Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is that a bathtub in her yard?

The answer to that unusual question would be in fact, "Yes." I'm officially that weird neighbor that if the neighborhood had a homeowners association, they would put not so nice letters on her mailbox asking her to clean up her yard or leave town. Luckily, my neighborhood isn't that fancy and most of my neighbors are family.

Anyway, I found a picture of a fountain someone had made out of a cast iron claw foot tub and I knew I wanted to make one. The trouble was (and generally is) that I am mostly poor and I don't like spending money on big items. So I did what most people would do: I immediately began calling around harassing everyone I knew to see if anyone had a bathtub lying around. Turns out that my uncle had been hauling off scrap metal and just so happened to remember a bathtub being in the pile of stuff to go to the scrap yard.

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I immediately roped Jared into helping me drag it out of the woods and into my daddy's truck. (A brief pause here to appreciate how awesome Jared is. He gets roped into a lot of my projects and barely complains. Commence reading my story.) We also found a cast iron sink that weighed more than my lightweight modern tub!

In the picture, the fountain looked very elegant with copper piping and regal looking shower paraphernalia surrounding it. My tub I dragged out of the woods was less inspiring. It was kind of rusty in spots and there was no copper piping to be found, so once I figured out where I wanted it, I went on a search for something to use as piping. My answer came in the form of a broken swing set that I started sawing into with a hacksaw. It was a ridiculously funny sight since I am trying to saw through metal with a hacksaw that is 20 years old. Plus, it's steel, which is not known for it's softness.

Once I managed to cut it (hours later.), I welded it onto the bathtub. It was not a very pretty weld since I was new to welding at the time and it took forever because, it turns out, steel doesn't weld very well. Then I needed to find something like a shower head, so I went to a very reliable (and confidential) source: someone who worked at the dump. I told him what I was looking for and he took me to a garbage can FULL of brand new plumbing fixtures that Home Depot had taken to the dump. It was awesome. I picked out what I wanted and then went home to figure out all the pump parts I would need.

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It's at this point that I must tell you that I really had no idea what I was doing. I took my plumbing fixture with me to Home Depot and told them what I was planning. They were useless. Based on their expression, they must have thought I was the weirdest kid ever. I left there and went to Morgan's Hardware in town and, while they seemed to think I was crazy, they managed to find the proper fittings. I bought a pump because I had no way to make one, but did manage to rig a pretty effective filter using a small Rubbermaid box and blue air conditioning filters and assembled everything.

This is the final result:Photobucket

Look at the fishies!!

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I hope you like it!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks! It's one of my favorite things I've made!

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  2. maybe you can do some ceramic tile or something on the outside if you still have it. I was trying to find a good way to re use our old tub instead of sending it off to the scrap place. The claw foot tubs are really awesome for upcycling. Cool pond anyway!

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    Replies
    1. I actually still have this tub, but I moved it to my new house! Here's the update! http://www.upcycleddownriver.com/2013/07/introducing-tuttle-aquatic-gardens-with.html

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