Introduction: Dual Swiveling Pole Mounted Garden Hose Reels

So you want two hose reels? You don't want to drill holes into your house? You also want maximum flexibility to pull your hoses out (and reel them back) from any direction? You sure are a demanding person.

You should not deny yourself these pleasures. If you have some handyperson skills then you too can achieve the zanadu of hose reel setups that I have in my backyard.  Long before Instructables I had this dream too. I bought two of the best plastic hose reels I could find and modified them to do everything above and they worked fine for about 10 or so years until the plastic does what all plastic does when exposed to the sun...It degraded and failed. I need to buy some new hose reels. After some searching I bought two of the Ames True Temper 2391200A Decorative Bronze Wall Mount Hose Reels off of Amazon for $90.44 each delivered free. I wanted the Liberty 200' Stainless Garden Hose Reel Hanger 703-S2 I saw on Ebay for $229 shipped free but I could not swallow the price. The Liberty would have been a lot easier to mount than the Ames due to the fact it had a mounting plate on the back. It would have looked cool too.  But I digress. 

You may not have all the tools I had to put this together but you can improvise and do things different to get there. Don't be afraid.

After the first time you grab the hose and head out in any direction you want to walk in your yard and the hose reel easily swivels to follow you letting the hose pay out like kite string you will then know why you passed this way. To reel the hose back in with the same swiveling capability will launch you into total hosial zen indeed.

Step 1: Materials You Will Need

1) 2 Wall Mount Hose Reels (you could mount 1, 2, 3 or even 4 Hose Reels on 1 pole if you want)
2) 1 Metal pole ( I used an old galvanized chain link fence pipe 1 3/8" OD)
3) 1 Top pole swivel bushing mount + 2 lag screws. This bushing mount is a short piece of steel pipe with a flat piece of steel welded to one end of it and 2 holes drilled into the flat ends to screw it to the underside of the house eve (wood). The bushing (pipe) OD should easily fit (but not too loose) inside the ID of the Metal pole.
4) 1 Bottom pole swivel bushing mount + 2 cement bolts. This part is exactly the same as the Top pole swivel busing.
5) 4 U-Bolt Pipe Clamps sized for OD of Pipe (Again my case = 1 3/8") + 16 extra nuts
6) 16 Washers sized for pipe clamp
7) 1 - Piece of 2" X 2" X 0.062" Thick X 72" Long Aluminum Angle / Cut into 4 17" Long Pieces
8) 8 1/4-20 X 3/4" Long Bolts with nuts and two washers each. (I used Aluminum Rivit Nuts)
9) 2 Stop Collars 1 3/8" ID + clearance to go over pipe with Allen Screw for setting. These are the parts which set the final height of each hose reel and also the bearing surface that the hose reels (bottom hose clamps) swivel upon. You will need 1 stop collar for each hose reel you want to mount. I used some scrap stainless collars from some old mechanical seals.
10) Flat Black Spray Paint

Step 2: Tools I Used


I have more tools than the average bear so I'm going to list the tools I actually used. Do not be discouraged by this list as, again, this job can be done with some basic tools and in my opinion with only hand tools and some creative backyard engineering.

1) Welder - To weld the top and bottom swivel mount bushings for the pole.
2) Drill Press - For drilling just about all holes.
3) Cordless Drill - For drilling the top and bottom pole swivel bushing mounting holes into the bottom of the house eve and the concrete sidewalk below. Also for speed tightening nuts where possible.
4) Band saw - To cut aluminum angle, mounting pole, pole swivel mount bushing parts.
5) Hand tools - Open end wrenches, sockets, allen wrench, crescent wrench.
6) Lubricants - Synthetic Grease & Oil where it made sense.
7) Pop Rivet Gun + (qty 4) 1/8" dia. X 1/2" long pop rivets ( to stiffen the top angles).
8) Rivet Nut Gun + (qty 8) 1/4"-20 Aluminum Nut Rivets (This is what I used because I wanted to try them. You can easily omit these and use regular 1/4"-20 nuts and a washer as listed in the Materials List).
9) Various sized all purpose drills.
10) 1 Masonry drill to drill the two holes in the sidewalk to mount the bottom pole swivel mount bushing.

Step 3: Placement of the Mounting Pole

In my case the perfect place to put the mounting pole for the hose reels was at an outside corner of the house where I had enough eve overhang and cement in vertical alignment to achieve what I wanted. Mounting the pole at the corner will give you maximum swivel and utility of this setup. If you don't have the same setup that I have use you noggin to achieve the same result a different way using different mounting techniques. 

