Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Portable Hole

I have a half a dozen Tiki lamps which I place around our deck area in the summer to discourage mosquitos and provide a little night lighting.  The ground is so hard they are difficult to set up by digging holes so I forged an alternative which I call the portable hole.

It is stake with two aligned loops which can be driven into the ground or pushed in with foot pressure.  The base of the Tiki lamp pole easily slides into the loops.

The stakes also serve as hose guards protecting the small shrubs planted around the deck.

I used 1/2” round stock only because I have a lot of it.  3/8” or 7/16” would probably work as well.

This is my list of instructions:

1. Cut 48” (or more) of 1/2” round. The length determines the height of the handle.

2. Draw tapers on both ends.  Scroll the top end for a safety finial.

3. Coil around a 1.25” mandrel about a foot from the ground spike end. 
 and make another loop in the same plane so there is an interval of 10” or so between them.  For aesthetic reasons it’s probably best to wrap both loops in the same way and align by either CCW or CW bending and not a combination.

4. Lock the ring in vise and torch heat the shaft on each side and bend 90º on each side in opposite directions to align the hole at 90º orientation.  Do the same with the second loop and check alignment.

5. Bend the top end to form a teardrop crook handle.  

It’s a handy garden device and could be used in other circumstances.  I’d make a jig if I were going to do a bunch of them.

A short version of the lamp holder/hose guard. Natural rust finish.

Portable hole sketch.

When bending the hole to the perpendicular the shaft can be aligned by bending CCW or CW to match.

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