Do it Yourself Rain Chain

Written by alexis rohlin
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Rain chains consist of a long piece of chain that runs through copper or galvanised steel decorative funnels. They catch rain that drips down from your roof and direct it into a rain barrel or to a flat-bottomed basin. Rain chains are a decorative way to conserve water. You can make your own rain chains out of simple items you can find at any hardware store. Once you have made your rain chain, you can hang it on the edge of your roof and use it to catch rain water.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 10 aluminium funnels, 2-inch diameter
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Drill and 1/2-inch bit
  • 10 #6 bolts, 1/2-inch
  • 30 #6 nuts, 1/2-inch
  • 8 feet galvanised chain with small links
  • S-hook
  • Pliers
  • Rain barrel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place one funnel, large opening facing down, onto a piece of paper. Trace the funnel opening onto the paper. Use a ruler to find the widest point of the circle's diameter. Mark the widest point with a dot on either side of the circle.

  2. 2

    Find the same points on the top edge of the large opening of the funnel. Make two dots with a felt-tipped pen on the exterior of the large funnel opening at these points. Drill the holes for the funnel hangers on the marks. Repeat this process for the other 9 funnels.

  3. 3

    Insert a 1/2-inch #6 bolt into one hole of one funnel. Screw it in until it sits in the middle of the funnel's opening, so you can reach both ends of the bolt. Screw a nut halfway onto the end of the bolt outside the funnel.

  4. 4

    Measure 8 inches from the end of the galvanised chain. Hold onto the link at the 8-inch point. Insert the chain through the funnel's opening and let it fall through. Insert the bolt through the chain at the 8-inch point. Screw a nut onto the end of the bolt inside the funnel until it is about in the middle of the bolt. This will secure the chain onto the bolt.

  5. 5

    Insert the rest of the bolt through the remaining funnel hole you drilled. Screw a nut on the exterior side of the funnel to secure it in place. Adjust the positions of the nuts until the chain is hanging straight through the centre of the funnel.

  6. 6

    Measure 10 inches down on the chain and attach another funnel in the same way. Continue adding funnels to the chain every 10 inches.

  7. 7

    Attach an S-hook at the top of the chain. Slip the bottom of the S-hook into the chain link and bend it up against itself with a pair of pliers to secure it.

  8. 8

    Hang the rain catcher on your house over a rain bucket.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful when working with power tools, as they can injure you.

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