A what? It's halfway between a bowl and a basket, usually made of wood. Traditionally used in British gardens to carry the harvest in.

Here's the Oxford English Dictionary definition:

trug |trYg| (also trug basket)
noun Brit.

a shallow oblong basket made of strips of wood, traditionally used for carrying garden flowers and produce, not to mention a ready-made, and re-usable Halloween candy carrier! You can see that I planned ahead and made on in orange and black. Those plastic Jack-O-Lanterns will never carry your tools! ;-)

ORIGIN late Middle English (denoting a basin): perhaps a dialect variant of trough.

I've always liked a good trug, have coveted many. They were beautiful, simple, and made to last. Not to mention expensive, made in England, by Old World craftsmen, copper rivets and all.

My original trug, made about 15 years ago served well as a banana bowl for many years, and was a fairly accurate gauge of people's levels of acceptance and creativity. It seemed they either loved or hated my banana trug of humble origins. I'll leave it to you do decide which people I liked better. ;-)

Last year, I got tired of hauling my tool bucket around (never liked the idea much anyway), when I really only needed a half-dozen or so tools, fasteners and tidbits. I decided it was time for an updated banana bowl, this time with a handle.

It's tough, it's black and you won't find one at the hardware store. It works great for toting and keeping track of the just the tools you need when you're roaming about the house or yard. It serves admirably in the traditional way too, for harvesting flowers and vegetables.

It's green because used tires are one of the most difficult waste-disposal problems we have. There are many tire dumps that are literal mountains of tires. One of them caught fire a few months ago, sending huge clouds of very toxic smoke into the air.

A small fraction of the used tire 'inventory' is ground and used in asphalt paving or flooring material (popular in gyms), but it takes a huge capital investment, and barely makes a dent. Here's a low-tech, low-cost way for you to make a difference, and help yourself at the same time.

On to the making... Do your part to reduce the mind-boggling number of used tires piling up waiting for a new life. If you use my measurements, you'll get 5 trugs per tire. I think this one is from a 15" rim.

Pay close attention to the photo notes!

I've tried to include the tools needed in each step's photos.

- Thanks to all for the positive comments so far. If you like it, please rate it, and yes, I this instructable is entered in the Epilog Challenge Contest. Please come back on or after April 19th and vote for me! If the gods are smiling on me, I'll have a monopod entered as well.


Step 1: Tools and Materials

Obviously, you'll need a tire. I pulled a couple out of a dumpster. Michelin, in this case. This way, I'll get at least 70,000 miles out of my trug.

I was a little surprised to find that brand, and probably more so, size of the tire makes a big difference in the final result. This tire is wider, and less rounded, and not as attractive visually as my original trug. (sorry, no pics of the original, it's in storage.)

The list:


- 1 tire (makes 5 trugs), Any tire (tyre, for you Brits ;-) dealer will probably be glad to give you one or more.

- about 2 feet (per trug) of rope (preferably scavenged), about 3/8" diameter, if you want a handle.
Pleased don't use polypropylene rope, as it won't hold a at the end well.

- Water (and soap if desired), to clean up the tire.


- A scrub brush, if you really want it clean.

- An tired (don't use a good one for this!) flat-blade screwdriver or some other small tool,
If you're fussy, you'll want to clean the pebbles and grit out of the tire treads.

- A power saw, to cut the tire with. If you're lucky enough to have access to a big band saw, use it.
I used a reciprocating saw, aka "Sawzall."

- Bolt cutters,
If the tire has a steel cable in the bead (the part the touches the rim), you'll need to cut through it, or cut it out entirely.

- Drill bits, about 3/8", depending on what size your rope is.

- a razor knife, to cut the rope and trim stray rubber bits.

- A propane torch, or a lighter to flame (synthetic) rope ends.

- A file or a pair of side cutters, to trim off any stray wires.

