Thursday, April 17, 2014

Do Two Bottle Trees Make a Forest?

If two bottle trees make a forest, then I guess I've at least got the start of one! Here's the other one:

I made it a long, long time ago, and it's seen better days, but I still love it. 

 This past weekend, I dragged the welder out of the garage and made our second one. Now I want to make 500 and give them to everyone because it turned out better than the first, I think. It was certainly easier to make!

Jared helped me cut my 4 feet piece of rebar into 8 six-inch pieces. The cutting part made me a bit nervous (and when I tried, I ended up putting a dent in my own car. Don't ask.), so I was more than happy to see if Jared would do that part. 

I clamped my other 4 feet piece of rebar to a concrete block to hold it still.

And then I called my sister. She is a straight-up professional welder. Plus, she looks like this and stands 4'11 tall, so she looks like a mystery. AND I LOVE IT. One of my favorite things to do is be around when she tells people (especially men) that she's a welder. The looks she gets are the BEST.

Photo by Heather Goodbread/ Photographer and Doula

Since she knows what she's doing, I called her to find out what the voltage/heat and wire speed should be for this kind of project. ( For my machine, in case you were wondering, the voltage/heat should be high and the wire speed around 4.)

I clamped my ground near where I planned on welding and got started. The welds are not pretty. Obviously. But it's stuck!

I wanted to have four sets of branches, and so to keep everything even, I did my first and my last branches first.

In spite of my best efforts, it's still not even, but oh well. I'm imperfect and so are my math skills. I, unfortunately, didn't ask Jared for math help until it was too late.

Katie told me that it wasn't actually too late because I could have used a grinder and started over, but I didn't want to and since I wanted to keep property and bodily damage to a minimum, I decided to leave it.


I hammered it into the ground as deep as I could and then added some rocks that I found laying around.

Something was missing though.

I added a Coke bottle to the top and it seems finished now.


I think it's a nice addition to our in-progress mailbox area, and as soon as Lowes gets the rest of my mulch in, I will finish it. I've been thinking about different bottle tree designs and a better way to anchor them in the ground, so I'm ready to make more!

For an interesting look at the history behind bottle trees, go here.

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