full time metal fabricator/artist

Rain barrel towers

A client of mine needed some small towers to hold up their four water reclamation rain barrels.

I started out by cutting the steel for the tops of the towers. Making sure to get 45° cuts and taking the time to make sure the saw is tuned in pays big dividends when it comes to welding time.

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Each of the four tops are square to 1/64″. If you’re not a fabricator, this might not sound like a big deal, but it’s quite precise measurement. I’m getting really good at making things with tight tolerances and clean angles. There’s always room for improvement though.
Here you can see one of the assembled towers with three more tops waiting for their bases to be made on the left hand side.

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I had the tops dialed in, the legs though needed to pitch out to provide additional stability for these stands, they will weigh almost 500 pounds when they are full of water.
How to make the legs split out evenly though…
After some thought, I decided to make a fixture made out of wood of a perfect square, a few inches larger than the top of the tower. So I tack welded on the legs with the tower upside down for ease then flipped over the tower and lined the bottom of the legs up with my new fixture, after the tower was in place, I used a ratchet strap to pull all the legs together. Time to weld, this fitup is going just as planned.

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I was able to make three out of the four towers today, the last tower is going to be taller than the other three and will require more steel.
Here’s a picture of two of the towers with the final frame resting on top.

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And here’s what one of the towers looks like after the cedar planks have been installed with its rain collection barrel on top.

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UPDATE:
Finished the big tower after grabbing some more steel this morning. Three of the towers are 3′ tall and the fourth is 4′ 6″
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All on ongoing portfolio piece I’m building in North Portland.

Thanks for reading.
More to come.

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