I like you idea, for my workshop and garden. <br> <br>Congratulations, good works !! <br> <br>
Hey, I just got here looking for better ways to cut trough a car Tyre. I used an angle grinder, and it took about 5 minutes to cut it in half (two cuts) but it's messy as hell, because the friction causes the rubber to melt and splatter everywhere (clothes, tool, floor, me) and also, produced a lot of smoke. I was thinking in using the grinder just for the metal wires, and a good knife for the rest. &iquest;what do you think?
Made a few. Of these. They work well but it's a serious work out to get thru 3 or 4 in a day
Thanks for the nice instructions. I made some, and I followed your advice to cut through the treads and sidewalls before cropping through the beads. I got 4 trugs out of a 16&quot; tire and they took around 2 hours to make, half of which was sawing with the reciprocating saw.<br/>See pics here <a rel="nofollow" href="http://theolivebranch.blogspot.com/2009/05/trugs-from-old-tyre.html">http://theolivebranch.blogspot.com/2009/05/trugs-from-old-tyre.html</a><br/>
That's great! What are you going to use them for? Please post one of your photos in a comment here as well. It's gratifying to know that someone else is actually making their own. Especially since I didn't win any prizes in the "green" contest. :(
<strong>great job! I am about to make some from used 18 inch tires that are wide too.</strong><br/>I am changing the handles so I have one on each side to meet in the middle, and I may close the ends of one to make a hanging basket for my wife and our porch!<br/><br/>The actor Dennis Weaver, played McCloud in the 70's, cowboy detective in NYC. He lives in Joplin, MO where I used to live. He roofed his house with used tires kinda like this, that was back in 1979, his roof is still there, no hail damage either! To keep it from dry rotting, he goes up when needed to spray it with vegetable oil. Wonder if water repellant for fences or decks would work also? Prevent dry rot.<strong></strong><br/>
Thanks. It's great to hear that people are actually making these things. It's also kind of fun to look at the stats and see how many other sites, mostly blogs, have referred to this proj, er, instructable. You might do a test on one before you drill for all or your handles in the middle. I made mine asymmetrical because the first one I made, with the handle in the middle, was unstable when loaded. With the diagonal handle, you're less likely to dump your tools in the mud! ;-)
<strong>I meant that I am drilling holes in each corner to attach two ropes that meet in the middle, sorry I didn't make that clearer. Do you do anything to prevent dry rot or weather damage?</strong><br/>
Ah, I see. I do the same as I do for the tires on my car. Nothing. ;-) I suppose a little Armour-All or something like it wouldn't hurt. I did notice that a couple of unfinished trugs I left outside had some rust on the steel belts, but it's not a problem as far as I am concerned. Please post a photo of yours in a comment here when they are done.
I was told Armor All will accellerate dry rot in tires. I was advised recently to use mayonaise like landscapers use to take care of tropical plant leaves to make them shine in office buildings... I did try the mayo on my car tires and it did surprise me how well it shines, and better yet, it is all natural too. My car has been sitting for over a year waiting to go to the scrap yard to be recycled. Dry rot has claimed one tire recently. I just found a tire behind a dumpster recently that is a nice deep tire on the sides. I get free tires at Firestone from their junk tire pile, they give away tires, as they have to pay for them to be hauled off, so anyone like me, wants a tire, go for it! Take all you want! I also failed to mention my ropes are each on one side of the tire, I suppose you could criss cross them too, as such would be easier to hang plants in. I plan to use scrap lumber to use as end caps to hold the dirt inside. Of course, I'll water proof the wood, and seal the edges so it is watertight with PC-11 Marine Epoxy. Will gladly share a pic when it is finished.
Are you really worried about your trugs dry rotting? Tires last much longer than a lifetime, and if they ever do rot the pile of used tires at the local repair shop is only getting bigger....
Most of those tires are recycled into asphalt pavement here in Missouri and Arizona I know for sure. It helps keep the demand for asphalt minimal.
The reciprocating saw you're using is pretty much the best common tool for cutting up tyres, and if you find yourself needing to cut large chunks of rubber without the metal, swap to a wide tooth wood blade, it makes short work of them... <br /> <br /> This is a nice use for old tyres, if you find yourself bored with something like a bobcat tyre or one from a tractor, cut it once, lay it flat with something heavy for the day then put one hole for a rope in it, tie it to a vehicle and play somewhere safe, good for the beach and gravel... <br /> <br /> I used to be a tyre fitter and we did see people come in for some interesting uses, including one guy that took a really big tractor tyre and made a hammock for his kids out of it...&nbsp;
just a note that one foot is equal to 30cm not 300cm, you either meant 600mm or 60cm<br />
&nbsp;Right you are. Thanks for pointing out the error. Looks like I was thinking in mm and typing in cm. &nbsp;;-) &nbsp;Fixed now.
This reminded me of something my Mother did when I was a boy, and I'll have to turn it into an instructable.
Great! If it's related, please link to it here. I'm looking forward to seeing what it is.
Great idea. Could you post a picture of the original?
Thanks. Sorry, no photos of the original, it's in storage. It's narrower, a little rounder at the corners and sidewalls. Maybe a little blacker to.
Nifty, although a little butch. Still, if it keeps a tire out of landfill....
I can't decide whether your title is a typo or a pun. (If you were from the UK I could - We spell it 'tyre' ;¬)
Great concept! I can definitely see the benefit over carting the whole kit around.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I love to design and make things; and am currently developing a variety of small consumer products.
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