Wooden Fish Weathervanes #2: Wooden Fish

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Blog entry by woodetal posted 01-14-2019 09:15 PM 577 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Fish out of water, moving in the wind Part 2 of Wooden Fish Weathervanes series Part 3: Video »

Wooden fish weathervanes: Fish Story This may not be a fish, rather an icthyosaurus that paddled the great Basin in Nevada/Utah and the rest of the world forever ago. This is a photo from Burning Man, 2013 that was created and installed at the festival as a moving interactive HUGE kinetic sculpture. Imagine a 50 foot long suspended marionette that could be moved by pulling on the ropes. That and it was lit at night giving it the presentation shown. It was wooden, apparently from take offs from some fossilized remains from a location in Nevada. The forms were assembled from what appears to be plywood, laminated and assembled. The key thing here is that it moved, not so much from the wind, but it moved. Burning Man (BM) is very cool and a worthy bucket list item for anyone who appreciates the effort that goes into making something for the joy of making. Kind of the gratification of completing something yourself.

Not that the Icthyosaur was a scale that I was after, but it led to wind and kinetic related interests sparked by Burning Man. But, BM was something that you participate in and my SO at the time, my significant other, now more significant as a full-on wife, planned to return as a participant, not just an observer. We had the logistical needs, a trailer, generator and knowledge of what was needed to participate and really participate. In preparation for our participation, I began to run down the accessories for a wind based kinetic something. Bicycle wheels, chains, gears were an easy transferable skill as I had worked on bikes for years, wheels had the easy adaptation to a windmill type of structure. Wheels with some sort of vane attached to the spokes for wind movement and transfer of the movement via a cassette on the wheel, transferring the movement by chain to other wheels. So, wind was the energy and bicycle wheels, chains and cassettes was the medium.
Now I needed the wheels. Craig’s List provided the name of a guy that knew a guy that worked at the waste management facility and he collected stuff that he could sell. That guy sold a bunch, 40 bicycle wheels, with cassettes and front wheels, in various conditions, most without tires to the guy from Craig’s List. He was a Burner and we struck a deal and I went home with 40 (+ or -) wheels. That started the process. What ended the process was the inability to get tickets. We failed on the lottery system and there was no way I was going to pay $1,000 and MORE for one, let alone two tickets. So, that ended the immediate drive to do something with the wheels.
Still in anticipation of BM I tinkered and dug around on the Internet and found many others all over the planet had been using bicycle wheels in a “re-purposed” project. Some were not much more than an effort to generate power with the wheel acting as the driving force to turn a small generator using tape or cone type of attachments to harness the wind and create movement.

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