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I bought a rain gauge for the garden. It consists of a long steel stick and an upper part that holds the jar. The upper part is merely put on top; there is no screw thread or anything to stick both parts together. Thus, the upper part can easily rotate.

I am looking for ways to prevent that rotation without adhering both parts forever (because we might want to disassemble it again). It'd be okay if the rotation is not completely prevented, but needs much more force to do so. The goal is to avoid unintended rotation (e.g. by wind/weather or touching). But it's also alright to prevent rotation completely.

The space between stick and upper part, when put together, is very small. Liquids can move into the gap, but solids (like adhesive tape) must be very thin in order to fit inside.

It must be possible to adhere the upper part to the stick when the stick is already sticked into the ground in the garden. (Reason: The thermometer on the upper part is delicate, so I can't risk having it on top when I force the stick into the ground.)

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Things I tried:

  • adhesive tape around the stick: doesn't work. Either it doesn't stick so that it just moves downwards when the upper part is put on top (with force). Or it sticks well and the upper part just doesn't go over it.
  • electrical tape put inside the upper part: it is thin and flexible enough so that it's possible to put both parts together, and if I use the right amount, I can move the upper part down as much as intended (with force), and rotation needs more force to occur. But only until I rotate once or twice - then the tape is squashed enough so that there is not much difference to no tape.

Things I thought about:

  • hot glue: put stick into intended position in garden, then glue some hot glue on the upper part of the stick, then quickly put upper part on top. But I don't know if this can be done fast enough before the glue becomes solid, since the stick is outside in autumn/winter and made of steel.
  • silicone: allows adjusting everything without haste since it takes ~48h to dry. But will it stick to steel? And will it even dry? It's between two layers of metal and no air can move in or out!
  • screw a horizontal hole into both parts (when put together), then use bolt and nut to prevent rotation. theoretically the best option. But it requires me to make no mistake, I have only one try. Also, I have metal drills but I don't know if they work in steel. The rain gauge wasn't cheap!
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  • Silicone should work, it dries in the tube with the cap on(don't know how many half used tubes). Could also try self tapping screws if you have a battery drill or long enough extension. Would drill small hole in top piece first so screw digs in fast.
    – crip659
    Nov 9, 2021 at 21:51
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    use heatshrink tubing on the outside of the joint ... a 5 cm piece of surgical tubing may also work
    – jsotola
    Nov 9, 2021 at 21:52
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    I would think a bit of superglue should do it, just don't use too much. It is brittle, so when it comes time to disassemble, just twist (with enough force) and the glue will crack.
    – Glen Yates
    Nov 9, 2021 at 22:43
  • FRAME CHALLENGE: Since it was an expensive item (presumes price indicates quality) yet comes from the manufacturer with the ability to spin in the wind, what makes you think being able to rotate freely is a problem that you have to solve? If the mfgr designed and shipped it this way, one might think that they've also designed it to be perfectly functional with this feature/bug.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 10, 2021 at 13:44
  • @FreeMan Yes, it is perfectly functional, but I don't want it to spin. The old rain gauge I had did not spin and I like it that way.
    – Kjara
    Nov 11, 2021 at 20:24

2 Answers 2

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You (don't realize yet that you) want that part freely removable - otherwise you cannot easily reset (dump) the rain gauge.

So, put two additional sticks in the ground next to it to prevent rotation, & call it a day.

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  • Dumping the rain gauge was my first thought, too, however, maybe the plastic measuring cup is easily removable from the rings that keep it from falling? Agree with the additional sticks: +1.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 10, 2021 at 13:42
  • The plastic jar just hangs in the upper part and can be taken out easily. This does not change when the upper part is attached to the stick.
    – Kjara
    Nov 11, 2021 at 20:20
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I'd suggest trying to very slightly deform the stick so it causes a bit of friction between the stick and the top cap that fits over the stick. Whether you dent it slightly, or bend it ever so slightly, just something to cause a bit of friction to keep it from freely spinning. Just do it little by little until you get the friction you're wanting.

Or you could slightly deform the top that fits over the stick. Not sure which will be easier, but that's what I'd try.

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  • yeah, put a kink in the end of the stick so that it rubs in the tube
    – Jasen
    Nov 10, 2021 at 23:36

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