Frying Pan For Flying Friends --Pix Heavy!!!

dcarch7July 18, 2010

The pan that almost got junked was a typical 12" aluminum Teflon frying pan. It occurred to me that it is totally ideal for a birdbath. The right size and weather-proof. The design of the curly art nouveau looking vines was based on the consideration that birds will need them to perch on if they prefer not to be in the water. You will see three holes also along the edge. The pan can also be hung from a tree branch.

The graphics were carved using a rotary burr/file with a Dremel tool. The leftover black Teflon coating is a perfect background to show up the carved graphics.

You can find thousands of graphics of all styles on the internet. Just print it out on a piece of paper. Using spray-on adhesive, you can attach the graphics on the pan. Then using the rotary tool and follow the design on the paper, trace and carve away. No great skill is needed to put a fancy design on the pan.

How to cut aluminum:

1. It is not that difficult to cut thick aluminum with an electric reciprocating jig saw with a wood cutting blade.

2. It is not that difficult to cut it with a hacksaw by hand.

3. Actually it is possible to cut it with a pair of metal cutting shears. Aluminum is that soft. That was how I did it.

4. Bending aluminum takes not much effort.

The solar pump:

I was pleasantly surprised at how well and powerful that tiny solar pump works. The pump has a high-tech motor. It is similar to the fan motors in a computer. It uses Hall-effect devices so it is a brushless DC design. It is normally rated for 50,000 hours and uses very little electricity.

Using carbide bits, I drilled a hole thru a pebble for the fountain. I have not decided on what spray pattern I want yet. The pump is so small so it is very easily hidden by the pebbles.

The solar panel comes with a long cord and can be positioned any place where you get the best sun. I bought the solar fountain on eBay. Not very expensive.

The solar panel sends plenty of power to run the fountain non-stop. Because the water is being re-circulated, there is no waste of water.

More----

You can find a plug-in DC power supply/charger to run this indoors.

This would be wonderful in the winter for growing Narcissus indoors.

Let me know if you need more information.

For those of you who make and sell things, this one should do very well for you.

dcarch

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doodys(9)

Is that tape on the inside of the pan?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:27PM
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shrillmtb

Thank you for sharing both your idea and your method! I'm amazed (and excited) that metal cutting shears were enough to cut this. I knew aluminum was soft...but geez, those frying pans seem so sturdy! I may actually give this a go since it can be done without power tools, although I really should get over my fear of those :)
As for the spray pattern - I really like the 2nd last one. Keeps the pebbles evenly moist, shouldn't have too much water loss over the edge, and since it emerges right from the rock it's very visually appealing. (Did you drill that rock too? I'm not afraid of drills lol)
Thanks again!!
Sheryll

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:39PM
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luna_llena_feliz

Wow, I didn't realize that you cut the edges of the pan to form the vine-like perches. Very cool. Did you have to file down the edges after cutting them? Did you do it with a Dremel tool?

As for the spray, I like the water coming out of the rocks too. Although birds do seem to enjoy showers too. lol I also like how this would look hung from a tree branch, roof's edge or shepherd's hook.

Thanks for all the info including the solar pump. I was wondering how well they worked.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 7:32PM
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jeannespines

Very cool, artistic birdbath, dsarch! TFS the instructions & also the solar pump info...50,000 hrs. is great! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 8:29PM
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grandma_cindy(5)

Wow that is just so gorgeous! Again, WOW!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:54PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

what an absolutley terrific re-use of what most of us think of as junk! Thank you for sharing with us.
If I can manage to make one, I think I might know what I'll be making for gardeners' Christmas gifts! I don't know if I'll be able to. I'm still trying to figure out how to bend forks, lol.
Kathy

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 6:00AM
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excessfroufrou(7)

That is spectacular. Unreal that it was once a frying pan. Your projects are usually out of my leauge, but I think I have a frying pan just waiting to be worked on. I do worry about the teflon coating and the birds, I didn't think it was safe for humans, what about birds?
Frou

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 12:04PM
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dcarch7

Again, thank you very much for your kind words.

