Duck island buoyancy

On Sunday I did some more work on the duck island project, focusing on the buoyancy aspects. It’s a bit of a guess on how much I’ll need to make it float at an appropriate level, but I figure more is better; having it sink would be not ideal, and if it floats too high, I can always pile on more dirt, or remove some of the buoyancy.

There are two components to making it float: four 5-gallon buckets, and a ring of 4-inch pipes.

Here is a bucket, with a bead of silicone around the rim to help seal the lid:


As you can see, the lid also has a rubber seal, and clamps on to the bucket.

A stack of four sealed buckets:


Next I moved the island onto my cart, up the right way; this is the first time it’s been upright. Placing it on the cart makes it easier to work with, and it’ll be ready to transport to the pond:

On cart

Another component of the buoyancy is a ring of 4-inch ABS DWV pipes. The sizing worked out perfectly; the pipes came in 2-foot lengths, and I didn’t need to cut any of them to make them fit:


I put some pool noodles inside the pipes; I don’t know if that’ll help at all, but can’t hurt.

I sealed the pipes with ABS adhesive:


Then I attached the pipes to the frame with pipe hanger straps:

Pipes and hangers

My ideal water level would be about halfway up the frame, at around the midpoint of the pipes, so the middle platform (where the tools are in the above picture) would be just under water. We’ll see if that eventuates!

Here’s a closer look at a strap:


Once again, Pepper the shop cat was supervising my work (or really just waiting for me to go away so she could get to her food):



Here’s the current state of the island:


Next up, I will add the pond liner to contain the dirt, and a third platform level above the pipes.

2 thoughts on “Duck island buoyancy

  1. Pingback: David Sinclair

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