Washers for whirligigs
FOR SAFETY REASONS NEVER USE THESE WASHERS TO REPLACE PARTS ON COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS.
Always use the manufacturer's recommended replacement parts.
Nylon washers are not very cheap, but I have found an alternative that cost next to nothing, helps the environment and works almost as well.
One of the things that I do on a yearly basis is to do preventative maintenance on my whirligigs and weathervane's. With all the moving parts and high winds, there is a lot of wear and tear on these mechanical wonders. What I found out is metal on wood wears out the most, so I use a lot of plastic or nylon washers. Although washers are not the most expensive part to a whirligig, they can cut into your profits.
I couldn't help, but share this money-saving and environmentally friendly up_cycling of plastic jugs. As for the patterns, I simply invested in an assortment of metal washers to use as a template for the various size washers that I use in my whirligigs. After all for a couple of bucks worth of cheap metal washers, I now have a set of templates that are worth the investment and will never wear out. I could've very easily used a compass to draw the circles, but I wanted something that was more consistent with actual washers.
(Be sure to use the appropriate safety goggles and other safety equipment when using rotary tools)
I have found almond milk jugs and other opaque or heavier jugs seem to make the better washers. Anyhow, using a metal washer as my template and a black marker to trace around the metal washer, I create my patterns. Usually, I take the time to make several hundred at a time, so I have washers on hand for later. Then I simply rough cut them using heavy-duty utility scissors, dollar store kitchen scissors or a Dremel with a fine tip rotary cutting blade. (An X-Acto knife on a cutting board will also work as well.) I then finish the washer by sanding the edges or dragging a knife blade crossways against the grain to remove any ragged edges. A Dremel with an abrasive bit also works very well.
For those of you who like to do things the hard way I have included the following photo as a pattern.
Now keep in mind these washers will not necessarily take the place of a heavy-duty nylon washer and will most likely biodegrade over time if exposed to sunlight.
For other craft projects and ideas be sure and check out our other blogs and our website at www.nevadacrafter.com