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Wind Spinners

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Project by Kelen posted 890 days ago 3101 views 23 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made from Cypress and Spanish Cedar. Measures approximately 24” in length, roughly 12” wide in the middle, tapering down to approximately 4” wide at the ends. Hangs from a ball bearing swivel and spins easily with the slightest breeze. A good project if you enjoy making a hundred or so repetitive rips on the table saw. Made a big batch of them a while back and just give them away from time to time to friends.

After all the strips are ripped on the table saw, a hole is drilled in each one (I usually gang them up and do 5 or 6 at a time at the drill press). Sometimes I’ll rip all the strips to the same length, or if I want to try and conserve wood, I’ll rip them at various lengths where I know they’ll be cut down later in the process. I run a threaded rod through each strip and tighten it up at the ends (all the strips are flat at this point and the spinner lays flat on the table). I’ll trace out the template on the flattended out spinner and then cut out the shape on the bandsaw. Once that’s done, I’ll fan the strips out and give it the shape it resembles in the picture. I’ll retighten it down and then glue on the caps on the ends that conceal the nuts/washers (I’ll drill a small hole with a forstner bit on the caps so it sits flat against the end strips). Possibilities are pretty endless with making these out of different species of wood, but the lighter the wood better. Get a strong breeze and these things will really take flight!





16 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14500 posts in 1687 days


#1 posted 890 days ago

Great project and very interesting. So how are each peices of wood seperated thus allowing them to spin freely? Looks lik there is a bunch of different types of wood did you dye them? More details on this would be fun I think its a great gift idea and who don’t like cutting on the table saw for hours I know I do :>)

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View MasterSergeant's profile

MasterSergeant

1262 posts in 1187 days


#2 posted 890 days ago

great looking wind spinner! We need more details though ;-D

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Kelen's profile

Kelen

270 posts in 891 days


#3 posted 890 days ago

Thanks for the comments. After all the strips are ripped on the table saw, a hole is drilled in each one (I usually gang them up and do 5 or 6 at a time at the drill press). I run a threaded rod through them and tighten it up at the ends (all the strips are flat at this point and the spinner lays flat on the table). I’ll trace out the template on the flattended out spinner and then cut out the shape on the bandsaw. Once that’s done, I’ll fan the strips out and give it the shape it resembles in the picture. I’ll retighten it down and then glue on the caps on the ends that conceal the nuts/washers. The individual strips do not spin in the wind, the entire piece does. I’m new to the website so I’ll have to post more pictures of how it looks at different points in the process.

I didn’t dye any of the wood. I picked up the cypress from my father-in-law who builds outdoor furniture out of cypress. Some of his pieces had a little bit of variety in color. Some of the spanish cedar I used had some variety as well, picked up a lot of boards a while back for cheap.

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2060 posts in 1563 days


#4 posted 890 days ago

Very nice I haven’t seen one in a long time. Thanks for the post.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View SteveGaskins's profile

SteveGaskins

206 posts in 1086 days


#5 posted 890 days ago

Nice spinner. Thanks for posting and welcome to LJs. You will find this is a great site.

-- Steve, South Carolina, http://www.finewoodworkingofsc.com

View Terry's profile

Terry

172 posts in 2132 days


#6 posted 890 days ago

These look really nice turning in the wind. A big spinner like this one must be hard on bearings. That was always the weakest point when I made them years ago. Thanks for the post I believe I will make one for my wife.

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1489 posts in 1486 days


#7 posted 890 days ago

Welcome to lumberjocks.
This is a great idea.
I hadn’t seen one before with a bearing.

Any chance I could get a picture of your template?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Kelen's profile

Kelen

270 posts in 891 days


#8 posted 890 days ago

SASmith, I’ve attached a picture of the template that I use. It’s roughly 4” at the tips and 12” in the middle. I’d caution on going any larger than this as it won’t spin quite as well and you’ll need to have a very strong ball bearing to support the continuous weight.

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1489 posts in 1486 days


#9 posted 890 days ago

Thank you Kelen.
I will have to give this a try now that I have a better idea of the shape and dimensions.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

2909 posts in 2395 days


#10 posted 890 days ago

Nice. And definitely won’t annoy the neighbors as it spins (unlike wind chimes I mean). :-)

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View fred4999's profile

fred4999

107 posts in 1983 days


#11 posted 889 days ago

Nice, I saw these at the Apalachicola Seafood Festival last weekend selling for $27.00. I’ve made them in the past but did not use the contrasting woods which really add to the look!

-- Fred, Georgia

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4746 posts in 2211 days


#12 posted 880 days ago

Thank you for the inspiration, my daughter and I have now added this to our list!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 996 days


#13 posted 824 days ago

I like the subtle monochrome colour of the last piece. I think it would be quite beautiful slowly turning in strong sunlight or even at dusk.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

585 posts in 1446 days


#14 posted 824 days ago

Great project! Another thing added to the list.

-- Smitty

View ugoboy's profile

ugoboy

71 posts in 1533 days


#15 posted 788 days ago

very simple, yet so cool. Thank you for your explanation.

-- ~ Guy Woodward, Pflugerville Texas

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