Women with Power Tools – continuing story of fountain making

Time for an update on the quest making an original water fountain.   My main piece of slate has been trimmed down and is fitting in my pot.   It all looks pretty good at this point.  I had this idea of it being slate mounted on stones between each layer.   At this moment I am not so sure.    It maybe that the stones I have are too thick.   I will have to survey the  river rocks the next time I am at the mall parking lot and see if there are some that are very thin that may serve my purpose better than any of the stones  I currently have.

The look isn't quite right yet, but the set up is completely flexible.

The look isn’t quite right yet, but the set up is completely flexible.

Now is the time to drill holes through the slate so I can run tubing up from my pump which will rest in the bottom of my bowl.   I love power tools and this is going to let me be in my element.   I used a concrete drill bit and and a hose with a trickle of water.   The water is used to keep the bit cool and to flush away the dust and bits of slate that come about as part of the drilling.


It worked perfectly.   I had concerns because slate is made of layers and is easily fractured.     I put my slate on a piece of 3/8 inch plywood when drilling.   It provided a support base and something for the drill to hit

Any one with a good drill, a concrete drill bit and a piece of slate can make a perfect hole.

Any one with a good drill, a concrete drill bit and a piece of slate can make a perfect hole.

I got so in to the drilling that I decided to drill a hole through a little bowl I got at a thrift store.   I am hoping to put a fern in the little bowl.  I felt that I may be able to include the bowl with a fern it as part of the fountain.   I used the concrete drill bit on the bowl because it was easier than taking time out to find a porcelain drill.  It was a matter of being in a big hurry.     It worked though the bottom of my bowl  though the hole was a bit crude.  Lesson learned in the future take time to  get the right bit for the job.

Using a concrete drill bit on pottery gives a little less than perfect results.

Using a concrete drill bit on pottery gives a little less than perfect results.

Now is time to clean up my mess from drilling   I need to drain my garden hose since snow is called for again and put Ranger Sir’s power tools all back where I found them.   I am getting close and my impatience will take me to the prototype phase very quickly.   Keep watch for the next steps.

Indoor Water Fountain – on the look out

I am planning to make my own indoor water fountain.  I have looked at all the ones I can find in stores, which are not too many and everything I can find online.    I am generally turned off by the fact that most of what I am interested seems to be molded plastic to look like ceramic, rocks….you name it.

Simple a bowl, some glass blobs and an ivy plant

I also am quite sure that this is not going to be  cheaper to do it yourself option.    However I am also sure it will end up with a fountain I like better than what I can find.    There will likely be flaws and things that I learn in the adventure to do differently the second time around.

I have done bought a used book on the construction of indoor fountains on Amazon.   It was $4 after shipping.   I can get lots of information online, but with a book I can take notes and write things down as I find better ways to do things or clarifications.   I am hoping I really do well on the first one planned for my office.   If so I would like to make one for my studio space and my bedroom.

Could I duplicate this with a plate and a gazing ball?

I am on the look out for the perfect base for this fountain.   I am not sure if it is a large flat bowl, and flower pot.   It might be the bottom of a bird bath.   I am open to the possibilities.   I know that my pump has to be submerged, but that is all I am sure about at this moment about pumps.  I think I want it tiered and have experience drilling through ceramic  and porcelain so that makes some of the ideas simpler or at least less foreign of getting tubing up and through all my finds.

If I found something like this I would snatch it up right away. It might work excellent with a collection of pottery bowls I have.

I will share my adventures in the quest for making a fountain with you.   Right now I am scrounging thrift stores, close outs and garden centers looking for what might make a good base.

Not Bad at All

My studio space with the new floor

First I am happy  the new floor is done.     The grout I laid this last weekend gave a very nearly perfect match of the grout laid ten years ago. I was able to do a bit of a feather overlay to minimize the line.  The new tile works well with the existing tiled hearth.  It is not a match but works as a complementary drawing upon colors found in the original hearth.   I will not find my eye drawn to flaws in the room.   There are a couple but nothing that is so overwhelming that it will drive a perfectionist like me nuts.

