How to make a Spiral Wind-Spinner [Table of contents below]
I first spotted a spiral wind-spinner in a friend's garden and I was captivated by it.
When the breeze turned the spiral, it had a magical hypnotic type of effect. The ball gave an illusion of moving up and down the spiral tail.
When I asked where it came from, my friend said he got it from a market. "What's it called?" I asked.
"Dunno," he replied.
After doing a bit of research on the internet, I discovered these spinners are available worldwide from various manufacturers, outlets and private individuals. They also go by a number of names, including Spiral Wind-Spinner, garden spiral with ball, ball spiral mobile, spiral tail, garden wind spiral, spiral cone, spinning spiral, and magic ball spiral, just to mention a few.
Anyway, I knew I was going to make one. (Or two, or three, or twelve.)
I also knew I was going to have to make a template in order to make one successfully, as I would need some sort of gadget to wrap the metal rod around to make the spiral cone.
After much experimenting with template alternatives and various rods and balls, I eventually settled on a good working formula.
I was surprised how well the template worked and how easy a spiral wind-spinner (I decided that's what I'm going to call it) could be made.
You can make one in less than a minute.
How to make a Spiral Wind-Spinner
This spiral wind-spinner ends up about 26" (650mm) long and can accommodate a ball 3" (75mm) in diameter, or a little larger.
First you'll need a template - something to wrap the metal rod around to form the spiral. Making the template is the most involved part, but once it is done, making the spiral wind-spinner is a breeze, and the template can be used over and over again. The instructions on how to make the template follows on the next page.
Then you'll need some rod. You can use aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel, copper, or just about any similar type of rod.
Thickness: Around about 1/4" (6mm) diameter.
Length: At least 66" (1650mm) long.
In the initial experiment, I tried three types of rod - 13/64" (5mm) diameter mild steel, 1/4" (6mm) diameter aluminum solid rod, and 5/16" (8mm) overall diameter aluminum tube.
They all worked equally as well. Of course left untreated, the mild steel will eventually go rusty but surprisingly enough some people like that effect in the garden (not me, however).
You will also need some balls. Balls around 3" (75mm) diameter or slightly bigger (or slightly smaller) will do the trick. You can use just about any type of ball, from a very cheap plastic ball to a crystal ball, depending on your price range.
OK. once you have the template...
Simply insert the top of the rod in the notch and hold it in place with a plug, run the rod under another plug on the side of the cone head, and then wrap the rod around the cone to form a conical spiral.
You can then take the plugs out, slip the spiral off the template, tie a piece of nylon string to the top, hang it from a tree or something else in the garden and drop a ball into it. See the pictures below.
Why not make a few?