Have you ever wanted something real bad, but no matter how hard you looked you just couldn’t find one that fit your budget. Case in point. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a good old fashioned, hand water pump for our garden. We searched online and in the farming communities in our area and found one or two but they were either too expensive or not for sale. Bah humbug, but if a DIY-er wants something badly then they only thing to do is make one. Right 😉
Creativity doesn't wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones. Bruce Garrabrandt
Pretty cool in my humble opinion. And it all started with this drawing and a few PVC pipes and plumbing bits.
So if you’re looking for one too and just can’t bear to part with lots of moola, here’s the DIY tutorial to make your own and prepare the PVC pipes properly for painting.
What you need to make a faux hand water pump
To make the water pump you’ll need:
- 2 x female stop end caps 110 mm (4 3/8″)
- 1 x 90-degree reducing elbow
- A 50mm to 40mm (2″ x 1 1/2″) socket reducer
- PVC sanitary T or junction 110mm x 50mm (4 3/8″ x 2″)
- PVC cement or adhesive
- 40 mm (1 1/2″) PVC pipe
- 50mm (2″) PVC pipe
- 110mm (4 3/8″) PVC pipe
We use PVC pipes in a lot of our DIY projects and always have extra bits floating around. For those pieces that are a little more “specialized”, like the junction, I love going to Plumb-It here in Centurion. They have this crazy, cool sales lady that just whizzes around the shelves to find the things I’m looking for and she doesn’t give me that look of “You want to do WHAT!!!” 😀
You’ll also need
- 100 grit sandpaper and acetone
- Black plastic spray paint
- M10 thread bar and washers to fit
- Scrap pieces of wood
- Rusty nuts and bolts
- A drill, hole saw and hand saw
First things first, we need to prep and cut the pipes and fittings for our hand pump. I like doing most of the prep work first before cutting the pipes since PVC can be a bit tricky to paint.
How to prep PVC pipes and fittings for painting
Use 100 grit sandpaper to scour the PVC pipes and fittings and roughen them up a little. You may find that your fittings have markings on, which are pretty easy to sand away too.
Make sure to sand in all the nooks and crannies. Once all the bits have been roughened up wipe the PVC down with acetone. It helps open up the “pores” for better paint adhesion and gets rid of any dust and oily residue.
At this point, the PVC pipes are ready to paint. Always use a spray paint that’s made for plastic. I like using Rust-Oleum since they have so many different colors to choose from and you can find them in any hardware store here in South Africa. Krylon also makes plastic paints, but very few stores stock them in our neck of the woods. So use the brand that works for you, as long as it says “works on plastic” on the can 😉
We’ll be painting these in a bit but first, we need to cut all those pipes and join them together to make the hand pump.
Cutting the PVC Pipes
Our faux hand water pump is 30 cm ( 11 3/4″) tall excluding the pump handle with a total length of 43 cm ( 17″). You can adapt the sizes below if you want yours taller. For the water pump and spout I cut the PVC pipes as follows:
- The water spout
- 40 mm (1 1/2″) PVC pipe – measure and cut 1 x 50 mm (2″) piece
- 50mm (2″) PVC pipe – measure and cut 1 x 50 mm (2″) piece. If you want to extend your water spout cut the 50 mm (2″) PVC pipe longer.
- The body of the hand pump
- 110mm (4 3/8″) PVC pipe – measure and cut 2 x 30mm (1 2/8″) pieces. Adapt this if you want your hand pump to be taller.
Putting the pieces together – water spout
The water spout consists of 4 pieces as shown below:
- 90-degree reducing elbow
- Socket reducer – 50mm x 40mm (2″ x 1 1/2″)
- 50 mm (2″) piece of the 40 mm (1 1/2″) PVC pipe
- 50 mm (2″) piece of the 50mm (2″) PVC pipe
Insert the socket reducer into one end of 90-degree elbow and use PVC cement or adhesive to glue the 40 mm (1 1/2″) piece of pipe inside. Glue the 50mm piece of pipe into the other end of the reducer.
Putting the pieces together – pump body
The body of the hand water pump is made up of:
- 2 x 30mm (1 2/8″) pieces of the 110mm (4 3/8″) PVC pipe
- A PVC sanitary T or junction 110mm x 50mm (4 3/8″ x 2″)
- 2 x female stop end caps 110 mm (4 3/8″)
The stop end caps had these funny little knobs on them that makes it easier to turn on and off. I didn’t want no knobby hand water pump 😉 so I removed them first using pliers. Just snip and twist.
The little scars left behind from the “knob surgery” can be sanded away using 100 grit sandpaper.
Putting the body of the pump together is pretty easy too. Glue the 30mm (1 2/8″) piece of the 110mm (4 3/8″) PVC pipe (those rings you can see below) into the female stop end cap.
We’ll be turning the hand pump into a water feature once it’s done so we needed to make a hole in one of the female stop end caps first. You can skip this step if you’ll only be using yours as a feature in the garden.
Attach a stop end cap to both ends of the PVC sanitary T and then glue the spout on. Your water pump should look something like the piccy below.
Spray the pump with black spray paint or primer that’s made specifically for plastic. It’s best to give it a few light coats and let each coat dry properly before applying the next one.
Adding the faux hand pump mechanism
Rightyo, the body of the pump is pretty much done. Time to make the pump handle thingy. We debated getting a metal handle made, but that also turned out to be a little more than our budget could handle (no pun intended 😉 ) So we simply cut it out of a piece of wood with our jigsaw.
It looks like a little tadpole 😀 After sanding the handle smooth we used the same spray paint to give it a few coats of black before drilling a hole in the handle for a thread bar that’s been cut to the right length. Ours is about 14 cm (5.5″) long. Add a nut to one end of the thread bar.
The original sketch clearly called for a “big ass nut” on either side of the handle 😀 So the hubby cut two screws (yeah, I know I often confuse my nuts with my screws) and they were glued in place.
To attach the handle to the water pump, drill a hole big enough to fit the thread bar into the stop cap at the top. We drilled four more holes around the edge so we could insert
nuts screws in later for a more authentic look.
Glue a washer on either side of the drilled hole and then glue the nut on the thread bar to the washer.
For those bits on the side of the handle, we used paint stirrers and cut them into a curvaceous little shape with our jigsaw.
They were glued and screwed onto the handle to keep them in place.
Adding a metal patent sign
Almost done. The next step is completely optional. It felt like the faux hand water pump needed one more teeny little detail to complete the look. A small metal sign.
It’s been cut from an empty tin can, and hand stamped with a metal stamping kit. To secure the sign we marked where it needed to go and attached it with pop rivets.
And that’s it. From PVC pipes and fittings to a faux hand water pump complete with a “patent number” and other rusty bits.
We turned our faux hand water pump into a water feature and you can get that tutorial here. In the meantime here’s another view.
And from the side…….
That tadpole handle looks pretty authentic 😉 I would have loved a metal one, but hey we try to make do with what we’ve got.
And the paint has held up really well too so all that prepping was worth it.
If you like the idea, don’t forget to pin it for later.
What do you think? Would you make one for your garden if you can’t find the real thing?
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
As always here’s wishing you a beautifully creative week.