How to make a Small Outdoor Fountain from a Tractor Disc
Turn an antique farm disc into a unique water feature for your yard.
If you are looking for a creative way to spruce up your yard, adding a water feature is a great way to do it. Water features add a stunning visual element and can tie a space together to make it feel complete.
Knowing my love for antiques and do-it-yourself projects, you know I didn’t choose an ordinary store-bought water fountain for our yard! Instead, we transformed an antique farm disc into a fantastic water fountain.
It might look like a big project, but this unique DIY water fountain comes together in just a few steps with a bit of preparation, and the result is truly incredible!
What is an Antique Farm Disc?
You may be wondering what an antique farm disc is. Also called a tractor disc harrow or a farm harrow, a farm disc is a piece of agricultural equipment that attaches to the back of a tractor. The metal discs serve as cutting edges to break up large clumps of dirt to prepare the soil for planting.
For this project, you will want to use an antique farm disc. A little age and rust give this water feature a lot of character!
When obtaining a tractor disc harrow, you will want to look for one approximately 5 feet tall with at least five or more discs roughly 14 inches in diameter and spaced about 6 inches apart.
Search for farm estate sales or used farm equipment sales in your area. You can also find them for sale online if you cannot find one locally.
Choose Your Location
When choosing the best location for your fountain, it would be best to consider a few things.
First, the location needs to have electrical access.
Secondly, the water container reservoir needs to be recessed into the ground. Then, a disappearing water feature basin can be used for in-ground installations. They sit flush with the ground and make maintenance super easy.
How to Make an Antique Tractor Disc Harrow Fountain
1. Drill out the center axle of the disc harrow with a ½-inch to 5/8-inch diameter bit. You will most likely need to have this done at a machine shop. However, we found a gun specialist who had a drill bit long enough to get through the entire disc.
2. Weld, a 3-legged stand to the bottom of the disc harrow to stand upright. Again, we took this to a welder, as we did not have the proper equipment.
3. You need to purchase a water basin ( like above) with a diameter that will fit the legs of the upright disc and at least 14 inches deep to hold water to circulate through the fountain. In addition, it is best if the container has a grate on top to limit debris from falling into the water. Remember, the legs must fit through the grate to stand supported by the bottom of the container. If you purchase a plastic one like the one pictured earlier, you will need to drill holes for the legs. We used a metal basin and added the open cage-like metal on the top to hold the fountain.
4. Purchase a submersible electric water pump to handle at least 150 gallons per hour. Adjustable flow is a preferred option.
5. Purchase plastic tubing that will connect the water pump and fit inside the bottom hole diameter of the disc harrow. Usually, the diameter of the pump will be larger than the diameter drilled into the fountain, so you will need a clamp to marry the two different sizes.
6. Dig a hole for the fountain container that will allow about a 2-inch lip above the ground for the container. Place the fountain legs through the top grate and rest them on the bottom of the container.
7. Place the submersible pump into the container and connect the pump to the fountain with the plastic tube(s). The line must be pushed up into the bottom of the fountain and fit snugly to minimize seepage.
8. Fill the container with water and plug the submersible pump into a 110 outlet. Adjust the flow so that the water bubbles out the top.
9. Enjoy your antique farm disc fountain! The best practice is placing small river rocks around the fountain area and on the grate for a disappearing water effect. We also add a chlorine tablet every six weeks to keep the water fresh.
If you have read this far, you will enjoy the garden and vintage treasures. For inspiration, you may also want to check out my vintage garden tool post.
Benefits of Outdoor Water Features
Outdoor water features can bring more than a beautiful visual element to an outdoor space. The trickling water also brings a sense of calm and relaxation. You may wish to include a small seating area nearby to create the perfect spot to sit and enjoy some relaxing stress relief at the end of a long day!
If you are a wildlife lover, you may be interested in knowing that a water feature can also attract all sorts of wildlife to your property. For example, you may see birds, frogs, and other animals visit your fountain, searching for water and a refreshing place to cool off.
Who would have thought a rusty antique farm disc could be transformed into a beautiful water fountain, perfect for relaxing and enjoying nature?
Here are a few places you can purchase these if you can’t find one locally
Tractor Harrow disc from eBay
Tractor harrow disc from eBay
Oh my, I love this idea! I am one for utilizing items for different uses, and this hits the spot! Love it! Thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you Cara. This fountain is truly one of my favorite parts of my yard.
How fun! This looks really amazing.
Thank you Naomi, I enjoy this fountain so much.
Did you spray paint your discs? Mine are rusty (which I like as it is definitely a vintage vibe:))
Hi there, No I did not spray them, they are rusty and it does cause a mess sometimes. However I love the vintage vibe too.
Wendy, I LOVE this! What a great idea. Found you through sweet Rachel’s Sunday blog post. Now I need to find one….
Oh, this is such a fun one Mary! you will love it. Hopefully you can find one easily. Let me know when you find one.
This is just the most great idea. I love it. I’d love to share a link on my Sunday Dirt Road Adventures. Thanks for all your inspiration.
This is just the most clever idea. I love it. I’d love to share a link on my Sunday Dirt Road Adventures. Thanks for all your inspiration.
Thank you Rachel. I would love that. I, too am starting a Saturday share and would like to share your shed post on my blog Saturday the 21st of May. I do think you need one of these at your home. The tractor till sure makes a beautiful fountain.
This is so clever. I love it!
Your water fountain turned out so beautiful Wendy! Thank you for all the helpful information!! Such a great tutorial!