Introduction: Revamped Cast Iron Fountain
When browsing around old junk yards, we came upon a beaten up old cast iron garden 'sink' thing.
It looked so very sorry for itself, it had rusted in places, its paint was peeling off, the tap was missing, the pipework at the back was bent and buckled, but looking behind its tatters and cobwebs, we saw something that would be perfect and fit in with the ethos of my garden.
- Junk yard find - cast iron sink
- Wire brush and wire brush drill attachments
- Drill, battery operated
- Grey metal primer, spray
- Black metal paint, spray
- White car paint, in a pot
- A can of high gloss clear car lacquer
- A length of garden hose
- A small electric pond pump
- Copper elbow bend
- A craft sponge paint pad / brush
Short video at the end
Note on amendment to title:
Having given the feedback some thought, I have changed the title from 'sink' to 'fountain'. But I didn't want to change the overall Instructable too much so I've made it obvious that there have been changes in the title image.
I consider constructive feedback most valuable and take it all on board. Thank you (",)
Step 1: Rub Down
The cobwebs were brushed off, including a resident beastie, then rubbed down to remove all the rust and flaky paint.
To rub it down, we started with a wire brush and coarse sandpaper, but it was getting us nowhere and fast! So we went to the hardware store and purchased wire brush attachments for the hand drill.
Some tissue was placed in the tap hole to prevent anything blocking it up.
Being made from cast iron, it took three of us to move it, so we lay it on a frame (not to damage the pipework at the rear) and lay on its 'back'.
Step 2: Prime
After it had been wire brushed, wiped over with a damp cloth and dried, it was sprayed with grey primer.
We used two coats to be sure.
Allowed to dry, outdoors, overnight.
If you're wondering why the stick is ... we used it to hold the copper elbow joint to spray and dry.
Step 3: Spray - Top Coat
Two coats of black spray paint later, it was looking so much more loved!
As I don't have a garage, it had to be sprayed outdoors. Which meant everyone had to be extra vigilant and keep any stray flies away whilst it was drying.
We left the paper and stick in place.
It's absolutely solid and weighs a lot, as you'd expect. The back was not sprayed and left in the green.
Step 4: Dry Brush, Dry and Lacquer
Once the last coat of black had dried, I dry brushed it, using a sponge and some white paint.
All the while, it had to lay on its back because it was simply far to heavy. Once it had a few coats of gloss lacquer, it was ready for fitting.
A heavy wooden frame was made to bolt it onto.
We also purchased a small, electric pond pump as the sun jet water pump I have simply would not do.
Step 5: Plumbing In
I cleaned out my water barrel, to use as its reservoir and refilled it. I ended up with pipes and gunk all over the place ... Don't you just love that green slime that grows when you neglect something?
The sink hole was already blocked up, so we left it as it was. When the sink part is full, it runs off into the barrel making a wonderful sound!
It's so heavy, a length of wood was used to hold it on top of the barrel, as well as it being bolted to its frame and then to the fence. I also put my little ugly guy in there! It looks like he's having a bath.
A new outdoor electric socket was fitted to plug it into.
I'm thinking of using the spare plug for some night time lights, but I'm not sure yet.
Step 6: Enjoy
Each night, I either sit on the patio with my chair turned to the new water feature or sit under my rustic purgola and listen to it trickling away.
I have now planted the feature bed with flowers that attract bees and butterflies.
In the barrel there is an upturned terracotta plant pot, on top of that i have placed a piece of broken patio slab and on top of that, I've placed some river pebbles for decoration.
I've seen a bee taking a drink, the cats sneak by and take a drink and a few days ago, I watched a bird stand on the grid I have placed in the top, and take a bath.
I hope you have enjoyed the transformation of even more reclaimed 'junk' into something wonderful and rather practical I think.
I don't know what it was before, but i love what it is now!
Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017
Question 4 years ago on Introduction
I love your article and what you did to this disenfranchised fountain! I have a cast iron two tier bird bath, also very heavy and possibly vintage, but the bottom bowl has rust and a lot of paint chipped. The patina is beautiful but will have to go since it's just paint and I probably won't be able to replicate it but I intend to try. Question, it's been several months or a year, so how's it holding up? Any rust in the bowl that gets constant water? Thanks.
5 years ago
Beautiful! Perhaps you should re-name the instructable "Revamped Cast Iron Fountain", because it is already a garden fountain or a public drinking fountain (not a "sink"), usually mounted on a brick or stone wall. Some European cities still use theses as public drinking fountains. Here's a Google link to a number of types of cast iron fountains, whether in a garden or in public for drinking:
Reply 5 years ago
I never thought it could have been a drinking fountain before, thank you for the information :)