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Build Your Own Windsock

Shortly after moving to a rural farm with it's own 2000' grass strip, it became clear that I would need a wind sock. 

The concept of this wind sock is simple. The windsock's frame is welded to a steel pipe that rotates around a smaller pipe which is attached to the top of the tower. This assembly is bolted to a pipe projecting from the top of an old TV antenna tower. A friend of mine makes his own socks for his wind indicator, and offered to make me socks using his pattern. Given that, I built a frame that would fit a 28” diameter sock. Here are the details:

The sock's frame is fabricated from 3/8” steel rod. The 28” circular frame is welded to a short 2” i.d steel pipe length using three V-shaped brackets.

The pipe is sized such that sealed bearings fit inside it, and bearing's inside diameter is just right for a 1”” pipe. I used common 205-16 NBR bearings, 2” outside diameter, 1” inside diameter, which are cheaply available from Princess Auto.  The bearings are positioned on the 1” pipe section using standard collets with set screws.

Flats are ground into the bearings outer race so that set screws tapped into the outer 2” pipe can tighten down on them, fixing the sock frame's position. The end of the 1” o.d. pipe is threaded for a floor flange.

I scrounged a old television antenna tower section to use as the  'tower' for the windsock. It was set into a 3-4 foot deep hole, about 2 feet in diameter. The bottom was lined with several inches of coarse gravel, and the tower was set in using several temporary guy wires.

A large bolt tied to a string hanging from top of the tower acts as a plumb bob to insure the tower remains plumbed while the cement cures. Scrap pieces of steel, re-bar and sheep fence were thrown in to the hole before the pour to act as reinforcement for the cement. Finally, many buckets of Portland/gravel mix was mixed up in my little mixer and poured into the prepared hole. A benefit of using a TV antenna tower is that it is easy to climb for any future maintenance necessary.

This tower-mounted windsock has worked well for me now for several years.

 As you can see, the tower is also home to other devices such as our internet dish and wireless weather station.  Note that just because the frame measures 28" in diameter, installing a more standard store-bought sock, such as the 24" one shown in these pics, is a simple matter of using cable ties to bridge the gap between the sock and the frame.

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