Remember that, in this case, I'm mounting new reels on a previously installed pole so I don't have the luxury of pictures from what I did over 10 years ago. You can see what I did in the past from the pictures and I'll try to relate the rest while trying to resist all the pole puns flooding my brain. 

Like Aretha Franklin said "You'd better THINK!" Where are the faucets that you will hook up to the hose reels? Look at the pictures and envision how far you want the hose reels to swivel in each direction and consider that you have a fixed hose screwed into the left side of each hose reel and a hose wind up handle projecting from the right side too. My pole is centered 7" out from the corner of my house (brick). It works for me but if you want 360 degree swivel you are going to have to go out a lot more (which is OK!).

Once you have the location decided RECHECK that you will get the degrees of freedom you want from the swiveling hose reels.

Step 4: Mounting the Pole

If you are happy with the location you have chosen it's time to mount the pole.

1) Mark the center of the TOP swivel bushing mount. This will be the same center as the pole itself. Place the bushing centerline over this mark and mark the center of the two holes that will need to be drilled for the lag bolts. Drill the holes for the lag bolts and mount the TOP bushing by screwing in the two lag bolts.

2) Using a plumb bob (or a string with a weight) hold the srting on the centerline of the TOP bushing and mark the spot where it touches the concrete or mounting surface for the BOTTOM swivel bushing. Place the BOTTOM bushing centerline over this mark and mark the center of the two holes that will need to be drilled for the masonry bolts. Drill the holes for the masonry bolts.

3) Now it's pole mounting time. Measure the length between the TOP bushing's flat bar surface to the concrete surface below. Subtract the thickness of the BOTTOM bushing's flat bar surface + 3/16". Cut the metal mounting pole to the resultant dimension. Your pole is ready to be raised.

4) Take some grease (I used synthetic chassis grease) and liberally wipe it on the TOP & BOTTOM bushing OD's and metal mounting pole top and bottom ID's.

5) It's time to slide the 2 stop collars onto the pole and set the allen screw of the bottom collar about midway up the pole just to keep it in place.

6) Take the metal mounting pole and insert the BOTTOM swivel bushing into the bottom of the pole. Holding it in with your hand then take the pole and slide it up into the TOP bushing.

7) Align the BOTTOM bushing over the two holes you drilled into the concrete and mount the BOTTOM bushing by screwing in the two masonry bolts into the concrete.

8) Your pole is risen!

9) I decided to spray paint my pole flat black. It looks better than the galvanizing plus chicks really dig black poles. If you want your pole black, now's a good time to spray it. I used painters tape to mask the stainless stop collars.

Step 5: Select the Heights for Your Hose Reels

1) Take one of your hose reels and hold it up in the air to decide the highest that you want it to be so that you (and family) can reach it (or not reach it). Mark the bottom of what would be the top hose reel by making a mark on the pole. This is where your stop collar will be set.

2) With your trusty allen wrench in hand slide the top stop collar to your mark and set the allen screw to hold it.  The hose reel's bottom U-Bolt will rest and rotate upon the stop collar.

3) I recommend that you finish all the steps necessary to mount the top reel to the pole, including loading the garden hose on it, before you decide where you want the bottom reel height to be.

NOTE: You can set and change the hose reel heights at any time. The above process will just make it easier based upon setting the top or highest one first.

Step 6: Install the U-Bolts on the Metal Mounting Pole

1) Mount 2 of the U-Bolts above the top stop collar and 2 above the bottom stop collar. Later you will bolt each hose reel to one pair of the U-Bolts.

2) Tighten the U-Bolt nuts sufficiently to deform the flat U-Bolt plate around the metal pole diameter then back off enough to allow the U-Bolt to be positioned by hand on the pole and to rotate. Don't leave them too loose as a little friction is good. They need to be able to rotate and raised up to be guided into the hose reel cross braces when the hose reels are bolted up.

3) Once you have the the U-Bolts set then screw on an extra nut on each U-Bolt stud (8 total) and tighten them like you would locking nuts. The second "lock nut" nuts need to be thick enough so that when a washer is placed on the outside of the second nut the outside plane of the washer exists outside the diameter of the metal pole. Look at the pictures and you will get the idea. If this is not the case then the hose reel cross braces will hit the deformed U-Bolt flat plate in #2 above.

