Friday, July 29, 2016

Steampunk whirligig / weathervane by Nevada

    This is probably the most complicated whirligig design that I have created thus far. And as such I would like to stress that this is an untested design that may be better suited as a decoration indoors rather than an actual functioning whirligig or weathervane.
    The reason for the complexity is that it uses several different materials that are not usually incorporated into a whirligig. The design is a steam punk style and uses everything from wire, tubing and even wiremesh.
    I think it would look really cool using a copper mesh for the netting. The balloon itself is a simple oval 1/4" cut out painted gray to resembled the dirigibles used during the Victorian era. The guide wires or ropes will need to be some type of rigid wire such as brass welding rod or even bicycle spokes to support the balloon. Steam generator in the middle can be part wood but also could be just as easily fashioned out of a metal cut out. Tubing could be substituted with copper or brass wire. The steam gauge itself can be a sliced dowel painted silver and then applying a decal for the gauge and numbers. The ship body is cut out of 1/2" to 5/8" wood stock. The propeller is actually quite simple, in that it is a dowel using beads as a spacer and cap.
    The rest of the design is left open for your own imagination, such as the type and style of anchor that you wish to use or whether you would want to add any ports. I personally thought about drilling a hole in the side and then mounting glass marbles as port windows. You could probably use pipe fittings or even Sculpey clay for copper or brass fittings.

   If you have any suggestions or ideas please feel free to post them in the comment section. I'd be very interested in hearing people's input so I can make improvements on the design or future designs.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Top View Dragonfly

Top View Dragonfly

This is a public domain free to use dragonfly pattern created by Nevada 

    This is a basic design that could be used or adapted to just about any project. From woodworking to 3-D pen's this simple design could be turned into anything from a whirligig to a simple stained-glass ornament,
or even a wire framed pendant.
    Basic designs like this are a good starting point and can be added onto with other designs or used simply by itself. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Seagulls And Fruit Weathervane

Seagulls And Fruit Weathervane

The design can be used with any fruit or object you like and the birds need not be seagulls. It is basically presented to demonstrate a concept that involves using wind drag instead of a tail fin to control the direction of the weathervane. The number of birds is up to you. I recommend that you use spring steal so it does not loose it's shape and will give the birds more action in the wind.

Basic types of wind art and instruments

Description of basic wind art and instruments

This poster is intended to give a basic breakdown of the differences between the various wind art and instruments. This is also to clarify what I am talking about in the various blogs and the various terms that I use to describe what I'm working on. 


    Weather Veins are probably the oldest form of wind instruments. As time went by they evolved into more decorative forms and sometimes doubled as lightning rods as they were usually mounted on the tops of houses and constructed out of metal. 
    From this evolution arose the whirligig which not only functioned as a wind directional device but as a mechanical animatronic. Usually depicting some comic scene or action such as an old lady washing clothes or a mule kicking a prospector. Some whirligigs have also been adapted to create thumpers to chase away moles and gophers. Generally constructed out of wood there are not too many surviving antique whirligigs.
     Wind spinners or pinwheels are also among some of the oldest wind devices but were created more as a child's toy rather than decoration. When spinners are generally mounted on a short stick about 12 inches long or shorter. More recent designs are in the shapes of flowers and used as yard decorations.
     Weather stations are among the recent instruments created as a tool to monitor whether and meteorological events. Their sophistication now includes electronics that enable them to transmit information wirelessly, which allows them to be placed in remote areas and the unattended. 
    Kinetic art is the most recent addition to wind art and is generally constructed of metal. These works of art use the wind to create movement that is almost an optical illusions. They may also include wind chimes and solar lighting. Their design is more closely related to the wind spinners or pinwheels that children play with but on a much grander scale. They are generally omnidirectional which means they will operate no-matter the direction the wind is blowing.

This is a creation of copyrighted 2016 not for reprint or republication without permission from Nevada

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Whale whirligig / weathervane

Whale whirligig / weathervane

This original design was conceived for use with the wood from fruit and vegetable crates that grocery stores discard, but due to the use of pesticides and other chemicals that may have been used on the wood I no longer use this wood source. The Woodstock that I use is 1/2" or 5/8 " and can be scaled to what ever size you need. 
    For the water spout I give you 3 options, although I used the copper wire the most as it was more cost-effective. 
    [Note] The difference between a whirligig and a weathervane is that a whirligig usually has a mechanical or electrical action to it, whereas a weathervane is usually just a figurine that tells the direction of the wind. A weathervane will also usually position the pivot post so that the figure( animal, person, object) is moving in the direction of the wind and not in the opposite direction. If you wish to use this as a weathervane simply move the pivot post back so that the whale will pivot as if he is traveling in the direction of the wind.

This is a simple basic design that can be modified numerous ways but it was made simple so as to increase profits and to allow me to compete with other crafters. The design can be spray-painted with one or two colors and not a lot of detail and still look good. 
    The fiber-optic version is a recent concept that I have not had a chance to fully work out. So if you attempt to create it please keep in mind that you may have to experiment with it in order to get it to work right. This version also increases the cost of materials which you may not be able to recoup even though all of materials for the lighted water spout can be found at dollar stores. The LED light is cannibalized solar yard light and the fiberoptics is cannibalized from a battery operated light.
    Still, it is a good project to challenge your skills at whatever level you happen to be at. The whales design was originally cut from a single piece of wood with a coping saw, which was a lot of work to just cut out the tail and very imprecise. At the time a coping saw is all I had, but when I later invested in a scroll saw I found it to be a worthwhile investment. A scroll saw makes quick work of it in less than a couple minutes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tall Sailing Ship Whirligig

Tall Sailing Ship Whirligig

This is a concept design created by Nevada Is mainly intended for entertainment purposes
and should not be considered a blueprint or plan.
However the concept is sound and with trial and error
it may be possible to construct a working model.
It is designed to be mounted on a fence post
and to work in light to moderate winds. Winds in
excess of 30 miles an hour may require smaller sails
or propellers or a more rigid mast. It is suggested that
each side of the sails be painted a different color,
such as white on one side and black on the other
so as to accentuate the spinning motion of the sails.
(Note this concept is not done to scale and its
size may need to be enlarged or decreased.)

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Toolbox Giftbasket

Toolbox Giftbasket

Him or Her

    Enlarge this design to whatever size you need.The length can be adjusted to however long you need. I recommend recessing the dowel handle or even drilling a hole all the way through for the dowel. Then hold in place with screws and or glue. Make sure you use the appropriate length screws and glue for the bottom and sides. Sand the sides of the project so that you can stain the wood afterward, but painting or decorating the box would probably also work. 
    Once you're finished with the project all you have left to do is to fill it with your favorite goodies for your favorite person and you will have a gift they will not soon forget. I love this project because it is such a versatile gift that can be given to him or her. It leaves them with something to use after they have consumed the goodies inside and could be used as a toolbox or even a planter for the front porch.

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