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How to Make an Anemometer - Weather Vane


Storm Clouds, Saskatchewan, Canada
Paul Souders/ Stone/ Getty Images
Wind velocity or speed is measured by a cup anemometer, an instrument with three or four small hollow metal hemispheres set so that they catch the wind and revolve about a vertical rod.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: An afternoon

Here's How:

  1. The anemometer cups are made from the aluminum. Cut 2 circles about 4 inches in diameter.
  2. Cut the circles in half along the diagonal
  3. Join the straight edges with aluminum solder, making 4 small cups
  4. Attach the cups to 2 crossed sticks, so that all are heading in the same direction
  5. Join sticks to dowel stock as follows: Nail, glass bead, crossed sticks, glass bead, dowel stock


  1. The glass beads will act as bearings so the wind will turn the anemometer freely.
  2. The anemometer will spin faster as the force of the wind increases.
  3. See diagram to the left.

What You Need

  • Thin sheets of aluminum (or cardboard)
  • Dowel stock - round wooden rod
  • 2 glass beads
  • 2 thin wooden sticks, 18 inches x 1/2 inch
  • Aluminum solder
  • Nail
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