1. Download the free patterns for this project (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software).
2. Enlarge the Uncle Sam Whirligig pattern 140 percent.
3. Using a scrollsaw with a #5R blade, cut the body from 1 inch pine and arms from 1/8-inch Baltic birch plywood. Use a table saw or a radial-arm saw to cut the base of the stand and the arm connectors from 1-inch pine. Cut the stand from 4-inch pine. Drill all holes where shown on the exploded-view diagram (the Uncle Sam Whirligig pattern).
4. Sand all surfaces with 100- and then 150-grit sandpaper; remove the sanding dust with a tack cloth. Apply waterproof wood glue to the narrow end of each arm, then insert the arm into the arm connector slot until it seats; secure with 5/8-inch stainless steel nails. Clean up any extra glue before it dries.
5. Cut two pieces of brass tube 3/4 inch long and epoxy each brass tube in a connector for the arms. The tube should extend slightly beyond the connector on each side of the hole. Clean up any adhesive that may be inside the tube. Secure the dowel in the body with wood glue; reinforce the bond with a 1-1/8-inch stainless steel nail from the back of the body.
6. Install the B.B. into the hole in the bottom of the feet. Epoxy the remaining brass tube (1-1/2-inch long) into the hole in the feet, hammering it down until the tube stops at the B.B. The tube should be nearly hidden in the body. Do not attach the arms to the dowel until the whirligig is completely painted and varnished.
7. To spin easily, arm assemblies should be balanced before painting. Temporarily install arms. Gently spin first in one direction, then in the opposite direction. The arm should stay in the position in which it stops. If it returns to just one position, it is unbalanced. By sanding small amounts of wood from the arm section that stops at the bottom, it will eventually become balanced.
8. Glue and nail the stand pieces together, centering the stand over the stand base. Drill a hole 2 inches deep in the center of the stand as shown on the diagram. Apply wood sealer to all surfaces; let it dry. Sand again, and wipe clean.
Continued on page 3: Painting Fun