I was inspired by at least one other PVC sprinkler instructable to create my own, larger version. What you see here is the finished product in all its glory. My wife likes to refer to it as the "Sprinkle-Master 5000". I'm not exactly sure why.
I'm submitting this instructable as part of the dadcando contest for your enjoyment. Feel free to vote.
Step 1: Design
The inspirational instructable for this creation was basically an upside-down squared U shape. It looked like a lot of fun, but was two dimensional. I wanted to make something more three dimensional, so I thought up a cube design.
My design process was all in my head, and these sketches were done just for this instructable, but are a good representation of what I would have done if I had put pen to paper.
The first of the three sketches are a top down design. You are floating in the air, looking down on the square top, and you see the legs going from each corner down to the ground. Next comes an "isometric" (quotes added because the sketch is really bad) view, from one top corner in. The last sketch is a closeup of the original plan for the corner. It didn't work out like this, but in the end, I'm glad it didn't.
Step 2: Going to HD to Get the Parts
So, with the design in mind, I went off to a big home improvement store with the initials HD. Off to their plumbing section to pick up parts. That initial corner design failed right there in the store, as they didn't have the three way corner piece I needed. So, I improvised, and made some improvements I'll go into later.
The parts you will need:
* PVC Cleaner and Glue
* 1" PVC pipe good for drinking water -- your number will vary, details below
* 4 x 1" PVC T couplers
* 4 x 1" PVC 90 degree couplers to female threaded adapters
* 4 x 1" PVC straight couplers
* 4 x 1" PVC female threaded adapter
* 1 x 1" outer to inner 90 degree coupler
* 3 x 1" caps
* 1 brass coupler with female to female threading.
My design was looking for about 5 1/2 feet by 5 1/2 feet. That meant 8 lengths of pipe 5 1/2 feet long (4 for the top and 4 for the legs). I bought 8 lengths of pipe, but I can't remember if it was 6 or 8 feet long.
Step 3: Building the Top
To build the top I connected a 5 1/2 foot length of pipe to a T joint, then to a two inch length of pipe, then to a elbow, with the elbow at 90 degrees to the T.
Yea, that makes sense, right? Not really.
So, some pictures are in order, I think. You can see from the two pictures below what I mean, quite clearly.
Each corner is the same, and leads off to the next one, making the full square top.
This step is not going to get me a FEATURED flag, I think.
Also, here's where my great design improv comes in. The elbow joints are threaded at the end that goes to the leg. The leg, which I'll cover next, is topped with a threaded adapter. That means you can unscrew the legs, and store it flat for the winter (assuming you have one!). This thing is a beast to move around, and there is just no way we could have stored it inside if it weren't for the ability to unscrew the legs.
Lastly, there's a good instructable about gluing together PVC pipes already done, so I won't go into details on how to do that here.
Step 4: Building Three of the Legs
Three of the legs are the same, and very simple. 5 1/2 feet of pipe with a cap on one end and a threaded adapter on the other.
Step 5: The Fourth Leg
One of these things is not like the other!
The top of the fourth leg is the same as the others. Just a threaded adapter.
The bottom of the fourth leg, however, goes into that special elbow that goes from the outer diameter to the inner one. The inner diameter side goes into the threaded adapter.
The brass coupler gets screwed onto the threaded part, and then , when assembled and ready for use, the hose gets screwed into that.
Step 6: The First Assembly
Because you are going to be drilling holes so the water can sprinkle your kids, and you really kind of want the water to go in towards the middle, I recommend assembling the Sprinkle-Master 5000 at this point.
The threaded adapters all have standard hex nut type flat sides, and you can use a wrench to do this, but if you have a strap wrench, I would recommend using that. The legs are very difficult to screw in after just a little bit, and you will strip out the sides of the "nut" very quickly.
Once you've got it all assembled (one leg in each corner), use a sharpie, or some other marking device, to mark each leg with a number, and a line from corner to leg. This way you'll know how to put it back together if you need to take it apart.
This is important because the holes will need to be in a certain spot, and if you don't know which leg goes in which corner, you may end up having trouble later on.
Step 7: Drilling the Holes
The water needs a place to go, so you need to drill holes in the PVC pipe. I drilled holes about every 6 inches or so, using the smallest drill bit I could, on each 5 1/2 foot length of pipe.
On the top, I drilled the holes along the imaginary line from one leg to another, creating a curtain of water along each side.
For each leg, I drilled the holes so they faced in, letting the water shoot towards the opposite leg.
Step 8: Connecting the Hose
To make my life easier when I needed the hose disconnected, I purchased a shut off valve, and connected it to the end of the hose. This allows me to turn off the water at the Sprinkle-Master 5000, and disconnect the hose without going back to the house.
This part is optional, but I love having it there. Also, the kids don't have to fight the bushes to turn the water on and off when they want to use it.
So, you screw the shut off valve onto the hose, then into the brass coupler.
Note that nothing really turns here, so you're going to have to turn the hose in a counter clockwise direction a few turns before connecting it to the Spinkle-Master 5000. This way, when you are screwing into the brass coupler, it unwinds itself, and you avoid kinks and turns in the hose.
Step 9: Final Thoughts/improvements
I chose very thin pipes, as I thought I would waste less water, and get better pressure. Turns out it's pretty flimsy this way. It hasn't broken, yet, but it does make it a little more difficult to move and use.
On the leg that attaches to the hose, you might want to make sure the hose goes away from the Sprinkle-Master 5000, not along it like mine does.
The inspiration for this uses miser jets to make for a higher pressure jet. I have thought about adding these to my Sprinkle-Master 5000, but haven't done it yet. Not sure how the kids will like it, and they seem to have fun with it as it is.
Have fun; wing it; measurements aren't really crucial here, as a little unevenness won't make too much of a difference. Just make sure your kids (and you?) can run through it without ducking, and that all the legs are about the same length and the sides of the top are about the same length. Or, if it's more your style, be exact with every measurement. It's up to you.
Lastly, this is meant more as something to get you thinking and to guide you, than as something to dictate what you have to do. If you like some of it, and don't like other parts, change it. Make it fit what you and your kids want.
Enjoy, and remember to vote in the dadcando contest. Not necessarily mine, but your favorite entry, which I hope is mine, but might not be.
PS: Some of the pictures of the PVC couplings and what not are from www.homedepot.com