Intro: The Power Tree: Outdoor Power Source
Sometimes I get some cool ideas that are possibly not entirely practical. This is one of those. I was using the chain saw to carve up a stump for another project and thought it might be cool to have a switched plug fastened in a tree stump to use in the flower garden. This is what I came up with.
This project required a good understanding of household wiring and some skill with a chain saw.
Step 1: Getting a Tree!
We live in the woods. Trees are not a problem. The one I chose was handy. It was a half-rotten oak that a storm blew over behind my shop. I cut about five feet out of the log, leaving stubs where I cut the limbs off. I took the chain saw and cut a notch out near the top. I cut a groove down the tree to the base for the power chord.
I scrounged for the electrical setup. I dug around in my electrical parts bin and found a switch and an old metal plug box. I took a plug from an old extension setup. For the switch box I found a telephone connection box. I put some foil tape around the outside of the box to cover holes. It was a novel thing to use but heck, why be normal? I used a chord from an old saw. I should probably have used a much longer chord but this one was black so I thought it would look better.
I cut the ends off the switch. Then I cut a space in the plastic phone box cover and drilled holes for the screws to mount in the switch. I routed the wire through a hole in the back of the box and stripped about eight inches of insulation from the wire. The black lead went to the switch. I cut the white lead for a jumper from the switch back to the black side of the plug. White lead from chord to white side of plug. Green to ground. It's wired!
I had to cut the notch a bit bigger for the boxes. I mounted the telephone box base. Then I installed the cover along with the metal box and plug. I screwed the metal box down and fastened the plug in. Then I pushed the chord in along the groove.
The only thing left is to fix the log so it will stand, put it in the garden and hook it up! I couldn't find a good base to fasten to the log so I decided to drill a hole through the bottom of the log and drive a pipe into the ground to hold it up. I called my wife to insure placement in the garden was to her liking. I put it up and hooked up the lights of the bridge and bingo! That's it.