We are having company this weekend and after we got the grout down in my studio space we loaded my stuff that had been siting in the middle of the family room back in as fast as possible.   So there was no time for  sorting of my belongings or rearranging the room    We still need to put up baseboard, but that will have to wait until winter.   In the meantime I have to say not bad, not bad at all.   I am ready for company, but more importantly I am ready to once again be creative in my space.

My Helper

When I laid tile the other day, my cat was right there.  This is the cat who generally refuses to be in the same room as me.    I was running short on spacers and she worked hard to pull them out and scoot them around the room.   It was like play to her, but oh such hard work, because the we picked them up and she was destined to start all over again.

Later she decided to nap on the open boxes of tiles.   I  had three boxes open as I rotated between them to ensure no problems with colors.  She would move each time I pushed her out when I needed a tile from that box.  By the time I was ready for another box, she already was pretending to sleep in the next box.

It was a purr-fect day for her to be in the middle of everything, and me to get a project one step closer to being chalked up as done.

Tile Down

Using my quilting rulers to ensure my reference lines are squareI am happy to report that the tile is all laid in my studio space.

I marked the floor using my favorite quilting rulers.   These allow me to make sure all the reference lines are square.   They were perfect for allowing me to measure those edge pieces to get just the right size.  I know the pros use chalk lines, but pencil and  Omnigrid for me.   My reference lines don’t smudge away, and I know I am square with the world.

I was reminded when laying tile that I hate rooms where the last tile you lay, aka exit is the middle of the room.   It forces you to lay it in halves, which I don’t have patience for, or the last few tiles you lay are the first you see and the ones with the final fudge factor, and it can’t be hidden by molding.   It wasn’t too bad, reference lines are suppose to make it perfect but after laying tiles in four of our homes, a center door is just a sucky way to finish for me.

Now the wait is on.   For floors in the basement or walkout I wait a good two or three days for everything to dry and cure before I walk on it and start to think about grouting the room.  There are definitely a couple of flaws, what DIY person doesn’t know where theirs are on every project.   But I am not going to point them out to you, it was a good project.  A great sense of accomplishment and some bucks saved.

Step one done!

Step one done!


DIY is Never as Fast or Easy as We Plan

This weekend our plan was to tile on Saturday and grout it later on Sunday. We have done many a floor in tile, so much so that we own a wet saw for tiling.    I am a quilter and love to work with patterns, be it in fabric or tile.

This project was to finish up a room we had worked on ten years ago when we installed heat in the room.   At that time we picked a pattern and what we felt would be neutral lasting colors for the hearth under the gas stove.   We were not sure if the room would be finished with carpet or tile.  We wanted our work to be flexible for whatever our choices were when we were able to finally finish the room.

The time has come to finish the room.  We decided that the best choice on concrete slab sub-surface was tile rather than carpet, even if the room had carpet when we bought our place    So we were on a mission to find a tile that would work with those laid ten years ago.  I drew out a pattern that would work with the hearth.      We then spent lots of time finding a tile that will work with  what we were so sure would be easy in the future.  It wasn’t quite as easy as we had planned.

I started to lay out the grid  in my planned pattern Saturday morning using the actual tiles.  The quilter in me screamed not working, this is permanent make changes now!!!   I then started pulling out more tiles and shifting my pattern.  Nothing was working.   Then we took some old smaller tiles and inserted them and suddenly we had  the “right” pattern.   Now we had a new chore.   We needed to cut some of our tiles down into 4×4 pieces.    A new step  has been introduced and we were slowed down.   We have all the pieces cut except for the edges and are ready to rock and roll.   Sunday is a new day, I think today will be the day.

Another Use for Duct Tape

Our house was built by a fella we call the “Deadbeat Idiot” (DI).  He built much of  our house with what he could bring home in his lunch box.  It was cobbled together  and half-finished in so many ways.   We have had to have the plumbing redone; the wiring cleaned up.  Ten years later you would think we had found most of his handiwork, and nothing would surprise us.    Yet when we tore out the kitchen, we discovered rather than properly fasten the countertop corners, he started the job and when it became too difficult to get right he got out the duct tape.   It made the counter top work until about last year.   Maybe I shouldn’t call him DI after all.