Introduction: Mesmerizing Wind Spinner
This Wind Spinner is an easy outdoor Spring/Summer project that is mesmerizing to watch. It can be made in just a few hours and requires very few supplies and tools. Check out my video then follow this Instructable to make your own. I bet mom would love one for Mother's Day!
Tools: Saw, Drill, Wrenches
Supplies: 36" 1/4-20 threaded rod, about 68 sticks 1/2" x 3/4" x 10", 2 Nylock Nuts, 2 Washers, Wood Finish, #1 Fishing Barrel Swivel, Paint (optional)
Step 1: Cut, Drill, Sand, Finish
This is the most time consuming part of this project. To fill up 34" of a 36" threaded rod, I cut 68 1/2" thick sticks from 3/4" pine and cherry scraps that were 10 long. If you cut thicker sticks, you don't have to cut as many...just do the math to see how many will add up to 34".
Drill a hole in the center of each stick. It is much easier to sand and finish the sticks now than later. I laid out the sticks and sprayed them with Deft Clear Wood Finish Lacquer.
Design Tip: If you want the sides of the spinner to have a curvy profile, you might want to cut the sticks at different lengths and plan out your design. I cut all of the sticks to 10", then cut down some smaller ones for the tapers at the ends. After I put all of the sticks on the threaded rod, I decided to cut a slight hour glass shape on each side. Get creative!
Step 2: Assembly
I used a sander to sand off the threads on opposite sides of one end of the rod so that I could drill a small hole through the rod. I threaded on a nylock nut and washer about an inch from the bottom and slid on all the pieces in an alternating color pattern. I put on a nylock nut and washer on the top and tightened the nuts to squeeze the sticks together firmly. The nuts should hold the sticks tight enough that no glue is needed. If you don't use glue, you can always fold it flat for storage.
Step 3: Shaping
You can skip this step if you plan ahead and cut your sticks to the side profile that you want. After assembly, I laid it on a piece of plywood and cut an hour glass shape on the sides of mine. I sanded the cut ends and sprayed them with lacquer.
Step 4: Hanging the Wind Spinner
There are a couple of different ways to do this. I drilled a hole in the rod and attached a fishing barrel swivel that is rated for up to 20 lbs, then used an S-hook to hang it on an eye bolt. Then I twisted each piece slightly to make the spiral effect down the rod.
You could also attach a coupler nut and eye bolt to the end of the rod, then hang it using a dog leash swivel. Just make sure the swivel is strong enough to hold the weight of the Wind Spinner and spins freely. You might need to try different options.
Step 5: Watch It Spin!
The best part is hanging the Wind Spinner outside on a windy day and watching it spin! It is mesmerizing to watch and it is really kind of hypnotic. If there is no wind, use a fan or a leaf blower to test it out! Click here to watch my video showing it spinning!
Thanks for checking out my Instructable! - Steve...