Shady Lane- Rain Chain

Rain Chains

Rain Chain- No stain required!

Watching the water flow down a rain chain during a storm does have a calming effect.  This year Ontario is having a very wet, cold, dreary spring.  Maybe a few hours of sunshine, followed by rain, thunderstorms, and more rain.

All this rain got me thinking it was time for a new rain chain. I retired my old rain chain after years of service but one is needed to spread the excess water around the different garden sections.   I have an older gutter piece attached to my porch which I added an additional outlet (drilled another hole).  This way the water spreads to the two different sections.

Going through our local surplus store looking for ideas, I spotted  4-ounce stainless steel sauce bowls for $1 apiece.   Perfect!  All I need was a stainless steel chain long enough to go from gutter to ground.   I honestly thought this would be a "rainy day afternoon" project.   WRONG!

S T A I N L E S S  S T E E L.  I love the look.


Hate drilling through it!!

Picking up my drill, I attempted my first hole.   The drill skidded across the surface, not making a dent in the metal.  Several times.  Frustrated,  I checked out several handyman sites and found stainless isn't that easy to drill through.   Great!!!

One of my first summer jobs out of high school was a drill press operator.  Amazing I lasted a summer in that shop, not one of my favorite jobs. I did learn to respect machines and to take my time. Fun memories! Although it did beat my next job-  working in a tannery.  

When I first bought a freestanding drill press, I never realized how often that press would become handy.  Currently, I use it for cutting the round coasters.  Using a titanium drill bit, a shallow bowl of water to cool the bit, some work gloves and googles I got to work.   Hours later, I had the centers drilled (ok a few did get scorched- the smoke alarm went off BUT no fire department was required).   If you are going to attempt this, you might want to watch a few videos on the subject. (and get your sanity tested)

I wanted the bowls to stay upright regardless of the weather.  So I secured the bowls, tying a fishing line around the lip and through the chain.  You can see it close up a bit but I was ok with that.   The bottom of the chain was connected to an old metal planter base which I buried and covered with a pile of large river rocks for the water to run off.


I didn't have to wait long to see the results.  Yes, it is still cold, dreary and wet but at least I can sit out on the porch and watch the cups fill up and spill down the sides while a good steady stream flows down the chain itself.

UPDATE:  The chain has been up for several weeks of some nasty weather.   It handles the downpours and the heavy winds.   As far as projects go- I would rate this one a 5+ for end results, harder than I expected but worth the effort.  Note: five summers now and still looks great and no problems with the rain flow. I do take it down every winter. The stainless steel still looks like year one. 

not all art needs a wall   :)