Table of Contents

Downloading plans
Flight of whirligigs
Free plans all metal hub
Free plans Whirligig Stand
Free plans Whirligig #43
Free plans Whirligig #46
Free plans Whirligig #57
Gears for whirligigs
Painting your whirligig



All Metal Hub for Whirligigs

All Metal Whirligig Hub

Chuck Dunbar’s
Whirligig Design & Development
All Metal Hub
Complete Plans
(revised 6 Dec 2010)

Finished Hub


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Materials list

For the size of whirligigs I am currently making - up to 24“ in diameter - use .05”
   aluminum 5052H32 

Rod ¼” diameter
Nuts, bolts, lock washers are 6-32 stainless steel 1" or 1 1/4" long


Special Tools

9 " Band saw with a 1/8" blade to cut non ferrous metals
General wheel and circle cutter, part #06


Read the directions through before starting.

Chuck Dunbar’s
Whirligig Design & Development
All Metal Hub
Disks for Hub


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

 Photo 4
  1. Lay out the four disks on the metal sheet.  [Photo 1]  Mark the hole locations on one of the disks.
  2. Note.  If only two arms are used, still make four sets of holes and spacers.
  3. Whether you are going to use a band saw or circle cutter, drill a pilot hole for the center hole.
  4. (Band saw) Using a circle cutting jig [Photo 2] to cut the four disks.  (Circle cutter) Cut the disks.  Mark the disks to keep their order and orientation.  A diagonal groove at the edge made with a file works well enough.
  5. Finish the edges of the disks.  Don’t grind away the groove from the previous step.
  6. Stack the disks and tape together with masking tape so that the center holes are aligned.
  7. Drill an appropriately sized hole in a piece of wood and put the taped, stacked disks on the wood with a center pin through the disks and into the hole.  [Photo 3]
  8. Drill one of the 3/16” diameter holes through the stacked, taped disks and into the wood.  Put another pin through the 3/16” diameter hole. [Photos 3 & 4]
  9. Drill the remaining holes for the arms.
  10. With the stack of disks pinned to the wood block through the two or three arm holes, re-drill the center hole to 7/16” diameter.
  11. I have found that the burrs left from drilling the holes are easily removed by twisting with my fingers a sharp drill a couple sizes larger than the hole in the burr rimmed hole.

click on plans to enlarge

click on plans to enlarge


Arm for Metal Hub

Photo 5
Photo 6
Photo 7
Photo 8
  1. Put arm in vice to file first flat.  Use your eye to make sure the arm is parallel to the jaws of the vice.  File the first flat.
  2. Put a piece of wood the same thickness as the arm under the first flat to make sure the second flat will be parallel to the first.  [Photos 5 & 6]
  3. Make a simple jig to hold arm so that the arm holes may be drilled perpendicular to the face. [Photos 7 & 8]

Click on plans to enlarge

  1. Put a short length of axle dimensioned tube or rod into a hole in a piece of wood to hold it vertical.
  2. Put on the first disk with bolts facing up.  In order, put on the spacers, collars or bearings and arms.  Put on lock washers and nuts. [photo 9]
  3. Leave the assembly loose enough so that the arms can be shifted.
  4. Set up the assembly to check for balance.  First try balancing by shifting the arms in their holes.  Second, if necessary add collars to the arms.  (Remove arms one at a time to do this.)  Third, if the assembly still is off balance, put extra nuts on one or two of the bolts holding the assembly together.  Be prepare to spend as much as an hour balancing the hub and arms.
  5. Tighten the nuts only enough to compress the washers.  Do not deform the metal disks.
Photo 9

If you want the hub to be weather proof, you will have to use stainless steel bearings, which are much more expensive than the ones specified in the whirligig plans.  However, I have had a few whirligigs out in the weather for two years or more.  When I checked their bearings, they were rust free.  Note, that I live in a desert where the annual rainfall is 8" to 9". 


Bettina Stepek said...

Wow this is great, but it will take a few practice "circles" for me. I weld/cut with Oxy/Acet and was trying ti find a decent wind spinner plan so thank you for the ONLY good plans out there!

Eamon said...

Cool stuff. We need more plans and updates Mr Dunbar . keep up the good whirligig action

Unknown said...

Where do you get the bearings and what type and size?

Chuck said...

Bearings r4zz 1/4"x5/8"x0.196" shielded bearings Bearings Online

Chuck said...

Bearings r4zz 1/4"x5/8"x0.196" shielded bearings Bearings Online