Step 7: Making the Cross Braces for the Hose Reels

1) Using the 2 x 2 aluminum angle cut 4 pieces. Mine were 17" long each for the hose reels I bought. Round off the sharp edges and corners.

2) Arrange the top cross brace so you can trace the hose reel's top 2 mounting holes directly on the angle. Hold it steady for marking both holes before you let go (I used the sharp end of a long screw). While still holding the angle steady make a longitudinal mark on the inside/downside of the angle where the hose reel shelf bottom is. You will need to make sure that your two holes for the U-Bolt attachment are far enough below this line to ensure you can install the washers and screw on the nuts to attach the top cross brace to the top U-Bolt.

3) Arrange the bottom cross brace so you can trace the hose reel's bottom 2 mounting holes directly on the angle. Again, hold it steady for marking both holes before you let go.

4) Now measure to the center of each cross brace on the side that will face the pole and mark it.

5) Now measure the U-Bolt's center to center distance, divide it by two and mark this distance on both sides of the mark in #4 above.  These two marks will be the center for each drill hole (2) that will be made to allow the cross braces to be mounted to the U-Bolt.

6) Now drill all the holes marked in #'s 2,3,4 & 5 above.  Deburr the holes as necessary.  Trial fit everything before you move on.

7) The size of aluminum angle I chose to use limited the use of the hose reel's top shelf feature when the cross brace was mounted and I decided to recoved some of the shelf area by cutting a section of the top brace away.  I did this by eye balling it.  The pictures will show you the details.  If you need to do this then do it now. Deburr as necessary.

8) If you are using bolts with regular nuts (instead of rivit nuts) you can skip this step.  If you want to use rivit nuts then mount the rivit nuts on the cross braces (two each) as shown in the pictures.
9) Now it's time to paint everything flat black so it looks cool.  Looking cool is priority #1.  See pictures for this step too.

10) Once the paint is dry you can now mount the cross top and bottom cross braces to each hose reel.

11) I found that the top cross brace was deflecting more than I liked due to the cut out that I made to better utilize the hose reel's top shelf and decided to place two pop rivits to fix the deflection and further hold it to the hose reel.  See the pictures.  This worked well.

12) If everything was done properly you now have two hose reels with the cross braces mounted to them and ready for bolting to the U-Bolts.

Step 8: Mount the Hose Reels to the Pole

1) Take one of the hose reels and mount (using washers and nuts) the top cross brace to the upper U-Bolt that you placed in the top hose reel position.  Move the upper U-Bolt up or down as necessary to align the bottom cross brace holes with the bottom U-Bolt and then, using washers and nuts, mount the botton cross brace to the lower U-Bolt.  See pictures.

Tip: Once I knew where the U-Bolts would be riding on the pole I lubricated that area with grease.

2) The bottom U-Bolt of the upper hose reel should now be successfully mounted and be free to swivel from side to side without any difficulty.  If it is not easy to swivel you need to back off the nuts in step #1 above then loosen the remaining nuts that are holding the U-Bolts to the pole.

3) If it is not already installed you need to install the hose reel's crank handle.  Now check the height of the upper hose reel by rotating the handle.  If it feels good then check with your wife, husband, kids or whomever may need to use this work of scientific genius and make sure it works for them too.  Remember when you mount the garden hose to it there will be a significant effort to "reel in" the hose so think of this when you are checking the height.  Adjust the height as necessary using your trusty allen wrench and moving the upper hose reel's stop collar.  When everyone is happy move to #4.

4) Repeat steps 1 - 3 above to mount the lower hose reel.

Step 9: Mount the Hoses to the Hose Reels

Plumb it Up!

If you have gone to this much trouble then at least have the wear with all to get yourself some good hoses and new hose washers.  The hose reels I bought have very good supply hoses and washers.  The actual garden hoses I used on the reels I've have for over a decade and they are the best I've ever had.  They are Craftsman Black Rubber hoses.  They are just like new even still today and they have seen the sun and been pressurized all that time.  The hose nozzle is the "Original Boneaire Hose Nozzle".  They work great and are warranted for life.  I applied grease to all of my washers and threads and (after a little finessing) I achieved 100% leak free status on all connections and they have been hooked up, pressurized and used for over 90 days now.

Step 10: Wash the Car, Water the Lawn, Spray the Kids

Ah Yes...Satisfying, indeed.

Time for you to use this modern convenience wrought from the sweat of your brow.

I hope this Instructable helped you in some way and I welcome any comments.