How to Make a Wind Spinner From a Bicycle Wheel

Bike wheel rims make efficient windmills.
••• mountain bike tire macro image by laurent dambies from

An old bicycle rim can be tuned into a wind spinner or windmill easily. The rim is light weight and the ball bearings packed around the axle allow it to turn easily even in low winds. The spokes in the rim are angled so that they can be made into vanes to catch the wind. The materials needed to convert the bike rim into a wind spinner can be purchased at your local hardware store. If you do not have an old bike lying around, check your local junk stores and thrift shops to find one.

    Lay the bike rim down flat. The pairs of spokes make a "V" shape with a space between each "V." Beginning 2 inches out from the hub, wrap plastic box tape around each of the pairs of spokes that make a "V" shape. Leave an open space between each vane that you seal with the tape.

    Dig the hole so that it is three times larger than the post.
    ••• post hole digger image by Joann Cooper from

    Dig a post hole 24 inches deep in the spot you want the spinner to go using the post-hole digger. The hole should be at least 12 inches across.

    Pour 6 inches of gravel in the bottom of the post hole. The gravel will protect the wooden post from rotting and allow rainwater to drain.

    When the post is plumb, the bubble is in the middle of the level.
    ••• carpenters level image by Richard Seeney from

    Place the 4-inch post into the hole and place the carpenter’s level against the post. Adjust the angle of the post until it is level. Brace it with a 2-by-4 board after leveling to keep it level while pouring in the concrete

    Mix the quick-setting concrete in a 5-gallon bucket according to the instructions on the bag. Pour concrete into the post hole on top of the gravel. Allow the concrete to set before adding more soil to the hole.

    Fill the post hole with soil until it is level with the nearby ground. Pack it down firmly with the 2-by-4 board. Add more soil as needed after packing to ensure it is at least as high as the ground around the hole.

    Drill a hole in the center of the post top with the power drill. Place one of the dock washers over the screw hole. Place the other dock washer onto the hex screw and push the screw through the hole in the short end of the corner brace.

    Insert the hex screw point through the dock washer and into the hole in the post. Tighten the screw down with the socket wrench, but leave enough room so that the corner brace can move as the wind pushes at the spinner from different directions.

    Insert the threaded axle of the bike rim into the hole at the top of the brace and lock it in place with the washer and nut. Now your bicycle wheel spinner is ready to turn in even very light winds.

    Things You'll Need

    • Bicycle wheel with nuts and washers
    • Steel corner brace, 8 by 1/14 inches
    • 2 each 5/8-inch dock washers
    • Hex lag screw, 5/8-by-4-inch long
    • Box sealing tape
    • 4-inch square post, 6 feet long
    • Post-hole digger
    • Power drill with 5/8-inch bit
    • Socket wrench with 5/8-inch socket
    • Gravel
    • Carpenter’s level
    • 2-by-4 board
    • Quick setting concrete, 10-pound bag


    • Attach a weather vane tail to the bike rim spinner to keep it pointed in the direction from which the wind is coming. The air pressure pushes the tail around away from the wind direction, and the wind turns your spinner.


    • Always wear safety glasses when using power tools to prevent damage to your eyes.

Related Articles

How to Build a Frog Trap
How to Build a Rube Goldberg Device to Raise a Flag
How to Make a Wind Break While Camping
How Can I Make a Watch Tower for a School Project?
How to Mount a Circuit Board in an Electronic Project...
How to Build a Windmill Model
Sources of Organic Matter in Soil
How to Build an Easy Catapult for Kids
Egg Parachute Design Instructions
How to Calculate Tire Turns Per Mile
How to Build a Model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
How to Build a Mini Fan
How to Build a Wind Turbine as a School Project
How to Build a Crane for a School Project
How to Make a Model Wind Pump Science Project
5th Grade Simple Machine Ideas
How to Make an Electric Fan
How To Make a Compound Machine for a School Project
How to Make a Classroom Palm Tree
How to Build an Egg Catapult