Introduction: Mistick - As in Mist Stick!
First Prize in the
Summer #mikehacks Contest
Summer is a great time for getting outdoors and enjoying time with family and friends, only sometimes the enjoyment is curtailed by the brutal summer heat. The Mistick is here to help!! There are many products available to provide a cooling mist in a fixed area, such as attached to a deck or awning, but what about in the middle of the yard where people are sitting and you don't want to get drenched from a sprinkler?
Drive a Mistick into the ground and turn on the water, instant cooling mist where you want it. You can move it easily so the wind can carry the mist to you rather than having to move to where the wind sends the mist from a fixed system. Wind changes direction? No problem, pull up the Mistick and move it to where it needs to be!
Lets get this thing built!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Simple tools are needed for this build:
Hot glue gun (if you want to use it)
5/32" drill bit
5/16" drill bit
Materials are easy too. I picked all of the PVC up at my local Lowes so those are the numbers listed but you can get it at any home improvement center. The tent stake is available from many locations. I have the parts listed to make one Mistick, but because you only need 6 of the mist heads for each one, I got enough parts to make 2 of them for around $15.00 total and doubled the fun.
1 ea - 10" nail type tent stake - $ 0.50 (Walmart)
1 pkg - Mister Landscaper 12-pack quarter circle spray heads - #8269 - $5.86
1 ea - Apollo 1/2" PVC male adapter - #194638 - $1.92
2 ea - Lasco 1/2" PVC end cap - #23937 - $0.29
1 ea - Lasco 1/2" 90 degree Tee (slip/threaded) - #23930 - $0.66
1 ea - Charlotte 1/2"x5' PVC pipe - #23967 - $1.17 (you will need to cut a 1-1/2" piece off the end of this for a connector)
One last thing you will need is a plastic cap (or two depending on how thick they are) from an empty soda or water bottle.
As an alternative to the spray heads listed, you can use true brass mist heads to confine the mist to a smaller area and not use as much water. Here in Kansas I want the wind to help cool as large an area as possible and we do have the wind! One option is the Orbit Mist nozzle (Model# 10106H) available at several locations online at around $10.00/5 pack. Be sure to check the thread diameter and drill an appropriate size hole.
Step 2: Let's Get Drilling!
First, take your 58-1/2" pipe (remember you had to cut a 1-1/2" piece off of it?) and mark a straight line down the edge of it. The easiest way I have found to do this is to set it into a door jamb and trace a straight line along the jamb. Place 5 marks on it, spaced every 10" starting from the top. This will be the location of 5 of the 6 mister heads, the last one will go in the top cap.
Now, using the 5/32" drill bit, drill a hole at each of your marks and one in the top cap. You only want to drill through one side of the PVC, not through both sides. Finally, drill a 5/16" hole in the bottom cap.
These bit sizes work well for the parts listed, please double check the diameter of the parts you are using for a snug fit on both the tent stake and mister heads.
Step 3: Building the Stake
The first thing you need to do for the base is plug in your hot glue gun, if you are going to use it, then you can cut your bottle cap to the approximate outside diameter of the 1/2" pipe. Its okay to be a little bit smaller, as it must fit inside the end cap, but no smaller then the inside diameter of the pipe since the pipe will be holding it in place. If the caps are very thin, which mine were, you may need to double them up and connect them with a dab of hot glue.
Next, you need to insert the tent stake through the bottom cap from the inside out. These usually have small ridges near the head so you need to tap them though because you only want about 1/8" of space between the head and bottom of the cap. Here is where you can use a number of methods to lock in the stake, I chose hot glue but you can use epoxy or some other adhesive that won't harm PVC.
Let the hot glue run down beside the stake head and fill in the gap below, then fill it so the head is just covered. Now, drop in the soda cap and press it firmly into the hot glue. It is OK if some squeezes around the top, just be sure to clean it off once the glue has set up so the PVC bond will work. Hang it to set up; I dropped mine in the grates of the refrigerator shelf so it stayed upright and hardened quickly.
Why does the camera always focus on the glove?
Step 4: Assembly
Gather your parts for the base assembly and break out the PVC primer and glue. Glue the 1-1/2" connector to the stake assembly, then glue that piece to the tee. Now you can screw the hose adapter to the tee as well. I used a little bit of Teflon tape to help lubricate the threads and provide a better seal, your decision. Its not like this thing isn't designed to throw water all over, so I doubt a little leak in the threads would matter, it just helped screw in the adapter.
Next glue the pipe to the other end of the tee and the top cap to the far end. Remember the end you measured from is the top since the bottom measurement is a little shorter due to cutting off the connector.
Now its just a matter of screwing the mist heads in the 5/32" holes you drilled! The heads will groove their own threads, just don't push them too far or they will strip. If the hole is a little to big, you can wrap the threads with some Teflon tape to fill in the gap. While it looks nice to have all the heads facing the same way, it functions perfectly if they are in all directions, so don't force it when you turn them!
Step 5: Let's Try This Thing Out!
OK, all the heads are in and the glue is drying, time to clean up the mess and hook this up.
The Mistick, built as shown, puts out a large mist plume and a good amount of water per hour, so you can plant it pretty far away from you and your guests and cool off a large area. High winds are no match for the Mistick!
When you put it in the ground, push it down from the 5' pipe, not from the tee or hose connection.
One last thing. As you can see, the stake on the bottom is long and sharp and the Mistick has the potential to cause injury if proper care is not taken. Be sure to watch if children are playing around it that it doesn't become dislodged and expose the stake.
Thanks so much for checking out the Mistick, hope you get a chance to build one or two and please take the time to vote!! As always, feedback and pictures are welcome!
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