What is this fountain made of?
May 28, 2008 8:29 PM   Subscribe

What material is this fountain made out of? What material should I use to make it myself?

I went to Home Depot last night and saw this fountain that I thought looked really neat. It's $140 + tax, though, so I thought it'd be worth attempting to build myself.

The problem is, I don't know what material to make such a thing out of. The one at Home Depot seems to be made out of a plasticized ceramic or plaster-type stuff. It's definitely waterproof, and I can see where they used a drill to go through it and a handheld jigsaw to cut a hole in the back (for the pump access).

If I can't find or use the same material, can you recommend a material to build this thing out of? Wood would be easiest to work with but hardest to water proof. Plastic? Styrofoam?

...hoping asavage will hear me....
posted by yellowbkpk to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
I'd do it out of clay. But I can get a hold of a kiln to fire it, which is a critical part of the process.

You might want to try Bondo. I know some people that have had really good results with it as a sculpting medium. You could probably make it out of wood since you seem comfortable with that then coat it with bondo, sand and paint. It'd last for ever.
posted by magikker at 9:08 PM on May 28, 2008

Biofibre concrete
posted by hortense at 9:20 PM on May 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Is this for inside or outside?

I would use terra cotta chimney liners, waterproofed on the inside. They come in a lot of different shapes. You'll have to seal one end, obviously.

You can get waterproofing sheeting at a tile store - they use it to build waterproof tile basins for showers. That might work. Or maybe there is something that you could paint the insides with to make waterproof?

If it's outside and you don't mine refilling the water, that step might not even be necessary. My terra cotta planters develop a nice patina over time as the water and minerals wick to the outside..
posted by Ostara at 9:53 PM on May 28, 2008

I'd sculpt a layer of Magic Sculp over a lightweight core, something like rigid insulation foam. Magic Sculp resin is resistant to most anything except UV, but I expect you'd paint some sort of finish on it.
posted by Lou Stuells at 10:08 PM on May 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wood on the outside with appropriately shaped plastic tubs/basins on the top/inside.

Imagine a six long planks all with mitered edges. Mate them to form a long hexagonal tube. Find a plastic basin to fit in to the "top" of this tube. This way there is less total water, plenty of hidden room to pumps and tubing, all while being made out of cheap materials.

The only trick will be finding a decent tub to use for inserts that can be finished to match the wood. You may have to get creative with the spouts, but with some handiwork, and some epoxy, I imagine that you could whip something together for substantially less than 140. Of course, if you spend too much time on it, you were probably better off just buying it :)

Good Luck!
posted by milqman at 11:34 PM on May 28, 2008

If I didn't want the type of finish you're asking for, I'd build it out of hypertufa.

I like hortense's suggestion of biofiber concrete, only I'd spend a while sorting out how to get the right kind of finish. Maybe add more layers of concrete on top, and polish them? It sounds like a fun project, really.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:43 PM on May 29, 2008

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