Concrete Tree Log Waterfall Fountain

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Introduction: Concrete Tree Log Waterfall Fountain

About: Hello ! I'm Creative D2H, You can see in my posts how to make beautiful things, to create houses of history, fairy houses, recycling ideas, decorations, crafts,and paint. They use very cheap materials and alwa…

In this instructable, I show you how to make a water fountain with an original design inspired by nature. I tried to make the shape of the fountain look perfectly like real tree logs. This technique is called "Faux Bois" which refers to the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media. It’s fun to make and you can use it as an awesome decoration indoor or in your garden.

Tools :

  1. Cutter
  2. Metal ruler 50cm
  3. Hot Glue Gun
  4. Soldering Iron
  5. Universal pliers
  6. Painting Palette Knives: Link
  7. Masonry trowel
  8. Acrylic Paint Brush
  9. Mini Submersible Pump: Link
  10. PVC Tube: 6mm inlet diameter (for the pump)(Optional)
  11. Universal AC/DC Adapter 3V-12V, Link

.

Supplies:

  • Corrugated Plastic Panel: 1mx2m
  • Fine mesh 2mm: 1mx2m
  • Sand: 10kg
  • Ordinary Cement: 20kg
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Epoxy Resin + Hardener: 70g

Step 1: 1st Log - Sand Casting

We start with the preparation of the corrugated plastic mold frame. We use a cutter to cut 4 rectangles with the dimensions: 50x13cm, 50x13cm, 23x13cm and 23x13cm. Using a hot glue gun, glue the cut pieces to obtain the frame shown in the attached photo.

We fill the frame made with wet sand. Be sure to pack the sand well so that it retains the desired shape after removing the frame. You can use the masonry trowel or directly with your hands to pack the sand well.

Then the frame is removed from the mold gently and slowly in one upward direction.

Then I use a metal ruler to round the top two corners of the sand mold. You will find attached the explanatory photos of this stage.

Step 2: 1st Log - Concrete Basic Shape

We move on to the preparation of the concrete mix. In this whole project, I follow the same ratios of the mixture: 2.5 cups cement +1 cup sand + water. Only I vary the quantity of water to arrive at the consistency of the desired mixture. Always the first layer of concrete is the most diluted.

In the first layer, I pour the diluted concrete over the sand mold. We gradually cover everything with concrete. This step requires a lot of concentration, you have to work very slowly and long. The risk of the sand collapsing is significant.

After 1 hour, the upper part of the log is covered with a fine mesh (50x70cm). The fine mesh is necessary to give more strength to the log and to minimize cracks. Then we move on to the second layer of concrete. The concrete mix of this layer is less diluted. Be sure to cover all the fine mesh with the same thickness.

Step 3: 1st Log - Concrete Sculpting & Base

After half an hour, I gently sculpt rounded lines of different lengths in the two lateral semi-circles of the tree log. I also sculpt some radiuses of a circle. With these engravings, I am trying to imitate the same grooves of the real tree log.

To make the third layer of concrete, cover both sides of the trunk by following the method illustrated in the attached photos.

I generally use the painting palette knives in my concrete projects, it helps me a lot to achieve the desired shapes.

We finish this step by making the base. It is important to ensure the balance of the whole fountain. The base is 40cm long and 12cm wide and 2cm thick.

Painting Palette Knives: https://amzn.to/3tQVlTo

Step 4: 1st Log - Basin

After at least 24 hours of drying, the tree log is overturned and brought to its final position. We start by unloading 3cm of the entire upper part of the sand. Afterward, a basin of dimension 15x23xm is dug from the front.

We build the remaining wall of the basin of thickness 12 mm in concrete. This wall is built on plastic sheets on all its sides so that it can be removed afterward to discharge all the remaining sand.

Do not forget to make a hole in the wall of 1cm diameter at the bottom of the basin so that the water can pass through to the pumping chamber.

