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Thread: Rebar Trees

  1. #1

    Default Rebar Trees

    I am planning to create two trellises (8' high by 3' wide) in the shape of trees or large shrubs out of rebar and I need some info on bending and cutting rebar and how to anchor it to the ground. Currently I plan on using large coffee cans filled with concrete and inserting about 6 strands of rebar, cut to various lenths using a circular saw with an abrasive metal cutting blade. Once the concrete cures I will bury it 2' in the ground and use a manual rebar bender, basically a pole with three pegs at one end, to create the tree/shrub effect. Star Jasmine will then, hopefully, climb up these structures and provide fragrance, screening, and shade. Am I whacked? Am I biting off more than I can chew? Am I creating a safety hazard? Please advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    i think its a great idea. and i cant wait to see some pic's as it progresses.
    for cutting i think a saws-all would be a better choice than a circular saw and a fiber blade. a saws-all with a metal cuttin blade should make lots of cuts befor needing to be replace. i put a fiber cutting disk on my 8 1/2" circular saw and its not prity nore dose it last verry long, the blades eat up pritty quickly. you could also try a 4 1/2" grinder with a cut off blade . i think the 4.5" grinder with a cut off blade would also be a better choice then the circular saw. but some times we have to make do with what we have so by all means dont get discuraged and not due it due to not haveing one of the tools i mentioned.
    i realy like the idea of the cement coffie can buried just dont forget to alow enough extra rebar to get you out of the ground befor starting the bends.
    i supose it could be a bit dangerous with pointed rebar sticking oout in all directions, maybee bend a circle or even just bend the tip in 1/2 back over its self to get rid of the pointy end. if you made loops at the end you could hang small planters on it wile you are waiting for it to get grown over.(see pic)
    welcome to the board by the way, lots of great people here willing to help out with almost any thig.
    be shore to share some pic's of the tree with us as you build it. what will you be welding the rebar with or will each branch be its own pice starting in the dirt??
    Attached Images Attached Images
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Havana, Florida
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Depending on how big you plan on building your trees, you may want to opt for using a 5 gal bucket full of concrete rather than a coffee can, that will surely make it more stable/secure especially when the plant begins growing and pulling on it. Please send photos of your finished product. Its a great idea!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    he is going to burry the can 2ft into the ground, the can would just be an ancure to keep it from pulleing out at 2ft down i would think. eather way its still a cool idea, i wana see some pic's, where you getting the rebar and how big ?? 5/8" or smaller/bigger.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  5. #5
    airhead1340 Guest

    Default

    Try using bolt cutters, if the end is not what you want, use a bench grinder to dress the ends.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Startford, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Posts
    304

    Default

    I have no pictures but last year my friend and I made 10 round bar trees. We just used the torches and heated them up to bend the round bar in the shape of branches, and just welded up other little pieces for smaller branches they looked real nice. What everyone else said about the grinder and cutting pieces sounds a lot cleaner for cutting they you have less you need to clean. Also I know another way you can anchor then down, we just added to pieces of flat bar to the side in the shape of a triangle and had a little bit of a point on the bottom and that could work as an anchor, mind you the tree will have to be made a bit taller to make of from space in the ground.

    I hope this helps
    Ryan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Guys...it is...a few pieces of rebar....doesn't need a nuclear powered proton beam cutter ..put a bi-metallic blade in your arm-powered hack saw and do it in a few seconds each. If this lady can, you can too:

    http://www.homeenvy.com/db/5/75.html

    She bends rebar with a easy jig. She has some good projects in metal here and there on her site. [yeah, yeah, she does show cutting with a grinder too.]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    15

    Default proton beam cutter

    I'm kinda lazy so I would go with the nuclear powered proton beam cutter, check ebay they have everything. Failing that the 4.5" grinder with a cutting wheel would be my first choice.

    If you are looking for design ideas try do a search for "bottle bush" or bottle tree" on line. These are a Southern garden tradition and they are fun to build.

    You are on to a great idea here.

    preacher
    If you had fun making it, you did a good job

    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Hobart Airforce 250A
    HH 135
    Smith O/A
    and a LOT of hammers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    preacher
    i dont think i got a chance to do so earlyer so just wanted to say welcome.
    interesting history on the bottle tree, kinda like an african version of our indean dream catcher.
    i took the time to do a quick serch and got a few pic's for those without the time to serch.
    man i gotta get a life.
    any way, they are som cool idea's for tres, enjoy the pic's
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  10. #10

    Default

    Thank you all very much for the input. The 5 gallon bucket vice the coffee can is something I will definately use as is using the angle grinder (it'll give me an excuse to buy another power tool ) to cut and round off the rebar, only because I couldnít find a nuclear powered proton beam cutter for sale online anywhere! Rolling the ends to prevent anyone from getting impaled will also be implemented, since I donít want to get sued if any would-be burglar fleeing the police jumps into my yard. The bottle bush pictures are exactly what I was thinking, just a little larger in scale. I can't take credit for this idea however. We first saw it on Landscape Smart, a DIY show on HGTV. There is also one web site related to this project http://www.home.earthlink.net/~rebartrees/ . Thanks again for all the input. I appreciate it. Iíll post pictures when I finish.

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