copper weathervane

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hansen
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copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:45 pm

Greetings
In September, Nancy and I spent a week on Mount Desert Island in the Great State of Maine. We stayed part of the time in Bar Harbor, and part in Southeast Harbor, while touring Acadia National Park. While cruising around, I noticed that almost every residence has a weathervane on one of the buildings. I think it must be a law. We visited a couple of shops where they are made, and I thought, after looking around, that I would try to make my own.
So, these are my patterns:
Image
And these are my materials so far:
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The copper sheet is 12"x12"x.048, which is a mite thicker than I thought it would be, and the copper tube is .375 OD. The small rod is stainless steel. It's for the pivot rod.
I thought at first that I would cut the sheet with snips, but now I think I will have to use power. In any case, here goes...

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Fawteen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby Fawteen » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:07 pm

Geeze, ya shoulda said something, I can see Cadillac Mountain from my front yard on a clear day!

Looking forward to your project, might hafta try something like that m'self as I'm in violation of the mandatory weathervane clause.
What do you mean I can't do that?

hansen
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:38 am

Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:26 pm

Looked all over for East Overshoe. I'll tell you, that is some pretty country.
So I began to cut out the various parts. I used my 4" cut off/grinder. Actually was pretty easy. I clamped the copper between the workbench and a board so I could keep it rigid. And I had the pattern taped to the copper. Had to watch it though because the tape melted and shrunk and I ended up with a slightly different shape on one side. Easy fix though. Just cut the other side slightly to match.
Image
I got the big tree, arrow head, arrow feathers, and W cut out. Will finish tomorrow. I'm kind of wondering how to distinguish the individual feathers. It's just a shape now. Possibly shape some in with a punch. Dunno yet.

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Fawteen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby Fawteen » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:51 pm

I suspect (dunno, never tried it...) that you could lay your feather cutouts on a nice thick piece of leather or other material with similar "give" characteristics and use a cold chisel to punch some creases or "veins" into them.
What do you mean I can't do that?

hansen
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:38 am

Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:24 pm

Well, I decided to go with plain arrows. I added a tab along the bottom of the new ones to aid mounting.
Call me simple. I cut a small notch in the arrow shaft and soldered the point in.
Image
As for the pivot, I found this little fitting in my junk that had the same size hole as my stainless rod. Nothing beats dumb luck. It has machine threads so I drilled a hole in a bolt, inserted the rod and screwed the fitting on. That holds the rod stiff and straight.
Image
Here are the parts all cut out. It's hard to cut out little letters with a power cutting disk!
Image
Here is the arrow with the feathers installed.
Image

hansen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:44 pm

There are three trees. I soldered them to the side of the arrow rather than on top. The idea was to give it a 3D effect, sorta.
Image
Image
Then I notched the upright and soldered it on. This is the result.
Image
Image
So, at this point, I need more material for the letters, and work on the mount.
BTW, in order to work, the weathervane needs to be back heavy towards the arrow feather. I attached the upright about 1" forward of balance, so that would happen.
More next week!

hansen
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:38 am

Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:50 am

One other thing. If you look close at the last pics, you see that the upright tube is not sitting right down on the fitting at the bottom of the pivot rod. To minimize drag, I put a slight point on the rod with the grinder, then I found a small bolt that the threaded part fit perfectly in the upright tube. I cut the bolt head off, then tapped the threaded part up into the upright tube. So the pointed tip of the rod contacts the bottom of the small bolt inside the upright tube, and the bottom of the upright tube ends about 1/2" above the fitting at the bottom of the pivot rod. It now spins very easily.

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Fawteen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby Fawteen » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:15 pm

Nice!

What did you use to solder with?
What do you mean I can't do that?

hansen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:12 pm

Just a propane torch. On one shot you can see a roll of rosin core solder. Got that when cleaning out my uncle's garage after he passed some 20 plus years ago. He was crippled by a stroke for 25 years, so I figure it's some 50 years old.

hansen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:27 pm

I spent some time in the plumbing isle at Home Despot and bought some copper tubing and a couple of fittings. I soldered the letters to the tubing and bent it to look like this:
Image
I found a copper reducer that the bottom of my pivot rod fit in, after a bit of grinding of course, and I soldered that to a threaded copper fitting. Now my problem was how to hold four tubes in place for the directions while I soldered them. After messing with numerous clamps, I finally flattened the tip of the tubing, drilled a pilot hole, and put a small screw in just to hold the tube in place while I soldered it. You can see it at the bottom here, I think.
Image
The base I made by screwing two pieces of angle iron to the roof almost touching at the top, then I welded a V shape flat iron piece onto a female pipe fitting, and bolted it to the angle iron. I used bolts so I could make small adjustments as needed. Turns out I was very close, and needed only a small adjustment. Dumb luck again. Then I screwed the copper fitting into the pipe fitting until N was pointing to magnetic north. I think it works pretty well. I watched it move with a slight breeze.
Image

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Fawteen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby Fawteen » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:02 pm

VERY nice!

Now I need to start scrounging for some copper...
What do you mean I can't do that?

hansen
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Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:07 am

I'm going to bore you one more time with this!

I sold my little Yanmar tractor, which left me project-short. So I decided to make one more of these to give to some friends to put on their cabin.

I only took a picture of the top part. The bottom is pretty simple with the directions just mounted on straight wire. No artistic flare. After looking at a bunch of pictures, I tried to make individual feathers on the wingtips. In the end, they just looked like toes.....so I went with solid wing shapes, which I thought looks better. Again, dumb luck.

It turned out fairly hefty, about a little over two feet long, but when mounted, turned with the slightest breeze.

download/file.php?mode=view&id=40
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hansen
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:38 am

Re: copper weathervane

Postby hansen » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:14 pm

WHOOPS! I forgot that I already posted about this back in June. I really need a new project... Please ignore!!


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