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We've created a really unusual weathervane recently, to be used as a prop on a popular TV show. It's currently being filmed and the producers have asked us to not name it here until it's been broadcast. Very exciting - I wanted to share it with you now as I'm really proud of how David has managed to figure it all out and bring the designers frequently changing ideas to life on an incredibly tight timescale.
There are four seperate moving parts, all of which move independently of each other. The main sail spins, the arrow bar spins, the circle spins and so does the man within it. Because of the way it is designed, it won't actually function as a weathervane because the weight is unequal front and back, however because there are no cardinal points (NSEW) we have been able to use a much longer tube which makes up for the fact that the sail doesn't balance.
It's a very complex design created on a very tight schedule, so there were a number of challenges to overcome. Firstly we knew each component would need to be removable so that each could be electroplated and powdercoated seperately, and all of the tolerances needed to be just right for fitting it back together, allowing for powdercoat but still getting a good fit.
The man within the circle is welded to a 4mm rod which goes through 2 tabs drilled out to 5mm. The top tab is not drilled all the way, so forming a little crater for the spike to sit in centrally. The man is mounted from the bottom, meaning we could not depend on gravity to keep vertical - the actual pivot is near the top, at his neck. The circle hangs from a ball within a tiny capped bit of box section - there's a big hole drilled at the bottom, a 5mm hole drilled in the top, countersunk on the inside so the ball stays at the top; it hangs from another bit of 4mm round bar.
This bespoke weathervane will only function as a TV prop, all the independently spinning parts will look fantastic as part of the show, but if you put that on a roof, they will not turn on their own because when the wind hits the sail, (the lady) she will turn to where the wind is coming from, therefore the wind will never be able to hit the circle or the man side on in order to make them turn.