~ Keeping them spinning ~
"Maintaining the old gigs at Hutch"
There are a few whirligigs (five I think) that have been on our front fence at Hutch for over 20 years. Even though they were very well crafted they are still subjected to the elements all year round and in our climate that means a great deal of rain and wind. They are mostly made of light metals that even though they are partially painted will rust. Screws will loosen and parts will fall off. Fortunately these are easy fixes. As I watch them spin in the wind I notice if one is not keeping up I bring it in to the shop and examine it more closely. This one pictured here is an old timer I call the "Everything Gig" and was moving slowly, so I brought it inside for a check up. It was missing a couple of small windcatchers that I easily replaced with new ones but the problem was not as simple as that. It was internal. I took the hub apart, cleaned the bearings and repacked it with a generous amount of grease but it still wasn't moving smoothly. There comes a point when the metal that the ball bearings are in contact with gets rough and pitted and at that point there isn't much you can do. It will still move, but will need a stronger wind. The older I get the more I can relate. One old whirligig to another.