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Weekend Project: Make a Rain Chain

4/1/2011 9:57:56 AM

Tags: rain chain, DIY rain chain, how to make a rain chain, Susan Wasinger, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailWidely used in Japan, rain chains are a great way to combine form and function in your garden. Rain chains are a series of metal cups with holes in the bottom, chained together vertically. The chain moves rainwater from gutters to a drain or a storage container (whiskey barrels work really well for collection and storage). In a time when we’re all looking to conserve as much water as possible, installing a rain chain to capture water for irrigation is a no-brainer.

Rain chains retail for $50 to more than $100, but they’re super easy to make yourself. Susan Wasinger made this homemade rain chain—which she calls “jewelry for your house”—for next to nothing.

Tools & Materials 

10 2-inch aluminum funels

8-foot-long galvanized chain (small enough to fit through funnel hole but large enough for bolt to go through links)

Drill

Paper

8 half-inch #6 nuts

24 half-inch #6 bolts

 

Directions 

1. Trace your funnel and find the center points on paper, then use that to mark the proper places to drill on the funnel so the funnel hangs straight. Drill 2 holes in opposite sides of each funnel rim to take the cross-bar bolt.

2. 1 bolt and 3 nuts create the crossbar. Thread the bolt through the hole in the right edge of the funnel, then screw on a nut.

3. Thread the bolt through a link in the chain and add another nut about 8-10 inches down the chain. Continue with the remaining crossbars.

4. Thread the final bolt through the left hole in the funnel rim and tighten a nut on the end. Use the 2 center bolts to hold the chain in the center of the crossbar.

 rain chain 

We used 10 2-inch aluminum funnels spaced about every 8 to 10 inches on an 8-foot length of galvanized chain. Drill 2 holes in opposite sides of the funnel rim to take the cross-bar bolt. Center the holes so the funnel hangs straight. Trace your funnel and find the center points on paper, then use that to mark the proper places to drill on the funnel. 

 rain chain funnel drill 

Trace the funnel on paper and center the drill holes so the funnels hang straight. 

rain chain hands 

For this rain chain, we used 2 half-inch #6 bolts and nuts and chain small enough to fit through the funnel hole but big enough for the bolt to go through its links. One bolt and 3 nuts create the crossbar. Thread the bolt through the hole in the right edge of the funnel, then screw on a nut. Thread the bolt through a link in the chain and add another nut. Finally, thread the bolt through the left hole in the funnel rim and tighten a nut on the end. Use the 2 center bolts to hold the chain in the center of the crossbar.



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Post a comment below.

 

Deac
4/20/2011 11:45:56 AM
Unless I misunderstood, I THINK you meant to say 'use two NUTS to hold the chain in the center; ....not BOLTS.

Bob
4/8/2011 5:20:49 PM
I'm going to make a rain chain myself. More for decorative use than anything else. I would remind your readers to be wary of drinking the rain water untreated. Never forget the rain may be acid rain and it may also contain any number of contaminates from the roof and gutters. It's bad enough when a low flying bird targets your newly washed car, how may have dive bombed your roof?

Sharon Lambirth
4/8/2011 5:08:04 PM
I think the supply list should be corrected to use ten 2 and 1/2 half inch bolts, and 40 nuts (4 for each funnel, assuming you use all ten funnels. Very cool idea though, I may try this one! it would be a cute addition to my flower garden on the side of the house.










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