The idea of this project was to see if some sort of enhancement to the appearance of the barrel could be made, preferably using recycled materials. This instructable is an example design.
There are many variations on the design of a rain barrel. The design for the rain barrel I chose was from this instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Rain-Barrel/?ALLSTEPS
Wood from used wooden pallets was the primary material for this project. Wood pallets are made using ring shank nails and trying to pry the slats off will crack the wood. There a number of instructables detailing how to disassemble them.
Materials used to enhance this rain barrel were:
- Wood slats from used wooden pallets
- Some leftover rope to weave the slats together
- Wood stain & brush (marked down miss-tinted stains, not recycled, but cheap)
- A scrap of plywood and a few nails to make a jig (not necessary, but, saves a lot of time measuring)
- Some glue applied to the ends of the rope to keep in from unraveling while threading through the slats
- Some sort of hard pointed thing like a punch to help thread the rope through the slats
- Table saw
- Drill and drill bit a little bigger than the diameter of the rope
- A tape measure
- A few nails (for the optional jig)
- A file (for shaping the glued rope ends into points)
Step 1: Cutting the Slats
The barrel I used had a diameter of 23 inches and was 35 inches in height. The dimensions in this text are for this barrel. There is a spreadsheet attached that you can use if you want to modify any of the dimensions.
After you have slats you need to saw them into 21 - 3 by 38 inch, 2 – 3 by 29 inch, 2 – 3 by 4 inch and , 2 – 1 1/2 x 36 inch pieces. The shorter pieces are for where the overflow and spigot will be located.
Step 2: Drilling the Slats
The holes for the full size slats are 3/4 inch in from each side and 3/4, 3 1/4 and 7 3/4 inches from each end. The narrow pieces have holes halfway across each slate at 3/4, 3 1/4 and 7 3/4 inches from each end. The short pieces each have holes 3/4 inches from each side and 3/4 and 3 1/4 inches from each end.
Step 3: Weaving the Slats
I wanted the spigot in the front of the barrel 180 degrees from the half slats. Since there will there are 24 full size slats in all (23+1) each slat would be 15 degrees. So 180 degrees would be 12 slats, so I would put a pair of short pieces in that position. I wanted my overflow near the back and angling over to one side so I put it 60 degrees or the fourth slate from the seam.
So after the stain is dry it is simply a matter of weaving the pieces together. The ends of the rope will be tied together at the seam so you want to weave the rope so that it is on the outward side of the narrow slats.
After weaving the slats together attach them to the barrel the way you attend to intend to and then mark the spots for the overflow and outlet spigot. Take the slats off and continue to cut holes in the barrel and attach the plumbing fittings (except for the long overflow pipe).