Wood Ponds

Benefits of a DIY Wood Pond

By Wood Ponds

Having a pond in your own backyard or anywhere that seems appropriate for you can be one of the most amazing experiences in life. It is with this in mind that you need to carefully consider making a DIY wood pond. There are quite a number of benefits that you can enjoy when you opt for this type of pond. Learning a little bit more about these benefits is the key to appreciating just why it may be a good idea for you to build such a pond. Below are just a few of the benefits of a DIY wood pond.

Cost Effective – It is indeed true that creating a DIY pond can be very cost effective. This is because you do not really have to spend a lot of money on expenses that you may have otherwise had to incur when having one built for you. Most of the work will be done by you and therefore there is no need to spend a lot of extra cash on labor. The only amount of money that you may have to spend will be for purchasing the necessary tools for building a wooden pond.

Customization – Another one of the benefits that you are bound to enjoy when you opt for this type of pond is that you are going to be able to build it in such a way that it is unique to you and expresses your own personal preferences. The color, texture, width, length, height, and such among other things that are involved can be built as you deem fit.

Convenience – The next benefit is that you are able to construct the pond during the most convenient times for you. You can set your own schedule for construction and thus you will have the freedom to choose when to begin construction and when to end.

Building a DIY wood pond is not a very difficult task once you have all the information that is necessary to be successful. It is always prudent that you carry out a lot of research just so you are able to learn more on how to make the final product look amazing. Some of the important things to consider when building include; general safety of the pond, the construction methods used to built it and the materials used for constructing the pond.

Only choose quality components and be sure of how you plan to build the pond. Do not take any shortcuts wither either of these and the final outcome will be something that you can be proud of.

Is a Plywood Pond Really the Wave of the Future?

By Wood Ponds

Plywood PondWhen considering building a pond, most people think of using more conventional materials like concrete, rubber liners, stone, block or brick; but what about a plywood pond? Is it even possible? Of course it is. In fact there have been plenty of DIY pond builders who have successfully built plywood ponds and tanks and used Pond Shield to waterproof them.

Right now more and more people are building their own ponds and tanks with less expensive materials. For example a quick search on Google for DIY hydroponics tables or grow beds will yield a fair amount of web pages that revolve around creating your own system. Some of these search results even include instructions about waterproofing the wood prior to use.

There are also plenty of clubs and forums on the Internet that revolve around building a plywood pond or aquarium as well. This is mainly because the average do it yourselfer does not need a lot of specialized knowledge or skills in order to build these structures. The method of construction, as long as it is stout, will tend to last quite a while and at an extremely discounted cost.

The main thing to remember with wood is that it is going to bow unlike almost any other constructed surface. This means that you will need to take extra care when building your plywood pond. The last thing you want is all of your work to be washed away because of a faulty seam, for example.

There is a great starter article in the Wood pond section called “Building a Wooden Pond or Tank” that can give you a pretty good idea as to how to construct your own plywood pond. Though, the article describes a method of overkill in regards to construction, there are a lot of lessons that can be applied to your own construction method. Once the unit is built, it can be coated with Pond Shield and be put into service in as little as 24 hours.

Wooden Pond Structure Construction Materials

By Wood Ponds

I think when a person has decided to make a wooden pond structure in this instance, the next logical step is to research they style they are going to build so that they may further educate themselves in any of the idiosyncrasies that may revolve around their project.

I talk to a lot of people about wooden pond structure construction and because of the Internet they seem pretty informed.  They know what shape the pond structure might be, they know where the structure will go and they even have a good list of support equipment necessary to run the wooden pond structure.

What they are usually missing is a good list of construction materials needed to actually build the unit.  Sure they might know they need wood, glass and Pond Shield epoxy but after that anything else is typically of generic nature.  So let’s talk about those briefly.

Wood – What kind of wood?  Well there are two types of wood.  There is hard wood and soft wood.  A typical hard wood might be oak for instance and pine is a soft wood.  What difference does that make, you ask?

Well the actual panels of the wooden pond structure can be made of soft wood like pine or fir plywood where the bracing might be made of a solid hard wood like oak or cherry.  Of course a typical soft wood pine 2×4 is plenty strong if used correctly.  Take a look at the Wooden Pond Structure article.

While we always recommend that sheets of hardy board concrete be used to line the inside of a wooden pond structure, they are not total necessary.  They are more a very big safety measure.  If you’re not going to use the concrete board, then the plywood you use should be of a wood that has a very tight grain.

Usually hard woods are tighter grained, but there are variances in all types of wood.  The tighter the grain, the less swelling or misshapen (as the wood accidentally takes on water) problems you’ll likely experience.  If the wood soaks up water, it can swell and becomes misshapen, which in turn can cause a delaminating of the coating that is applied.

Finally, make sure to use plywood that is an outdoor, marine grade.  These grades of plywood are assembled with water resistant glue which will cause you less headaches later as well.

Concrete Board – This is usually called Hardy Board.  There are two different types, one for shower pans and one for exterior siding.  The Hardy board siding is the only one you should use for a wooden pond structure.  The shower pan style is too rough and will only cause you to use more Pond Shield epoxy than you should have to.

If you do use concrete board in your wooden pond structure, then you’ll benefit mainly from removing the wood from and water barrier duty.  The further the wood is from the water, the less trouble you’ll have with it.  Now Pond Shield does stick to wood, but it sticks to concrete even better.  This is why we recommend using Hardy board.

Adhesive – Adhesive, for what?  Well if you plan to use Hardy board, you’ll need to glue it in place.  I have always used Sika-Flex A1.  It is a very strong construction adhesive that remains very flexible.  This means that even if the wood portion of the structure moves, it will not effect the interior concrete board construction, which could have led to leaks.

