History of the Storm Glass Barometer

So you want to know the history behind the storm glass barometer. How does it work? Read on to learn more!

A storm glass barometer is a device used to measure atmospheric pressure. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe popularized the storm glass barometer using principles established by Evangelista Torricelli. Torricelli is credited as the actual inventor of the barometer, but it should be noted that he invented the mercury barometer. Goethe, who might have understood the dangers associated with handling and working with mercury, decided water was a safer alternative that worked just as well.

How does the storm glass barometer work?

The storm glass has a sealed body and a long spout. The long, narrow spout is connected to the sealed body below the intended water level, and extends to rise above the intended water level at the top. When the sealed body is filled halfway with water, air pressure is trapped within the body and is held constant.

The spout, however, is open to the outside air pressure, which is always changing. When the air pressure is low, the air inside the sealed body is heavier and pushes water up the spout – as a result, the water level in the spout rises above the water level in the sealed body. On the other hand, when the air pressure is high, the outside air is heavier and the water level in the spout will be pushed down – as a result, the water level in the spout drops below the water level in the sealed body.

So what does this mean? Well, low air pressure is less stable and often leads atmospheric instability causing “stormy” or rainy weather. High pressure creates a “dome” of stable air and can be associated with clear, calm weather. When water moves up the spout, this signals the onset of rainy or stormy weather with the coming of less stable air. Barometers even have the ability to indicate the onset of potentially severe weather – watch for a rapidly rising water level.

How accurate are storm glass barometers?

Storm glass barometers are very sensitive and will indicate changes in atmospheric pressure almost immediately.  In fact, storm glass barometers are sensitive enough to register the slight air pressure difference between the attic and basement of a three-story house. Developed in the mid 1600’s, it is quite amazing that barometers are still widely used as means of reliable weather forecasting today. In fact, a barometer can even be as accurate, if not more so, than your local news station weatherman or certified meteorologist.

Free woodworking plan available

Click here to download our new woodworking plan that will guide you to create a modest base to display our world storm glass barometer.

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

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Free Desk Set Woodworking Plan

While Klockit offers some very unique products, the World Storm Glass Barometer is one of my personal favorites. We recently released a new woodworking plan that will help you create a modest, but decorative, base to display the storm glass barometer.

Add a micro-mini clock insert, pen, and nameplate to your completed wood base to make it a functional desk set that’s sure to spark conversations. It’s also the perfect project to share with younger woodworkers, as it can secretly intermingle a bit of history and science into the fun and rewarding aspects of woodworking.

The best part? It’s free! Click here to download the woodworking plan.

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Ready to get started?

Click here to download the woodworking plan that will guide you to create a base to display our world storm glass barometer.

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 13 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written/illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.

Free Woodworking Plan: Spinning Gypsy Fortune Teller Base

Last month, we introduced the novel and entertaining Spinning Gypsy Fortune Teller (#42018). This month, our team is proud to introduce a free woodworking plan for the fortune teller that w42018ill construct a simple base plate to serve as a display.

The wood base plate described in this plan can be made from most any type of wood desired. The finished size will be 5” X 5” X 3/4″.

Step 1:

Begin by marking vertical and horizontal center line marks on what will be the face surface of the wood blank. The intersection of these lines (at center) will denote the location of the 2-1/8” recess where the fortune teller will be seated within.

General base plate dimensions are shown below. Please refer to Step 2 for profiling recommendations to accent your base plate. Note that a 2-1/8” diameter forstner (or multi-spur) bit can be used to create the counter-bore.

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Step 2: Profiling

Various router bits can be used to create a desired profile that will provide accent to the base plate wood piece. You can find seven illustrated examples of common profiles below.

When using router bits to create profiles, we recommend completing the profile in numerous passes in order to maximize personal safety and the longevity of the bit. Make certain to wear the recommended protective equipment as detailed in the manufacturer’s manuals. Last but not least, we also recommend experimenting with profiles on a scrap wood piece before diving into the base plate itself.

Style 1:

prof-1This profile would be machined on a table saw or with a raised panel beveling router bit. Table saw machining will require the plate to be secured to a shop made jig (which is secured to a sled) so that the plate can be safely beveled standing up.

 

Style 2:

prof-2This profile would be machined with a cove router bit. While we illustrate a 3/8” radius cove, note that cove bits come in a variety of sizes.

 

Style 3:

prof-3The profile illustrated is a bull-nose profile. We illustrate a 5/8” bull-nose radius, leaving a 1/16” thick ledge at the top/bottom of the wood piece.

 

Style 4:

prof-4The profile shown is an ogee profile. We illustrate a ¼” double radii ogee profile.

 

 

Style 5:

prof-5This profile shows a 45 degree bevel created by a chamfer bit. In this example, 3/8” of the entire 3/4″ thickness is beveled 45 degrees.

 

Style 6:

6The profile shown is one example of various classical bit profiles which are available. Classical bits usually combine coves, round-overs, ogees, and/or beads to create a compound profile.

 

Style 7:

7-styleEither profile can be created with a round-over bit (also referred to as a beading bit).  Depending on the height setting of the bit, either a simple round-over or round-over with ledge can be created.  We illustrate a 3/8” radius round-over in both examples.

Step 3: Finishing

Once all machining has been completed, sand the block with medium (#150) and fine (#220) grit sandpaper in preparation for finishing. The block can be stained and finished however you would prefer; it may also alternatively be primed and painted to suite desired décor. There are additional options to enhance and/or personalize your base plate, including nameplates, small ball feet, and micro-mini clock inserts.

Once complete, set the spinning gypsy fortune teller within the 2-1/8” counter-bore to proudly display the fortune teller and your handcrafted base plate.

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Questions?

Please post any questions about this woodworking plan in the comments section below. Our team promises to answer them within 24 hours!