I’ve been picking away at this for a few months now. It felt good to put the last sealer coat on today. I wasn’t sure if I needed to balance the blades or the pivot point or not so I took him outside for a test chop. He start chopping with a gust of wind so I left him as is.
I got the plans from this book Making Animated Whirligigs (Dover Woodworking). I modified the chopping block from the original plans because I forgot to cut out the chopping block. I ended up using a branch for the chopping block. The sail is also smaller as I couldn't resaw a piece of 6x8 in pine on my tablesaw. My sail is 4x6 in. The sail has no problem directing the blades into the wind.
Also, I couldn't bend a 1/4 bolt over a rock in my backyard so I used a brass rod as suggested in another whirligig book found here:The Art And Craft of Whirligig Construction
However I just hammered the brass over the edge of a sledge hammer instead of soldering.
If I had an anvil I could have bend the 1/4in carriage bolt no problem.