Then we build the ceiling of the water pumping chamber 2cm thick. Always with the same principle, between the first layer and the second in fine mesh. Do not forget to make a 9cm diameter hole for the passage of the electric wires and the tube of the mini water pump.

Step 5: 1st Log - Sand Emptying

After at least 24 hours of drying, we move on to the stage of total sand discharge. To facilitate this emptying operation, I remove the removable wall from the basin. The sand area can be washed with a water jet to ensure the cleanliness of the pumping chamber. We end up fixing the wall permanently with cement in its initial position.

Step 6: 2nd Log - Sand Casting

The same operations described in the step of making the sand mold of the 1st tree log are followed, except that the dimensions of the mold of the second tree log are: 33x19x13cm.

Step 7: 2nd Log - Concrete Basic Shape

We follow the same operations described in the 2nd and 3rd steps. The fine mesh dimension is 60x33cm with a 7cm diameter hole. The position of the hole must be perfectly above the hole made in the first tree log.

Step 8: 2nd Log - Making the Spout

We go directly to the building of the spout of this part of the fountain. The spout is important for directing the flow of water. At the bottom of the tree log, we open a rectangular opening of 2x8cm dimension. Using the same wet sand, we form the shape with the dimensions shown in the attached photo. We cover the sand with the same thickness (1cm) of the concrete. After a period of between 30-60 minutes depending on the temperature of the room, we cut the excess parts using a new cutter blade while following the operations shown in the attached photos.

Step 9: 2nd Log - Basin

The same operations described in step 4 are carried out to unload the sand and dig the basin. the dimensions of the basin are 14x19xm. Then, to build the support of the 3rd tree trunk, we cover the sand with concrete and put fine mesh to give more strength. I made a rectangular hole for the passage of the pump tube and to allow the discharge of the sand after drying. The dimension of the hole is 10x12cm.

Step 10: 2nd Log - Sand Emptying

After drying (24 hours), I remove the rectangular piece and start the sand discharge. The sand emptying is done using a spoon. I also used a water jet to better empty the sand.

Step 11: Making the 3rd Tree Log

This is the last and simplest tree log. The dimensions of the sand mold are 16x15cm. Now we have enough experience to redo the previous steps to arrive at the desired tree log shape and presented by the attached photos.

I made the hole with the same pump tube (6mm). Be careful not to let the tree log dry out completely otherwise you cannot easily dig it. Regarding sculpture, I always use the same tools already mentioned. I really like mushrooms, that's why I added several of them in this project :). The spout of the tree log has the same dimensions as the 2nd log presented in step 8.

Step 12: Paint

After the concrete has completely dried, I start by cleaning the project and removing the dust from the cement using a dry brush. I used acrylic paint for its ability to resist more humidity.

Step 13: Coat With Epoxy Resin

Adding epoxy resin to a painting or art piece enhances the colors and gives the piece a glossy, clean finish. A clear coat of resin also provides added protection from general wear or scratches. Although the results glisten for themselves, the process requires patience, preparation, and care. In our project, epoxy resin is also used to hardening, waterproof, and prevent leakage.

I chose to make epoxy resin layers for the 3 basins and the spouts only, that is to say in all the surfaces in contact with water. But, you can do a full epoxy resin coating of the whole fountain.

You need 2 disposable cups for mixing, a Stirring popsicle, Gloves, Protective eyewear, and a brush.

Make two coats of resin spaced 24 hours apart for drying.

Step 14: Pumping System & Fountain Assembly

For the circulation of water and to operate the fountain, we need a submersible mini-pump, a PVC tube of the same diameter as the pump (6mm), and a universal AC / DC 3-12v adapter for the variation of the water flow.

  1. Connect the pump with the tube,
  2. Connect the two electric wires of the pump to the AC / DC adapter
  3. Turn on the AC / DC adapter.
  4. Put the mini-pump into the pumping area through the 9cm hole.
  5. Put the 2nd tree log on the 1st log. Be sure to pass the pump tube through the lower and upper holes of the 2nd log
  6. Put the 3rd tree log on the 2nd log. Make sure to enter the pump tube into the 6mm hole in the 3rd log.

