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Wooden Rain Barrel

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Forum topic by Dchip posted 03-23-2012 03:40 PM 1435 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dchip

267 posts in 1996 days


03-23-2012 03:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m gonna be trying my luck at a gravity-fed irrigation system this year for the garden. This requires a large, elevated water barrel. At ~50 gallons that’s gonna tip the scale at over 400lbs when fully-loaded.

Would a 3/4’’ sheet of plywood roughly 12’’ x 30’’ framed into 2×3s with 1/2’’ dadoes have any trouble supporting this load?

My thoughts are no, but I’ll most likely also put in a middle support for the stand this thing is going to be on. The stand will also be built to reinforce the bottom edge of the frame since this is where the weight will be transferred from the plywood. I’m more worried about sag in the middle and the rabbeted corners (they will be screwed). Here’s a quick Shetchup model of the base:

And the whole barrel (no platform; this will raise it up 36”):

It’s gonna be painted then lined with a couple sheets of 3mil plastic. Thanks.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com


11 replies so far

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handyrandyrc

33 posts in 1048 days


#1 posted 03-23-2012 05:00 PM

Drill a hole through the faces of the long pieces that butt up against the rabbet (a pair towards each end) and insert/glue appropriately-sized dowels. This will give the screws some good grain to grab and hold. Your screws will then be passing through the side grain of the dowels. I don’t know if that description is making sense.

Don’t want screws going into endgrain if you can help it, and this is one solution/fix. It is more work, but I think it looks good when it’s done.

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handyrandyrc

33 posts in 1048 days


#2 posted 03-23-2012 05:10 PM

Sketched this up. This is what I meant.

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Dchip

267 posts in 1996 days


#3 posted 03-23-2012 07:11 PM

Thanks Randy, good call on the dowels.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com

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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1705 days


#4 posted 03-23-2012 08:58 PM

Make sure it’s covered to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in it.

Joke: Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes when he had the chance?

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TopamaxSurvivor

15059 posts in 2420 days


#5 posted 03-23-2012 10:18 PM

Randy, What is the deal with screws in end grain? Split out too easy? Most framing is done with nails in end grain. What is teh difference?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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handyrandyrc

33 posts in 1048 days


#6 posted 03-24-2012 04:08 AM

http://woodgears.ca/shop-tricks/endgrain_screw.html

Check the link. End grain just doesn’t hold screws well. Yes, you frame a house with nails in endgrain, but the way I figure, there aren’t forces trying to pull the walls up and down, stressing them apart. They are compressed by the weight of the roof, etc.

So I dunno, that’s just my poor man engineering thought process on framing. :)

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TopamaxSurvivor

15059 posts in 2420 days


#7 posted 03-24-2012 04:24 AM

Good points. That woodgears article about a bed frame makes a good point. Lots of stresses going on there! Sort of what I figured, but being the curious type I thought I’d ask for more info. Thanks.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2904 days


#8 posted 03-24-2012 10:08 AM

... when you are done, we’d love to see this over at GardenTenders as well!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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fredf

495 posts in 2454 days


#9 posted 03-25-2012 01:54 AM

I think I would put one or more supports across the top. Barrels are round for a reason, that is the shape that yours will want to assume when filled. My BIL built a wall for an oval pool. He didn’t support the sides of the pool, and ended up with a cellar full of water when the pool converted from oval to round. His mark II had supports for the sides . . . .

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

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mtenterprises

836 posts in 1437 days


#10 posted 03-25-2012 12:53 PM

Please explain, is picture 2 the rain barrel or a riser to hold up a barrel? If this is the barrel it doesn’t have the strength to contain the static water pressure inside. Why not just get a plastic 55 gal. drum and build a nice box around it? As for a stand some lapped PT 4×4s w/ 3/4 ply on top will male a strong long lasting stand. Please disregaurd if I am seeing this wrong.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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Dchip

267 posts in 1996 days


#11 posted 03-26-2012 04:08 PM

Pic 2 is indeed the water structure. This needs to fit a small area so a round drum is sort of out of the question. The volume of water will not be even close to any sort of pool, so the stresses should be much, much less. That is a good call regarding the pressure on the sides, though, I will definitely need to reinforce this and perhaps adjust dimensions to create less height. I don’t really think it’s a matter of if it can/can’t support the load, but rather what needs to be done to support the load. 400lbs is not really an unreasonable amount of weight in a construction environment.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC, http://www.9x7woodworks.com

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