Adding A Weathervane To A Cupola

What You'll Need
Electric drill with a 3/4 -inch diameter
Ball bearings
Long-shank drill bit
Heavy-duty grease like wheel-bearing grease (any other grease can be used but it should not melt under high temperatures)
Pilot level
Declination map (magnetic)
Silicone caulk
Wet patch
Phillips screwdriver (medium-sized)

A cupola is a practical installation, usually found in the topmost part of large roofs. Cupolas can be easily recognized as the small dome-like structures crowning the top of big houses and outdoor pavilions. Adding a weathervane is an easy way of adding style to a cupola. Weathervanes are useful for keeping the weather out by restricting the amount of wind entering the interiors. Installing a weathervane might seem like a challenging task, but by following some simple instructions, you can do it without any trouble.

Basics of Weathervane Installation

The conventional method of adding a weathervane is by using the cross brace. This is the mounting method common to most cupola-based applications. Cross braces serve as the structural support upon which spires are mounted. The cross brace method of weathervane installation is based upon one critical factor — accurately measuring the length of the spire. This is required to establish the distance between the cupola’s peak and the installation point of the cross brace. An accurate measurement ensures that the appropriate amount of spire is left sticking-out from the cupola and the vane movement is smooth. 

Installing The Weathervane

Using the level and the electric drill, make a small hole through the uppermost point of the cupola. The size of the hole should be approximated by measuring the diameter of the base rod of the weathervane. The hole should be able to accommodate the thickest diameter of the rod. Push the vertical rod of the weathervane inside the cupola. The rod should hit the cross brace. The rod will have to pushed with great effort, as it is usually very stiff. The rod can be plumbed to assist the weathervane move in accordance with the wind direction.

Screw the cupola flange on top of the cross brace to secure it. Fasten the setscrew for securing the rod along the cupola flange. Secure the hole along the peak of the cupola using the silicone caulk. If you want to strengthen it, you can use the wet patch. Assemble the rings, directionals and globes on the weathervane’s spire.

Use the compass for orienting the directional alphabet ‘N’ towards the true North. For accurately establishing the true North, you can use a declination map. Using the grease, coat the section of the spire that will be covered by the weathervane. Insert a steel ball into the mounting tube, located at the base of the weathervane.

Do a quick check — the vane should slide on top of the spire. The vane should clear the flared section of the spire. Rectify any irregularity in the vane movement by adding more ball bearings.