Tractor Weathervane

Tractor Weathervane

Our John Deere Tractor weathervane stands out really well on the gable end of this barn, and we’re glad to hear our customer is delighted with it. We sent the weathervane out initially with a standard 18” long pole as usual, but when the customer came to mount it, he discovered that this was not quite long enough for the intended location, so contacted us to order another. We were happy to swap the standard pole for a longer one free of charge, as the returned pole can easily be re used for someone else.

We’ve produced a range of tractor weathervane designs now, though many of them from more of a vintage era than this. We’d love to expand our range in this area, so can produce new tractor designs for no extra cost. Check out our current range of Excavator and Tractor weathervanes on the link below – they make a great gift for farmers as they can be personalised to whatever extent your imagination will allow.

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/tractors-excavators

A bespoke Tractor weathervane we produced recently began as a Massey Ferguson 135, so a fairly straightforward design to produce there. Our customer then realised how much more unique the gift would be if we were able to include her father driving the Tractor, plus some of his animals. The only issue I have with designs like this is that the more individual components in a design, the smaller everything will have to be in order for the sail to balance, which is vital in the functioning of the weathervane. So we ended up adding a Cow, Sheep, Pig and Chickens, along with a waving driver, making it completely unique and personalised; a great gift for any farmer!Tractor Weathervane image

 

Giraffe Weathervane

giraffe weathervane photoThis bespoke weathervane depicts a typically African scene. The design depicts a Giraffe seeking shade under an Acacia tree, reaching down to take a drink. The weathervane is based on a house sign design we produced for the same customer last year. The house name is Kisima, which means ‘watering hole’ in Swahili. The house has a well, and our customer says she loves to feed and water friends and family, so this weathervane represents that – a great idea for a personalised design.

Due to the relatively large surface area at the top of the Acacia tree combined with the thin trunk, we’ve welded a support rod from the base of the tree to where the branches split off. This supports the trunk, which could be quite vulnerable without it.

Deer Weathervane

Deer Weathervane PhotoLast week we posted a swinging sign featuring two deer, well here’s a weathervane with a very similar design, showing a Stag and Doe stood in fern undergrowth. Our customer has sent in this photo of their weathervane mounted on top of their summerhouse, bought as a 70th birthday present. A great gift for a nature lover! They chose the Celtic style arrow, and scrolls under the letter bars, but all of our weathervane designs are also available with a plain, more traditional arrow, and cardinal points without the scrolls for a more contemporary look.

Crane Weathervane Gdansk

This time last year we undertook an epic journey, driving our 93 Fiat Panda (which had previously been off the road for some time) from Manchester to Saint Petersburg and back.  Along the way it was great to see the changes in architectural styles, going up through Sweden and Finland, in to Russia, then back through the Baltics and Northern Europe.

Obviously we have a special interest in decorative metalwork (for which Saint Petersburg certainly did not disappoint), especially weathervanes.  Though there were some great examples on the whole trip (some of which I may get round to posting on here one day), especially on the Russian Orthodox churches, one place really stood out for weathervanes and that was Gdansk.

We only spent 2 nights in Gdansk but it is definitely on the list of places we would love to revisit and spend more time.  Its historic centre was virtually levelled during the Second World War and faced with the choice of recreating the original town or starting afresh the decision was made to rebuild, based on historic photos, documents and plans.  They did make some changes to make the buildings more practical, indeed the roads now have bigger public garden spaces between them.  By drawing rooms level in neighbouring buildings more practical flats were created and on top of all of these reconstructions are dated weathervanes!

Weathervane of Crane, dated 1993.

Weathervane fitted to medieval crane in Gdansk

On the docks one of the most recognisable landmarks of Gdansk is the medieval crane, and it has this iconic weathervane on top.  It is unusual in Gdansk as most of the weathervanes are the more traditional banner types, seen in the image below.

2 weathervanes on top of church spires dated 1808 and 1978

Traditional banner style weathervanes in Gdansk

I think this is a great way to recognise the dates that the buildings were completed, a weathervane is in my opinion the perfect way to top off a new building in style.

Dancers Weathervane

Dancers Weathervane ImageA great photo we’ve just received from a customer showing our Rock n roll dancers weathervane insitu. They had seen our Charleston weathervane online, and contacted us to see if we could make some changes, which as usual we were happy to do at no extra cost. These are the only two dancing themed weathervanes we’ve created so far, but would love to extend our portfolio on this theme! It would make a great personalised gift for anyone who shares this hobby, as we can create a design based on any style of dance.

