Ever wondered which way the wind is blowing from? Do you know which way is north?
I had the idea of a weather vain after all the strong wind last winter. I had a good look for ideas on how to make one without any metal working involved, but could not find any. So here is my oh so simple scrapwood weather vain instructable.
To make the weather vain you will need:
- A design for your pointer - I used a silhouette of a running greyhound.
- Tracing paper.
- plywood - big enough to fit your design .
- four similar sized pieces of plywood to cut the cardinal points of the compass.
- 5mm dowel to attach the N,S E,W letters to the pole.
- A Pole -I used a 2x4 batton left over from another project.
- 1 4x50 mm screw and Cap nut for the pivot .
- 1 30x500 mm piece of broom handle.
- 8 or so small pins
The following hand tools
- Compass - to make sure it points to magnetic north.
Step 1: Step 1 Transfer Your Design to the Wood.
A quick search of the internet provided the image of a running Greyhound. I then printed out the design on two pieces of A4 and joined them together with sticky tape. Using the tracing paper I transferred the image to the plywood and cut it out with the jigsaw. Please remember you will need to cut out your design so don't make it to complicated.
I then printed out the the letters N,S,E,W and did the same on to the smaller pieces of plywood. Then sanded off the edges and removed any cut marks
I just used what ever tins of paint I had knocking around, choose what ever suits your design and go for it.I choose to keep it simply and went with black, adding a golden collar just to brighten up the silhouette, and used a can of metallic paint on the North and South pointers . As the paint is normal house paint, I slapped a coat of clear varnish over the top to prevent it fading/washing off.
Step 2: Step 2, the Pivot.
This is the part that took the longest for me to work out as I wanted the weather vain to work and move in the wind. I have no access to metal working tools, so would not be able to make a simple pin and cup arrangement, so off I went to my local hardware store and I found cap nuts and bolts which being round and smooth at the end would make an exallent pivot pin. These are the only part of the project that i had to buy.
I drilled a a hole about 10mm deep in to the top of my pole and glued the bolt in - it is very important that you keep the bolt at 90 degrees.
When the glue is set put the cap on and measure from the cap down to the pole take off 2mm so the cup can swing around the bolt without catching on the top of the pole.
Use that measurement to drill in to the centre of your broom handle, making sure that the hole is just wider then the cap nut so it can swing around it. This is now the cup that your vain will be attached to.
On the top of your cup mark out the width of your plywood and cut out a section, and glue your pointer in place.
Step 3: The Set Up
Using a compass and a off cut from the plywood to measure the difference from the side of the shed and north, I marked the difference and then cut two wedges and screwed them to the side of the shed.
The first time I put the weather vain together I just sanded the ends of the dowel flat and glued the letters to them, they got blown off in the first strong winds. So Using a fine drill bit I drilled two pilot holes so not to split the wood then knocked the pins though and bent the ends over to hold the letters firmly to the dowel.
Then using a drill bit the same size as your dowel, drill four hole in your pole, i offset the east/west holes with the north/south.I had to sand the ends of the dowel it make them fit the holes, and used glue to hold them firmly in place.
Once all the glue had dried I varnished the dowels and the letters then mount the finished weather vain on to the two blocks i had screwed to the side of the shed, making sure that the directions were pointing in the correct way.
Put the pointer on the top and you have a working weather vain.
If you have enjoyed my project and it has inspired you to try this at home, please vote for it.
Let me know and if you have any questions, just drop me a line or two and i will do my best to answer them.