A wind spinner design that is based on optical illusions can be constructed from PVC pipe and elbow connectors. It only costs a few dollars and can be assembled in one afternoon. It makes a good do-it-yourself project for anyone, including beginners. At one angle the wind spinner looks like a six-pointed star, at another it looks like two triangles, and at another it looks like a hexagon with points.
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Things you need
- 12 lengths of PVC pipe, 1/2-inch diameter, 6 inches long
- 12 PVC elbows, 1/2-inch diameter
- Scouring powder
- Scouring pad
- PVC cement
- Brass swivel
- Nylon cord
Clean the markings off the PVC pipe with a little scouring powder and water on a green scrub pad. Rinse well and allow to dry completely.
Connect an elbow to one of the lengths of PVC pipe.
Connect another length of PVC pipe to the elbow. Now you have a V-shaped piece.
Lay the V-shaped piece on a table and connect another elbow to one end. Make sure the elbow is positioned so that a length of pipe inserted into the other side will stand straight up at a right angle to the V-shaped piece.
Connect another elbow to the other end of the V-shaped piece in the same manner so that its open end points straight up as well.
Connect a length of PVC pipe into each open end of the elbows. Now you have a V-shaped piece with two pipe "legs" standing at right angles to each end.
Repeat Steps 2 through 6 so that you have two identical V-shaped pieces with pipe "legs" at right angles to each end. Set these pieces aside for now.
Repeat Steps 2 through 4 to make a third V-shaped piece using two PVC pipes and an elbow connector. This piece will have another elbow connector on one end with the opening pointing upward.
Place another elbow connector on the other end of the V-shaped piece. This time, position the connector so that the opening points downward at a right angle to the V-shaped piece. Now you have one elbow connector pointing up and one pointing down.
Repeat Steps 8 and 9 to make another V-shaped piece with elbows pointing in opposite directions. Now you have four separate components based on a V-shaped piece.
Assemble the components. Lay a V-shaped piece with "legs" on the table, "legs" pointing up. Take one of the "legless" V-shaped pieces and insert one of the open elbows onto one of the "legs" of the piece on the table. Position it so that the near side of the V you just connected is parallel to the far side of the V lying on the table.
Repeat Step 11 for the other "legless" V-shaped piece, inserting it into the opposite side of the V-shaped piece on the table. Now you have a V-shaped piece on the table with a V-shaped piece at the top of each of its "legs." The V-shapes at the top of the "legs" should be pointing away from the centre of the shape.
Connect the other V-shaped piece with "legs" to the free elbow openings of the two "legless" V-shapes already connected. The V-shape of the piece you are connecting should point inward. The point of it should be a foot above the point of the other "legged" V-shaped piece. You may have to twist some of the connectors slightly to get everything to fit together, but all of the pieces should now form one continuous pipe with various twists and turns.
Mount the swivel hanger. Drill a hole through the elbow connector in the middle of one of the "legless" V-shaped pieces at a right angle to the V. Thread some nylon cord through the hole and knot it around the elbow. Without cutting the cord, knot it again through one end of the swivel. Knot another piece of nylon cord through the other end of the swivel. Use this piece to hang the wind spinner in a tree or from a porch outside.
Disassemble the wind spinner very carefully, one piece at a time, and cement all the pieces back together. Do not take everything apart at once. If you cement something in the wrong position, you will have to start over.
Tips and warnings
- Paint the wind spinner a colour of your choice. Make sure to use a paint designed for PVC.
- Use PVC cement in a well-ventilated area.
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