Mini Water Pump minimum 800 l/h Submersible: https://bit.ly/2Jt3Py3

Step 15: Start-up

To put the fountain into operation, it is necessary to start by pouring a quantity of 6 liters of water into the basins. We turn on the 3-12V adapter and I varied the voltage from 6 to 12V until the best flow is reached.

To use the fountain outdoors, be sure to better protect the wires and electrical connectors from the rain.

I hope you like my instructable. See you!

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    58 Comments

    0
    GjallarBear
    GjallarBear

    2 days ago

    It looks so aesthetically pleasing!! Thank you for sharing

    1
    spiritburner
    spiritburner

    Tip 14 days ago

    Use these fibreglass strands in addition to your wire mesh, you get them from a construction shop, they cost about 5 euros or less for a bag this size which is about 25 cms by 15 cm and full of them, mix them thoroughly into the mortar and it will be rock solid when hard.

    I am a construction engineer and these are used in concrete and mortar mixes where you need extra binding strength, another trick if you need to make the mortar really solid is to vibrate the mix in you mould, you can use any normal electric sanding machine to do this, what it does is vibrates the particles of sand/cement/stone together and form them to bind and compact and you are left with a form of very strong concrete. Only vibrate solid moulds though or it will break the mould with this method. Even gentle tapping on the mould helps by settling the contents.

    I live in Spain but these are available anywhere normally, the company called SIKA will sell them although they will be more expensive than this company. they really are good to use in Mortar and concrete just to make is stronger.

    FC6B9AA3-7E4A-4AD6-92F9-BD2356CC927F_1_105_c.jpeg3E1A9626-1D2E-4FB5-84A4-F5FBD2F178AD_1_105_c.jpeg
    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 12 days ago

    Thank you very much for sharing your valuable advice.

    0
    spiritburner
    spiritburner

    Reply 10 days ago

    No problems, it might help others who are struggling to make it work, I just wish I had your talent, skill and patience certainly in painting and ideas that's for sure!! I just work to plans that are given to me.

    0
    LarryG7
    LarryG7

    16 days ago

    A good piece for a garden. But I'm thinking not many people could make one.

    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thanks, but can you explain where the difficulty is?

    1
    LarryG7
    LarryG7

    Reply 11 days ago

    You're kidding right? There is not one person in a thousand readers that could make that.

    0
    NAlexNB
    NAlexNB

    16 days ago

    That is awesome, but why are there no LED lights?


    Just kidding. Hahaha. I love it!!

    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thanks, in my opinion without LED is much more natural :)

    2
    DIY Academy
    DIY Academy

    16 days ago

    This video was mesmerizing!!! The talent that it takes to make this is on a next level. This is an art installation and I just want to genuinely say that you are talented and I am so very jealous and impressed.

    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thank you so much

    0
    dustandroses
    dustandroses

    16 days ago

    Very nice work. Thanks

    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thanks

    3
    lord_bow
    lord_bow

    16 days ago

    This is magnificent. Would it be possible to make this project from actual wood or some other lighter material?

    0
    trendaten
    trendaten

    Reply 16 days ago

    You can do it from every thing what you want. You need only make water resist inside of whole water distribution system (step 13)

    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 11 days ago

    Yes it's true, thanks for the response

    0
    kayakdiver
    kayakdiver

    16 days ago

    Impressive work!

    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thank you

    0
    iamchrismoran
    iamchrismoran

    16 days ago

    This is incredibly beautiful. Your handiwork is inspiring and patient. Unfortunately, it gave me anxiety for how long it must have taken and made me think, "I want one, but perhaps I'll just gut some actual logs". It wouldn't look as cool as yours and possibly not be as durable, but I am inspired.

    0
    Creative D2H
    Creative D2H

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thanks and Good luck!