Fiddling with Whirligigs

Back about the time that we moved into this house, I got the idea that I wanted to build a whirligig of a fiddler.  At the time I had been taking violin lessons and the idea of a fiddle playing whirligig appealed to me. This is before I had any real tools for doing such projects and the extent of the idea never went beyond a drawing on a piece of notebook paper. That piece of paper was tacked to our kitchen bulletin board right up until it was relegated to the attic.

The idea stayed in my head though until recently I started looking up whirligig how to’s in our local library via the internet. What I found was a book by Anders Lunde which described what tools to use, what materials to use, and basically how to build simple, mechanical, silhouette whirligigs. I thought the book so helpful that I bought a copy via Amazon.

The book was most helpful in describing how to make the propellers and the base for these wind toys.  Going against common sense, instead of building one of Mr. Lunde’s designs, I dove in and designed my own. I actually found what became my basic design during a picture search for ‘fiddler whirligig’. I traced it into autocad and made a few adjustments. I created a cardboard pattern to be sure the joints would work properly and transferred these to wood.  The wood for my whirligig is completely recycled from stuff I had around the house.  The only things I had to buy was a small tap & die set and some brass rod, nuts, bolts and washers.

All I can say is that the dang thing works.  It’s cool to see it set into motion by a light breeze. I have three more in progress as I speak, but I’ll leave them to their time.

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