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WindTapper's Blog

April 2016

Gig Teardown

The old gig is torn apart now. Inventory of parts for "Strength of Materials" category: All 10 "S" hooks are fine. Ten chains fine, except for a bit of rust. 20 foam spacers (gotten from water pipe insulation) all fine and reusable. The two hoops are not fine. Each was made from five parts. The two green sections (one for each hoop) survived. The two dark blue sections survived. Only one yellow section survived the teardown. Neither red, nor purple sections could withstand the process of dismantling them.

So, the red and yellow, also the purple sections suffered the same fate as the cloudy plastic bottles: They became brittle and split apart when pressure was applied to them. The Sampo swivel seems fine, too, as is the hanger.

I'm sorry but I cannot not recall how many years this rig has been twisting in the wind and generally suffering whatever the weather threw at it 24/7. I'll have to look it up eventually. I know it went through at least one winter, though.

Information is clear enough from this experiment that I need to put stronger plastic into these gigs in order to satisfy other builder/users of these gigs.

New Blade Experiment

Our whirligigs have been made out of plastic hoops that have half plastic gallon water jugs as blades for these wind turbines. Of course, the hoops are strung up and stacked so their central pivots have been fishing lure swivels from SAMPO of New Jersey. The plastic of these jugs deteriorates rather completely after approximately a year in full sun, longer in shady spots, but still, deterioration is rather complete.

Clover Valley Distilled Water one gallon jugs that I purchased at Dollar General recently are made of clear plastic that is tough. I had to use a hack saw to thin a place where I could finally get the tip of our scissors inside to make a cut all around the shoulders of the bottles.

Btw, Dollar General only sold one batch of these bottles at $1.00 each filled with distilled water, and then went back to selling the normal, cloudy white gallon jugs that we had been using up until this point.

I have since started collecting (saving) clear plastic bottles from various juice products and am currently plotting alternative patterns to cut up these bottles for whirligig blades. Also, I hope to figure out a Black Walnut leaf design for smaller magnet rotating rigs, but for now, I have eight bottle "necks" with which to build a one-layered gig.

I wish to record here the manufacturer in case it becomes of interest at some future date: "Clover Valley Distilled Water, Source Town of Mooresville, NC, Purified by Distillation, Distributed by Dolgencorp, LLC, 100 Mission Ridge, Goodlettsville, TN 37072. Bottled by Niagara Bottling, LLC, 178 Mooresville Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28115, (877)ITS-PURE...For a report on water quality & information, contact us at : (877)ITS-PURE or" I realize that the manufacturer of the actual bottle is not listed in all this information, but I do not believe the bottle is all that special except that it is clear rather than cloudy plastic. That is, the clear is tougher than the cloudy.

I intend to demonstrate this fact by putting the clear out onto whirligigs. Since I have no more than eight of this company's bottles, I could basically only do one design of cutting them up.

After watching the diminished old blades continue to rotate even after most of their materials have been lost, I decided to use only the top portion of the new bottles. Most of the bottles is going to recycling as I am only using 1/3 of the height of these bottles, that is, the top 4 out of 12 inches..
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