunlight in our Sunroom.
The 3rd picture is in the evening with a flash and you can see how glossy it is, yet still natural.
The 4th picture is the Triskelion glowing at night with no lights on, and the final pic is with a Black Light on. I like that even the hands of the Gauges are black light reactive.
Hope you liked the idea and execution!