View Full Version : Making a Fountain
I have an idea of a project for making a fountain. Before I start, I would like to know what kind of wood or finish I would need to use. The wood would be subject to constant moisture, so I was wondering if pretreated lumber, some other kind of wood, or a certain finish would keep the fountain from rotting. I do not have much woodworking experience; any advice would be greatly appreciated.
You haven't given us much to work on here. Wood and water are not good togther. There is no wood that you would use that would be able to take the type of use you are talking about. You can use wood but, if it were me I would finish it with a layer of fiberglass and resin. That will make it water proff. You have to cover all sides of the wood even the side that is not in contact to the water. Wood takes mosture from the air. If it is not sealed on one side it will expand or shrink on that side and cause you no end of problems.
11-25-2000, 04:30 PM
Lou was right. You didn't give us much to work with Tim. However, I disagree with Lou to some extent. Assuming your planned fountain is not in total contact with concrete or earth, I think you could build a fountain from wood which would last a long time. After all, many ships, an untold number of water buckets, butter churns, barrels, etc. were made of wood. Some of which are still in use after years of service. Perhaps in excess of 100 years.
I'll be the first to admit that wood is perhaps, not the best material but it has applications consistent with Tims intention. This is an interesting subject. Lets hear from some of you other guys.
Not sure which wood I would use myself but suspect it would be oak.
If you really want to use wood. The traditional wood for water applications would be teak. Next I would go with cypress. I still would make sure that the wood is sealed on all sides. boats and other wooden objects are almost always coated with some water proofing ie glass, paint, tar, to try to keep the water away from the wood.
11-27-2000, 01:57 PM
Good old cedar has been used for many years in all weather conditons. It doesn't need a finish but it will turn black and all weathered looking.
12-04-2000, 06:56 AM
Hmmmmmmmm, wood and water.........I think it works.
A couple of observations. Oak is used without sealers of any kind to hold alcoholic beverages. In fact I do believe there is the added benefit of the oak flavoring the beverage just so.
Long before other products were available wood of all kinds was used to make the cisterns on towers to provide running water to homes. I do believe the problem with the wood rotting most of the time is alternating of the wet and dry cycles.
I've seen fountains incorporating the whiskey barrels you see at the garden gimic shops. I don't know about their durability.
I just purchased a product from SSI in Dallas. It is a two coat sealant I'm using to seal a brick, concrete, and Colorado boulder fountain. It was a hundred and thirty bucks for five gallons which is more than I'll use on this project. But the instructions call for priming the surface and then applying two coats with the second coat being apllied with the brush strokes perpendicular to those of the first coat. Supposedly then I will have a lifetime rubber membrane that will allow for the different shrinkage and expansion rates of the different materials.
Of course the experts have explained how it will not work, this fountain. But what will blow their minds when they come back to see the failure will be the little boulders sitting just below the big one and seemingly suspended in space. A simple matter of applying the technology of adhesives they use in the granite countertop business with the wonders of stainless steel pins.
There's few thrills finer than discovering a new way to skin the old cat. Take your wood fountain concept and consider other technologies to cure the traditional ills of wood and water.