Make Your Own Whizbang Windvane
If you would like to make your own Whizbang-inspired wind & weathervane, simply watch the two videos on This Web Page for insights into how I make the Whizbang windvanes I sell. Then, purchase an already-made pivot assembly and receiver (also on that page). The rest is relatively easy and intuitive if you have some basic woodworking skills and tools. And here are some additional helpful insights...
Don't Make Your Vane Too Heavy
The pivot assembly and receiver have been time tested and proven reliable (for 8 years, thus far) with a vane arrow weight of 1lb. 4oz. That weight includes the attached receiver. If you make a windvane heavier than that, you will be putting more wear stress on the contact points, and you may not get the same trouble-free longevity. The Whizbang windvanes we now sell weigh less than one pound.
Cutting The Beam Slots By Hand
If you don't have a band saw to cut the narrow slots for the arrow point and fin, you can use a Japanese-style pull saw Like This. That is the exact saw I used to cut the slots for my original prototype and several subsequent prototypes. When I decided to make and sell the windvanes, I bought a benchtop bandsaw.
The thickness of the blade on my saw is .024." If you use .040" aluminum for your point & fin, it will fit very well in the slot. The wood will bend to accommodate the additional thickness. Or, if you need more thickness, after cutting the slot, you can use the saw blade to "shave" the sides a bit wider.
Making the hand-sawn slots is a task that you want to take slow and carefully. It's a bit of a challenge, but it can be done. If you clamp the beam firmly in an upright position, that helps a lot. If there is enough interest in this, I can make a YouTube video showing how it can be done.
Aluminum Paint For Wood Primer
I've long used RUST-OLEUM Aluminum paint as a primer on hand-carved name signs that are going to be used outdoors. If you haven't yet watched my YouTube video about letter carving with nothing more than a utility knife, Click Here (you won't be disappointed). If the paint is not available in your local home center, Click Here to learn more and order a quart.
Screw Posts For Point & Fin Attachment
I use 3/4" aluminum screw posts for securing the point and fin. They are expensive. Click Here for one source. These screw posts are downright discouraging to work with because they cross thread easily, or any little bit of sawdust on the threads will interrupt the smooth threading action, and that's when the frustration comes. If you use these, I recommend that you first thread each one together by hand to make sure it is going to turn all the way without interruption. Also, use a screwdriver that fits the slot as tightly as possible. I've learned through trial and error how to best work with these little buggers. My recommendation: order more than you need and be prepared for frustration... or use some other kind of fastener.
Attaching The Receiver To The Beam
You must find the precise balance point of your arrow before attaching the pivot receiver, as I discuss in my videos. Then align the ball bearing on the receiver with the balance point. Two #10 x 1-1/2" sheet metal screws are included with the pivot receiver I sell. I recommend that you clamp the receiver in place, then center-punch through the pre-drilled 3/16" clearance holes in the receiver. Then use a 1/8" drill bit to make a pilot hole for the screws. Drive the screws in, remove your clamps, and you should be good to go. That's the process I use. Approximately 1" of screw length will find very adequate purchase into the wood beam.
Red Spray Paint?
As mentioned in one of my windvane videos, I spray painted the wood beam and hex-nut weights using spray paint. The exact paint I used is Krylon Gloss Banner Red. I buy it From AMAZON. The spray paint is entirely adequate but I'm thinking that I might get a better job in future production runs using a brush-on paint. That's my opinion. It's your call.
Grease On The Pivot?
It's not a bad idea to put a small bit of grease on the very tip of the pivot when you install your winvane. But you don't want to gunk up the sleeve that the pivot shaft fits into with a lot of grease.
Send Me Pictures
If you end up making your own Whizbang-inspired windvane, please send me a picture. I would like to post them here (below). Send your picture (or any questions you might have) to: Herrick@PlanetWhizbang.com