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Whirligigs

A whirligig is an object that spins or whirls, or has at least one member that spins or whirls. Whirligigs are most commonly powered by the wind, but can be hand or friction powered, or even powered by a motor. They can be used as a kinetic garden ornament.

Robin's whirligigs generally represent things within his past or present experience. They add interest to a garden; people enjoy watching them gyrate and children especially love their colour and movement.

Each whirligig is crafted with great care: close tolerances, robust construction, capacity for maintenance and a high gloss acrylic finish. Looked after, it will last for many years.

For display, the whirligig is best placed in the garden during fine weather, maybe on top of a star picket.  Alternatively, Robin will provide a pedestal so that the whirligig can be placed on a verandah table where it can be kept out of the damp weather. A standard (tube) concreted into a large ceramic pot will allow the whirligig to be moved around; either into the wind or into shelter.

Please note:
None of the following whirligigs is suited to being left out in all types of weather, particularly rain or high wind. They are built to withstand light to moderate winds and mainly dry conditions. If purchasing one as a gift, be sure to tell the recipient of this fact.
 

 

Clicking on a picture may reveal either a larger or an alternative image.
 
Axeman

The rotation of the propeller causes the man to pivot at the shoulders and thrust his axe up and down ie: appear to be cutting wood.

For increased longevity, the axe is usually set to avoid hitting the wood block.

The propeller will usually have four blades, not six as pictured.

This whirligig performs at its best in a light-to- moderate wind.
 

Click on photo to reveal another image Code: WHIRLY-AXEMAN

Size: (L) 450 mm. (W) 50 mm. (H) 200
The propeller has a dia. of approx. 400 mm.

Materials: dressed pine, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), bronze rod, plastic bearings (white bits) and fixtures (black bits), steel crank supported by steel bearings

Availability: Often in stock, otherwise made to order.

Price: $90

Fisherman

As  the propeller whirls, the fisherman pulls back on the rod. He thinks he's caught a big fish - Murray Cod - when he has actually caught a large snag!

This whirligig requires a medium breeze to perform at its best.

Click on photo to reveal larger image. Code: WHIRLY-FISHERMAN

Size: (L) 550 mm. (W) 50 mm. (H) 300 mm.
 The propeller has a diameter of approx.
 400 mm.

Materials: dressed pine, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), bronze rod, plastic bearings (white bits) and fixtures (black bits), steel crank supported by steel bearings, steel wire.

Availability: Rarely in stock due to its popularity. Usually made to order.

Price: $100
 

Magpie With Grub

When the propeller turns, the magpie bobs up and down, shaking his grub vigorously.

This whirligig is activated by the lightest of winds.

The propeller usually has four blades.

Robin often sells his magpie whirligigs to magpie lovers and supporters of Collingwood FC.

Click on photo to reveal an alternative image Code: WHIRLY-MAGPIE

Size: (L) 500 mm. (W) 50 mm. (H) 200 mm. The propeller has a dia. of approx. 400 mm.

Materials: Dressed pine, MDF, 5-ply, steel crank supported by steel single-race ball bearings, brass rod, plastic fixtures, acrylic paint. The grub is made from coloured beads threaded onto wire.

Availability: Usually in stock.

Price: $80
 

Man Cranking Truck

Kids think the man is winding the car up, when he's actually trying to crank start it. The action looks quite comical when the breeze is stiff !

By virtue of its rotary movement, this whirligig will tolerate a medium-to-strong breeze.

The truck is styled on a 1927 Chevrolet utility. It appeals to folk with a strong attachment to farming or a passion for old cars.
 

Click on the picture to reveal an alternative image. Code: WHIRLY-TRUCK

Size: (L) 500 mm. (W) 110 mm. (H) 200 mm.
The propeller has a dia. of approx. 400 mm.

Materials: dressed pine, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), bronze rod, plastic bearings (white bits) and fixtures (black bits), steel crank supported by steel bearings.

Availability: Usually in stock.

Price: $90

 

Man Cranking Tractor

This whirligig will perform well in a medium-to-strong breeze.

As the propeller turns, the driver feverishly cranks his tractor, but sadly never gets to start it.

The tractor is styled on the famous Australian grey Massey Ferguson.

Click on the picture to reveal an alternative image. Code: WHIRLY-TRACTOR

Size: (L) 500 mm. (W) 110 mm. (H) 200 mm.
The propeller has a dia. of approx. 400 mm.

Materials: dressed pine, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), bronze rod, plastic bearings (white bits) and fixtures (black bits), steel crank supported by steel bearings.

Availability: Usually in stock.

Price: $100

 

Paddle Steamer

As the propeller turns, drive is passed via the spindle and pulley to the paddle wheels.

The sign on the front of the wheelhouse and across the paddlewheel cowling usually says "Echuca".

This whirligig will operate efficiently in a light- to-moderate wind.

It is usually bought as a memento of a visit to the Murray River, and especially the Port of Echuca.

Click on the picture to reveal a larger image Code: WHIRLY-PADDLESTEAMER

Size: (L) 500 mm. (W) 50 mm. (H) 200 mm.
The propeller has a dia. of approx. 400 mm.

Materials: dressed pine, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), plastic bearings and fixtures, steel crank supported by steel bearings, acrylic signs.

Availability: Rarely in stock due to its popularity. Usually made to order.

Price: $125