Motorbike Weathervanes

 

We just thought we would write a post about a couple of the new designs we have done as bespoke weathervanes for customers.  These two motorcycle designs are a nice contrast, with the simplicity of the Panther M100 and the VFR800, with its fully faired wind tunnel design.  While we have created both of these designs for weathervanes, now we have done the design work we could incorporate them into a sign or even a hanging basket bracket!  Generally getting a design done based on a vintage bike is much easier than more modern faired bikes as, with all their components exposed, there is much more definition in silhouette.  The key with the VFR was picking out the distinctive lines without making it look like there are holes in the bike!

Motorbike weathervane image

The Panther model 100 has become a popular choice as a classic bike, with the very characteristics which made it less desirable when new really lending themselves towards making a great classic bike.  While its long stroke 600cc single cylinder was not as ‘exciting’ as some of the multi cylinder bikes of the same era its lazy characteristics, along with reliable overhead valves makes it the perfect choice for bumbling along country lanes.  Besides there are plenty of more modern machines out there for those that want something a little more lively.  The M100 was in production from 1932-1967, with the earlier bikes (like this one) having a rigid frame, so no suspension on the rear!

motorcycle weathervane

The VFR800 we based this weathervane on is very much at the other end of the scale in terms of performance, though it is very popular as a touring bike.  The Honda V4 engines fitted to the VFR has (other than very early on when ‘chocolate cams’ was an issue) a legendary reputation for reliability and has great performance and a very distinctive engine note.  This particular model was the first 800, where the change was made from carbs to fuel injection, along with having radiators mounted on both sides, rather than the previous 750 models, completely changing the style of the bike.  Unlike the Panther the VFRs were recognised as classics from the off, winning countless accolades as bike of the year and proving the perfect balance between performance and comfort.

Despite these bikes representing different ends of the motorcycle spectrum they are both bikes I would love to have in my garage, though in terms of the Honda I do have a soft spot for the last VFR750 built from 1994-1997… fingers crossed someone will ask us to make a sign or weathervane based on one soon!

 

Vintage Sewing Machine Weathervane

Sewing weathervaneAnother totally unique weathervane design to add to our collection! This one depicts a vintage sewing machine with fabric blowing in the wind. Initially the customer contacted us asking to have a lady sat on the bar sewing; this was to be a gift for his sister who is a retired seamstress. I drew the design as described and though we were relatively happy with it, I think having the lady in there made the sewing machine proportionally too small, and it was difficult to get the angle and perspective right where the beautiful detail of the vintage machine was visible while also looking right with the way the lady was sat. So after discussing it with the customer, we opted to just have the sewing machine larger on the weathervane sail, and with some flowing fabric blowing in the wind. The sewing scissors were a later addition suggested by the customer; we tried various ways of fitting them onto the sail, but it never really looked right so we cut four and welded them beneath the letter bars in place of scrolls instead. It’s always a lot of work producing a design that is personalised to this extent, but I’m so glad we persevered with it as it’s so totally unique to the customer, and as the vintage sewing machines are so beautiful it was well worth taking advantage and making the most of this with our design.

Steam Train Weathervane

Train weathervaneAnother great customer photo received last week showing a steam train weathervane; the design is based on the LMS Jubilee model. The contrast between the matt black powder coat and the cloudy sky really makes the laser cut train stand out. We can produce a weathervane design based on any model of steam train; a fantastic gift for any enthusiast!

Customers Home Made Weathervane

We’ve just received some photos back from a customer who made their own weathervane as a gift for their in-laws. We were happy to offer advice on some of the key areas of weathervane manufacture, critically the balancing of the sail, in order for it to function correctly.

They had settled on a Labrador design and got in touch as they felt our Labrador weathervane silhouette was just right.  Though we do not supply any of our designs to other manufacturers, as we would have no control over quality and it could damage our reputation, it is always nice to help out DIYers and a weathervane does make a great metalwork project.  In this case the customer was an experienced welder and, being well aware of the importance of rust protection (especially as the finished weathervane was going to be in Cornwall) had already made plans to get the weathervane powder coated, with a zinc primer underneath for additional protection, so clearly the weathervane was always going to be made to a high standard.   All our exterior metalwork is zinc electro-plated and powder coated, so this finish is fairly similar in durability.

At the powder coaters

I think this photo of the finished weathervane speaks for itself, it looks just right on the building and hopefully will continue to be a feature on the horizon for many years to come.

Up in situ

Fox Weathervane in the snow

Fox Weathervane ImageA great photo of our Fox weathervane covered in snow, following the very wintery weather we had last week! This is a miniature size weathervane and sits on top of a hexagonal obelisk, a unique and beautiful feature for any garden. We actually produced this piece almost seven years ago, and it still looks as good as it did back then, proving the quality of the finish we use. A fantastic gift for a gardener, as it can be so easily personalised with a bespoke weathervane design to reflect the recipient’s interests.