FerroCement Jar

Are you are looking for a rainwater storage device. What are the options?

You could purchase a barrel from one of the major big boxes or one of the specialty stores on the Internet. But dont we have another option? Why dont we build our own?

Ferrocement jars have literally been around for centuries; there are examples that are hundreds of year old. So what is a Ferrocement jar? Basically it is a water collection and storage container made of cement.

A Ferro cement jar consists of a base, a barrel section and a top. There are many different sizes but they all start out with a base of some size usually about twenty to thirty percent bigger than the barrel. This allows the barrel section to be built on the base. You can use boards or bricks to create a form for the cement base. It is best to let the cement cure for about a week before starting the barrel. You could use quick Crete or mix your own cement.

The barrel section is built around a frame that forms the shape of a barrel. Once you have your frame you can wrap the frame with sacking. It is a good idea to wire the sacking to the frame. Now you are basically going to paint a thin cement mixture onto the sacking. The mixture is one part cement and two parts sand. You will continue this process painting, letting it dry and painting again three times.

Now we can add our additional support. Wrap chicken wire around the now hardened barrel section. It is advisable to secure the chicken wire and make sure you secure from the inside out. This way you will be able to disconnect and take out your frame and sacking.

Now get some cement and fill in all the holes in the chicken wire. Visualize frosting a cake. You want the entire barrel covered and smooth. Let your first work dry and apply two more layers of icing to be sure of a strong barrel. You want the sidewalls to be at least 25 cm thick.

Once your barrel section has dried remove the framing and sacking and repeat the icing process two times on the inside.

Now we have our base and barrel sections we need to connect it to the base. Wrapping wire around the bottom of the tank and laying a section of the wire on the base will accomplish this. You them connect the two with cement. You will need two applications on the outside and two on the inside to assure a watertight seal.

The aboves are the basics of making a ferro cement jar if you can visualize, visit the links below for good examples.

Building a ferrocement rainwater jar

Ferro-cement Jar – Instructions for manufacture

Image Credit:
Peter Morgan


Posted in Methods by Administrator on June 14, 2006.

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