Making a DIY weathervane is a nice project to do with your kids on a Saturday afternoon. Once it is made and painted all you need to do is add a rain gauge and you will have your own mini weather station. It can be great for a science project as well.
- A long wood dowel roughly the length of a broomstick
A pie plate or disposable baking pan (aluminum)
A 12 inch piece of wood (a heavy ruler will work fine)
Some of the other things you will need are nails, glue, hammer, a small saw or serrated knife, wire, a metal washer and heavy scissors.
Get the wooden ruler and cut a slit in the middle of both ends of the stick, ½ inch long. Hammer a nail all the way through in the middle of the stick’s length. Once you have done this, rotate the wood on the nail until the stick rotates freely on the nail.
Now trace a triangle and a tail into the aluminum pie plate or baking dish and cut them out with the scissors. After cutting them out, slide them into the slits you cut in the stick and attach with a bit of glue. Let the glue to dry fully before moving them.
With the washer on the end of the dowel and a nail hammered through the wooden stick and into the dowel, fasten the weathervane to the dowel. Make sure the weathervane spins easily.
Now it is time to mount the weathervane outside on a pole or fence. If you have a post set up with a rain gauge already on it, you can just attach the weathervane to the same pole making sure it is secure. You will need to make sure the weathervane is higher than anything that might impede the wind blowing on the weathervane.
See also: How to Install Weathervanes
Reading the Weathervane
When the wind blows on the vane, the pointer will face the direction that the wind is blowing. In other words if the wind makes the pointer face east that is where the wind is coming from. Now you can put the rain gauge here too and keep a journal of where the wind is coming from and rainfall amounts.
You can also make the rest of the contents of a weather station for the backyard if you want to and you can have a functioning station. Another note, you will need a compass to tell wind direction too so you might want to invest in an inexpensive one.
This is just a very simple weathervane; you can make more animated works of art and sell them. There is a lot of charm in a weathervane and watching one in a garden is actually relaxing. Building them is a good thing to keep busy with for someone who is retired and likes to work with their hands. The types of weather vanes are only limited by imagination.
Different materials can be tried as well as different sizes. Wood isn’t the only thing you can use for materials. If you are really handy you can use metal to make the vane; copper weathervanes are definitely that old country look. You might even want to get your own little online store going with a few custom weathervanes made to order