Here are answers to your questions:

1. I used duct tape along the side so that I can use a marker to layout the cuts. Very easy.

2. I used a file to smooth out any rough edges. Very easy.

3. I used a masonry carbide drill bit to drill thru a pebble for the fountain. Very easy.

4. Teflon possible can be harmful if its overheated in an enclosed room. It should be very safe for this birdbath.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 7:30PM
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toomuchglass(5)

Dcarch .......you are such a great friend to all of us . Thank you so much for taking the time to take pics and share your step by step instructions. ((( What a Pal ! )))
I can only hope to do what you do ! Maybe I'll make a "happy mistake" and come up with something new !!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:03PM
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sorie6(6b ok.)

WOW that is so amazing. What an artist you are!! None of it looks easy to me. It's just beautiful. TFS?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:15PM
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dcarch7

Thank you.

You guys are the greatest. Recycling is the most important concept in this century.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:04AM
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psbjmb

Your work is, as usual, stunning! We are so blessed to have you come up with these fabulous ideas and share them with us. This is one I feel qualified to try, and I will be looking for one of those pans on my next thrift shop visit. I am awed by your ability to take an ugly piece of trash (which is how I usually look at those old pans) and make it into a beautiful, useful, piece of art. Yet another reminder that there is beauty and use in everything, no matter how humble :-)

Patty

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:50PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Dcarch, I've marveled at some of your CF creations, but this is the pièce de résistance! Curious about the solar pump. Why is there a need for any electricity?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:44PM
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bozogardener(z4 MT)

The electricity is needed to power the pump.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 2:22PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Then what's the solar panel for?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 2:25PM
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dcarch7

No, you don't need electricity. The solar panel powers it plenty good.

I was saying in the winter time if you don't need the birdbath outside, you can find one of those plug-in DC chargers to run the fountain indoors. You may be able to run the pump indoors with the solar panel if you have a sunny window.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 3:04PM
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bozogardener(z4 MT)

Oh, sorry natal, I misunderstood your question! I had forgotten that he mentioned the DC converter.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 4:51PM
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kylslil1(8b)

Oh my word! I so want to make one of these! As if I didn't have enough projects on the back burner! Thanks for the beautiful work!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 11:10PM
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luvstocraft

Talk about trash to treasure! I could not believe that you could turn an old skillet into something so beautiful! Great job, you are very talented. Luvs

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:07AM
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crf_kitty

My gosh! Incredible! You have mad skills.

OT: have been reading your entries & comments on epoxy and other adhesives. Very interesting. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 2:15AM
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dcarch7

Thank you, thank you and thank you.

The point is, this kind of projects require patience, but not much skills.

Have fun.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:12PM
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TwoMonths(So Calif)

it is beautiful....lot of hard work for you there....but if a scratched aluminum pan is not good for me....how will it be for birds

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:51AM
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sprout_wi(z4 WI)

Not sure, twomonths, but I believe some of the problem comes from heating and eating the food that is cooked in the old pans. I don't think it would harm the water, or the birds.
-Sprout

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:03AM
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dcarch7

Aluminum forms aluminum oxide which is very stable and will not react with other chemicals much.

Teflon will not change properties unless it heated to above 450 degrees.

Both are extremely safe. Theere are billions and billions cookware in use everyday.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:10PM
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Lynn Marie

Now that is impressive. Simply amazing!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 2:57PM
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briergardener_gw

Hm, can't see your pictures. Can you repost please?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 1:58PM
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dcarch7

To all,

My pictures are not visible due to a Photobucket problem.

I was told that the pix will be back in a few days.

sorry.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 2:44PM
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crazyone

this is most impressive.. i love the step by step photos . at first I'm thinking.. hmmm ok but by the end I'm like I want that, it is so unique.. WOW, so neat, great job!!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:00PM
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puggranny(Zone 8)

I am speechless!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 1:33AM
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a.girl.named.max(4a)

I'm so glad that this post resurfaced. I love this piece!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 9:18AM
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threekittens_ia

Wow. If only I had a fraction of your imagination.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 10:25AM
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maggiejoe

wow! work of art!!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 2:19PM
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