Fiberglass – No matter what you build your wooden pond structure out of, you’ll need to run fiberglass matt along the seams.  I recommend that you use 1.5 ounce chopped strand matt.  The thickness of the fiberglass and the chopped strands tend to dissipate stress quite nicely.

Fasteners – Ok, get a big old bag of nails for this.  No!  I’m just kidding.  Avoid using nails whenever possible.  They just do not hold on like a screws will.  Your choices of screws these days are a plenty.  I always use something that is stainless steel first if I have the opportunity.  The less corrosion your fasteners go through, the stronger your finished wooden pond structure will be.

I also use sheet rock style screws because they tend to really grab a lot better than typical wood screws.  This is not to mention that they usually have a higher tensile strength too because of the way they are made.

Silicone – If you plan to have a viewing window in your wooden pond structure, then you’ll need to adhere it to the walls in some way.  Silicone seems to be the best choice for that.  Look for an aquarium safe silicone to use for this.  You can usually find these online or at your local aquarium store.

Bulkhead Fittings – For wooden pond structures, these are the best way to get your plumbing through walls and floors.  They are usually made of a schedule 40 or schedule 80 PVC.  They are made up of three parts, a front have, a back half and a rubber gasket.  The gasket will always be on the inside of the wooden pond structure.

Various Brackets – Depending on how you construct your wooden pond structure, you may or may not use metal brackets.  If you do, be sure to use those that are galvanized at least.  This added layer of corrosion protection that coats the steel will make them last a lot longer.

Coating – No matter which method of construction you use, you will have to coat the interior surface in order to waterproof it.  Of course we manufacture the perfect coating for that purpose.

That is about all there is to the materials needed for a wooden pond structure.  If anyone out there has any other material ideas, let me know.

Building a Wooden Pond or Tank

By Wood Ponds

I have seen people build wooden pond and holding tanks that looked great, only to see them leak like a sieve. For those of you that do not know what a sieve is, it is a meshed kitchen instrument used for straining liquids. You get the picture.

Wooden Pond Diagram

Click the Image to Enlarge

Usually the construction method starts out sound and with very good intent, but quickly goes awry from there. Generally speaking, most failures start with the outside of the wooden pond or tank rather than the inside. People tend to forget how much one gallon of water weighs. Do you know?

8.34 pounds! That is how much one gallon of fresh water weighs. Salt water tends to weigh more. That is not to say that the small amount of salt you have in your fresh water pond will add up to much though, because you are using so little of it to begin with.

So all of this water will add up in weight that is applied to the walls of the pond or tank. For instance, a simple holding tank that measures 8 feet long by 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall will have about 7,989 pounds of water in it. Consider this, at 4 inches of depth, the weight is 479 pounds.

Now 479 pounds may not sound too bad, but think of the stress that small amount of water puts on the tanks along the floor/wall seams. If the floor bows, those seams can split and will definitely leak. Imagine it at capacity, 7,989 pounds! This is why I said most of the troubles usually start on the outside of the pond or tank.

Consider any reinforcing structure for a minute. To keep that floor from bowing, you’d have to reinforce it much like the upstairs floor of a home or apartment is reinforced. I say much like only because in a floor of a building, it is possible to allow for flexibility, where with a pond or tank, the flexibility has to be reduced to almost nonexistent.

The same can be said for the walls. As more water is put into the pond or tank, the walls will want to bow outwards without proper reinforcement. This will cause leaks in both the floor/wall seams as well as the wall/wall seams. Now let’s take a look at how to overcome this.

When I said that the reinforcement should be much like the reinforcement found in an upstairs floor or apartment, I wanted you to picture those beams that run under the floor. For almost any living quarters, those beams are usually set at either 12 or 16 inch intervals.

With a pond or holding tank, those beams should be much closer. Usually 3 to 4 inches apart will do the trick. Remember, the reason why you need them closer is so that the wood does not bow under the weight of the water. Take a look at the image in this article and you’ll see what I mean. If you click the image, you can download a larger version for closer inspection.

In this scenario, 3/4 inch plywood is used for the walls. You can use 1 inch if you’d like, but be sure to choose an outdoor grade of plywood. Outdoor grades of plywood have a more water resistant glue that binds the veneer layers which will come in handy should water get on them. Construct your basic box from the sheets of plywood using screws, not nails.

Once the box is built, you will need to cut 2x4s to run the length and width as well as under the bottom of the box. It’s not a good idea to plan to just sit the box on flat concrete floor because you will end up with no way of cleaning up and spilled water or anything like that. So plan to rib the bottom of the floor and set the unit on the ribs at least.

Now the 2x4s will be placed onto the walls standing on edge rather than lying flat. This is where the rib strength will come from. Start at either the bottom or the top and be sure to end flush at the opposing edge by either adjust the last rib or adding a rib to accommodate. It is important to make sure the edges have very good structural integrity. Make sure that the ribs overlap one another at the ends of the box and screw them together there.

If you plan to have drains or any incoming pipe coming into the pond or tank, those holes should be cut out prior to placing ribs near those locations and the placement should take into account keeping the ribs in their prescribed locations. Use a hole saw to cut these out and plan to use bulkhead fittings where the pipe will come through the box. Bulkhead fittings will make the transition not only look better but be virtually leak free in the end.

You will notice form the diagram that concrete board is being used on the inside of the tank. This concrete board is also known as hardy board. The reason it is being used is because if the plywood ever delaminates for any reason, the coating applied to the inside will fail too. This is not to mention the over-all strength that the concrete board will also provide.
So you glue the concrete board in place and then seal it with Pond Shield epoxy. Use fiberglass strips on the seams to provide extra strength. Once all is done, the pond or tank can be filled up. This design certainly can be modified to accommodate additional tanks being added in line too. Happy building!