Sunday, April 19, 2015

Water Barrel Tower

I've wanted to do this project for a long time, but there is no way I'm shelling out $100 for a 55 gallon water barrel so it had to wait until I found a better option. And at last, I did. I located a steady supply of 55 gallon barrels that were used for food flavoring, for $25. It's a bit of a drive to pick them up, but even factoring in diesel they're still a fraction of what I was finding anywhere else. Plus we got to eat at BJ's Brewhouse. Because, beer, yay!

A half day's road trip, two beers, a Home Depot stop, and a swing through the Starbucks drive through later, we arrived home with this mess. 3 barrels that smell like peach syrup, 10 2x4x8, a sheet of 7/16ths OSB, and assorted plumbing for the chicken waterer.

I intend to use it to replace THIS mess
Originally I'd planned to use 4x4 posts for the legs, until I saw how much they cost. To save money I decided to just sister up a pair of 2x4, fitting the horizontals in between to put the weight on the uprights instead of on screws.
You should be proud of me too. 
I turned over a new leaf... I measured. Twice. 
And only had to cut once this time. 
Except I forgot to measure the uprights so the first frame has half a foot sticking off the top. And look, the mess is gone! As an added bonus my husband discovered a brand new, never used finish nailer. Well, bonus for me anyway. Our broken finish nailer was his excuse to not tack up some crown molding I'd been working on, heh.
No worries, I didn't make the same mistake twice. 
Now to stuff a barrel in there and figure out how long the side braces need to be.
This was how I was going to go at first, until I got to looking at how the barrel was lining up. The weight didn't seem like it'd be on the strongest point. SO, I pushed the frames together a bit more.
That's better. The side braces ended up being 24". 
Time to pull out the barrel and start hooking it all together.
I got this far before I used up the second cordless drill battery. To be fair, the second one had only been on the charger for an hour and this thing is close to 10 years old so it barely holds a charge any more. Time to get a new one.

Also remember how I picked up 10 2x4x8? Good thing I had an extra one in the garage, coz it took 11 to make this thing. 

Pulled battery off the charger, hoping it would have enough to get the last 6 screws in place.
Oh I'm not really done. I still need to get some plumbing for it and I'm going to put that OSB on the side by the door so I can add shelves, but I need another set of hands to help me run the OSB through the table saw and it's Sunday so I can't go buy the faucets. But I'll get that done tomorrow, and for once, I've got a project that didn't spend 2 years sitting around in pieces. I'm thinking by Tuesday it'll be done and I"ll have another 150 +/- gallons of drinking water set aside.

Or maybe not....

On the advice of a trusted friend, I went back in and added cradles to help distribute the weight of the barrels more evenly. Basically they're a 2x4 with little wedges along their length, that run the length of the barrel on both sides. Sort of like the rails on a boat trailer.

And here's where I sit now. I picked up faucets but they won't work so I need to take them back. Will just order some online since no one local has any. Joys of small town living. Already got the chainsaws tossed up on top where they'll spend a millenia collecting dust and spiders. 

I need to pick up some oil based Kilz, get it tinted, and paint that thing. 
Maybe I'll paint the whole garage while I'm at it! :D

If you make a similar project, don't buy these faucets. 
They leak, as I just found out an hour ago, grrrr. Off to find better faucets.


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