If most people saw a fire hydrant on the side of the road, they wouldn’t think much of it. The same thing would happen if they saw a fire hydrant that wasn’t being used anymore. Other than an unusual yard decoration, what else would you use a useless fire hydrant for? Well this Reddit user decided that a fire hydrant could be used for so much more! He decided to turn an old unused fire hydrant into a fire hydrant table! Check out these step by step directions that will show you how to make one of your own, in that rare chance you come across a fire hydrant.
This is what the fire hydrant looked like initially. It sat around for weeks before he finally decided what to do with it.
He used three, 12 foot 2×6, pine wood boards cut into twelve 33 inch sections. He needed to create a table top that was strong enough to move a hydrant, which weighs almost 300lbs! He decided to double layer the 2×6 and that seemed to work just fine.
After he cut them, he decided to glue them together on the long edge. He did this twice, using the same dimensions. The clamps helped the glue settle exactly how he wanted.
Here he is gluing the two layers together. He decided to have the boards run perpendicular to each other for added strength. Even though he wished he had more clamps, this did the trick.
In the above picture, he drilled bolt holes and recessing on the underside for the washers and nuts he was going to use. He opted to use the bolts as decoration as well as added reinforcement.
Now that all of the bolts are in, he drew the shape right on top so he knew what the design would be in the end. The hole in the middle of the table is helping accommodate the underside of the bonnet.
It was nice having the bonnet accessible because the weight helped stabilize the table while sawing out the shape of the shield. He opted to use a reciprocating saw for this project.
Next it was time to get this thing sanded down. Nobody wants to get splinters from their table.
He used this router type tool to help smooth out the rough pieces in this little space.
He had to get a little creative when the weather decided not to cooperate. Nothing a little canopy couldn’t handle.
Next up was the stain. He opted for a nice dark brown color. It’s amazing the difference a little stain can make.
The stain really made the bolts stand out.
Next up was the hydrant itself. He started with sanding off the old, loose paint. He already had an obvious color in mind.
Obviously it HAD to be fire engine red!
Because the base of the hydrant wasn’t going to provide a ton of stability, he decided to use an old manhole cover for the foot of this heavy table. He found this one at his local scrap yard. Once he found the manhole cover though, he had no idea how he was going to drill through this 1-inch piece of cast iron. He decided to hold a oxyacetlyne torch to it for about 30 minutes. After that, he used a regular hand drill to make the necessary holes. Seemed to work out pretty well for him.
He attached the hydrant to the manhole cover, then spread Plasti-Dip onto the base itself.
He ended up messing up a little bit on this next part. He used duct tape around the edges of the table, but that was not strong enough to contain the glaze he used.
This is the glaze he decided to use on the table. It was a pour on, 2 part, epoxy.
This didn’t end too well unfortunately.
After a week of letting the epoxy set, it was still tacky and he decided it wasn’t worth it. He decided to hammer and chisel the epoxy off the table, and redo the glaze. This must have been pretty frustrating, hence the beer.
Now it isn’t looking very pretty. Hopefully he can recover the work he’s already put into it though, rather than starting from square one.
Time for the belt sander again. Hopefully this will help!
I’m so glad that the belt sander worked out for him. That would have been a pretty big set back. Looks pretty good again.
Because the stain didn’t work all that well the first time, he decided he was going to burn the wood to give it a unique look.
This looks really good. You never know what you might get when you combine wood and the process of burning it in a controlled manner. This enhances the fireman’s look if you ask me.
Rather than using a glaze, he decided to use good ol’ polyurethane.
Looks like it is almost ready to go. Look at that base. It looks great with the hydrant.
He decided to assemble it in his truck because it was so heavy, weighing in at approximately 350-400lbs all said and done.
The great thing about this story, is that he didn’t keep it and use it as a decoration in his house. He donated it to the local fire station, where it is all set up now and ready for some coffee mugs and firehouse chit-chat.
I love that he didn’t keep it for himself. After all that frustration and heart ache with the original epoxy, I’m pretty sure I would have kept it all to myself! What a great DIY fire hydrant table, and what an even more impressive guy for donating it!