Solar Wind Screw




Introduction: Solar Wind Screw

In this instructable, I take a scrap pieces of acrylic and mold them into screws, then I mount an led from a solar landscaping light to give them nice glow at night.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gather Materials

materials needed.
-solar garden light
-narrow piece of acrylic
-ball chain
-ball chain connectors
-gutter clip for holiday lights (optional)
-hobby wire
-soldering pen
-glue gun (or any other kind of adhesive)
-drill bits
-screw driver

All of these materials were found at my local hardware store. The narrow acrylic was cut off/scrap pieces that were heading to the landfill, sometimes the sales associate will give them to you for free.

Step 2: Bending the Acrylic

Bending the acrylic can be tricky at first, so practice with a few pieces of scrap before beginning.  You can use any heat source of your choosing, which in my case, the stove top was the easiest to control. I also got good results with a propane torch. when applying heat to the acrylic you want to spread the heat evenly over a section of the surface while applying twisting force on both sides. Too much heat will result in the acrylic becoming too flexible and/or the formation of bubbles. Once the acrylic starts to soften, promptly remove from your heat source and relieve some pressure. repeat these steps until you have a nice even acrylic screw.

Step 3: Wiring the Led

Remove the screws holding the landscaping light together to reveal the internals. With your soldering iron, desolder the led from the board, don't forget to make note of the polarity. Match a drill bit to the diameter of the led, and begin drilling very slowly in the center; in addition to drilling the led hole, drill 2 smaller holes on opposite ends of the led hole to the solar light base to the acrylic screw. Cut a piece of hobby wire and solder the conductors from the led pins on the board to the led itself. once you are finished wiring the led, cover the terminals with any adhesive of your choosing, I used hot glue.

Step 4: Mounting Your Screw to the Solar Light

There are many different options available for mounting your wind screw to the solar light base; In this case, I made it one assembly and mount from a ball chain. I started by soldering 2 small pieces of solid copper wire into the 2 mounting holes and made it loop inside the solar light base where they are glued in place. I drilled a small hole through the decorative barb that was original to the light and inserted a keyring. The key ring made it easy to mount anything to make the unit pivot.

Step 5: Enjoy Your New Yard Ornament

Hang in a location that receives plenty of sunlight during the day, and can easily be viewed at night.

Be the First to Share


    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest

    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 2

    might i add, that using boiled / boiling water can have the same effect of softening the acrylic without burning it..
    What can be done is pour boiling / hot water in an elongated tub, or if available set a long bowl on a cooking flame, and let the water boil. Dip the acrylic sheet in it bit by bit. as the sheet becomes pliable, you can bend it.

    CAUTION: Hot / Boiling water can be as devastating as open flame on naked skin. Use proper Gloves / Protective gear while handling stuff near heated objects / materials.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    thanks for the tip, I'm always looking for a more efficient method for molding the acrylic, I will give this method a try.