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Thread: Cupola/ Weathervane design

  1. #1

    Cupola/ Weathervane design

    I am looking for a little help regarding a Cupola and Weathervane I am trying to build/ design.

    After adding an addition to my house effectively making the ridgelines into a T shape, I had to build a cupola to mask a mistake the contractor made. Instead of figuring the roof lines right, he used off-the-shelf roof trusses. That was cheaper but the two ridge lines did not match up. In fact the new addition was 16 inches higher than the original house. As viewed from the road, this looked stupid so I masked the mistake via a Cupola.

    What a job that was. My simple cupola turned into a nightmare. It had angles, widths and heights I really did not want. In fact its a whopping 48 inches square and 28 inches high...and that's just the base. So next I added the mid-section and stuck it on the roof. looked like a church steeple. That obviously would not work, so I tore off half a days worth of building and will just roof the base over and forget the mid-section.

    My plan is to match the pitch of the existing roofs (6 on 12) on the cupola and then copper the roof in the standing seam style. At the same time I want to add a weathervane. Now this is where I need help...lots of help...

    What size should I make the weathervane? Should I make the weathervane out of Stainless Steel, Mild Steel, or Aluminum (copper is out of the running on this unfortunately). Stainless steel is gorgeous and won't ever tarnish, but its very hard to work with. Aluminum is easy to cut and work up with regular woodworking tools, but its..well..aluminum. Mild steel is a bit harder to work, but we have tons of steel at the shop, literally for the taking, but I am not sure if it will match the copper roof, asphalt shingles and cedar shingle siding. Now finally the hardest question. What should I have for a weathervane motiff?

    The final result will be a cedar shingled home, with asphalt roof stuck on a very high hilltop WAY out in the country. Obvious nautical themes are out, but I thought about trees, tractors and moose, but all those things may be hard to make out of flat plate steel.

    I know, a lot of questions and no hard-fast rules on any of this. What are your thoughts on this rather ambitious project.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Hi Travis,
    Never to hard too figure out for someone else. Make the vane 2/3 s the width of the shortest distance( either the length of the ridge of the cupolo or distance or 2/3 s the width from plate to plate of the cupolo. Sounds official, and then choose an animal, or tractor or mood or element like the sun or Saturn or three 1950 milk bottles that you like and have a 9th grade artist carve a flat replica that can then be cast in aluminum by another ninth grade metal shop worker, with mounting brackets,, that have been predetermined to work with the arrow to which it will be mounted, ( made in welding shop by a 10th grader with a swivel bracket and mounting plate, to fit the pitch of your new cupolo. I can see it now! .. you know we are just brainstorming. Good Luck
    Last edited by Robert Schaubhut; 06-14-2007 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Sp.
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