Fullbean Tutorials - Building a Shi Shi Odoshi or Deer Scarer Fountain

The fountain shown here is known as a
Shi Shi Odoshi in Japanese or Deer Scarcer in English

Three 1" white PVC pipes
Three 1" white PVC slip by slip couplings
Length of ½" white PVC pipe
One 1½" ABS pipe (black) This is the Tipping Tube
Small fountain pump
½" OD vinyl tubing
One ⅜" 90 degree barbed fitting
Five 90 lb bags of ready mixed concrete
2"x4" lumber
½" plywood
Four 16 penny nails (3½" box nails or similar)
wire fencing
½"x6" galvanized pipe
Swamp cooler float
Fittings to connect the float to the galvanized pipe

Building the Form for the Fountain
I built a box with a x by x base and sides 14" high
I then built a second box x by x by x
I placed the larger box on the sheet of plywood
I then placed the smaller box upside down inside the larger box
In the bottom of the smaller box, I drilled holes slightly larger than the 1" PVC couplings
I drilled a hole through each coupling slightly below the middle of each and pressed the nail through each coupling

    NOTE: The idea here is to embed the coupling in the concrete base.
The nails keep the couplings from rotating when the upright PVC pipes are inserted after the concrete dries and the forms are removed
I inserted the 3 pierced couplings through the bottom of the smaller box with the nails positioned so that they would be embedded in the concrete when the form was filled
I cut the wire fencing to size to fit between the two boxes
I drilled a 7/8" hole through one longer side of the inner and outer boxes and inserted the ½" id x 6" galvanized pipe
The threads extended beyond the concrete that would fill the space between the inner and outer boxes

    NOTE: I feared that water would escape from the outside of the pipe where the pipe passed through the concrete but this didn't happen.
I filled the space between the inner and outer boxes with concrete, making sure to fill all of the voids by tamping with a 1½ square piece of lumber 16" long
I allowed the concrete to dry for 3 days before removing the wood forms

The Water Supply System
I built the upright water supply tube assembly that would deliver water from the pump and through this pipe to the Tipping Tube
The vertical portion of the water supply tube is made from 1" PVC pipe with a hole drilled near the bottom and another hole drilled near the top
I chose to terminate the water supply tube with a ½" semi-horizontal pipe
Before proceeding, I threaded the ½" vinyl tubing through the lower hole of the 1" vertical pipe and added the 90 degree barbed at the top hole of the 1" vertical pipe
I then attached a short length of tubing to the barbed fitting and ran it through the ½" semi-horizontal pipe
I supported the semi-horizontal pipe with a ½" bracing pipe running at an angle from the 1" vertical pipe to the ½" semi-horizontal pipe.

Initially, I tried to shape the angled pipe ito meet the contours of the other two pipes and glue everything in place with PVC cement. That didn't work.
Instead, I drilled angled holes in the 1" vertical and the ½" semi horizontal pipe
I then held the bracing pipe in position with short machine screws and then applied PVC cement as before. That worked
I left the semi-horizontal pipe longer than it needed to be so that I could cut it off as necessary to have the water fall from it on to the 1½" Tipping Tube

The Tipping Tube is made from 1½" ABS pipe (drain pipe)
In order to tip properly, it must be balanced so that the back half of the tube is slightly heaver than the front half
When water from the semi-horizontal pipe fills the Tipping Tube, the front half of the tube becomes heavier and the tube tips forward, spilling the water back into the fountain.
After the water pours out, the back of the tube is once again heavier than the front half so the tube tips backwards gently thumping the fountain wall

I cut the top of the Tipping Tube at an angle so that, when tipped backwards, water could fall into it from the semi-horizontal pipe above it. The angle of the cut is not critical
Just ahead of the balance point of the Tipping Tube, I drilled a hole straight through the tube and shoved StyrofoamTM to the bottom of the tube
I then inserted a 16 penny nail (3½" box nail), cutting off the head.
The StyrofoamTM prevents water from filling the bottom half of the Tipping Tube.
If it were to fill, the bottom half would always be heavier than the front half and the Tipping Tubewould no longer tip
Out of personal preference, I fashioned a plug for the bottom of the tube using a hole saw and a large scrap of ABS plastic.
I could have capped the bottom with a 1½" PVC cap instead

Ralph Sutter

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