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Repurposing Project Turns into a Christmas Present

December 26, 2015

In the heat of summer when I finally broke down and put in some drip irrigation, I had in my mind that I wanted a drip tape winder so our drip tape didn’t end up just stuck somewhere out-of-the-way and even worse, left in place and not to be thought of until the next growing season.

Like this.

Drip irrigation components aren’t really that expensive, but being able to put them away in a neat manner will increase their life which will represent a savings over time.

I’m not too handy when it comes to building or fabricating, so this drip tape winder was destined to be a honey-do project.  Making it a Christmas present sweetened the pot, I could deal with the drip tape in a mess alongside the garden for a few months and it gave my husband a few months to gather materials and get the apparatus made during the slow time of the year.

It didn’t hurt that a our friend and colleague Josh Volk has made plans available in Growing for Market and on his website here.

Drip tape winder

Drip tape winder

On most farms there is usually a stash of good stuff that may be repurposed into something new.  In our case, outdated road signs from my husband’s workplace, some scraps of PVC pipe, and a wheelbarrow frame fit the bill for the new drip tape winder.

A sturdy frame for the winder was welded from purchased angle iron.

The winder itself is made from purchased plumbing parts that are readily available.

With the drip winder mounted to the wheelbarrow frame I can easily move the winder to each garden and greenhouse for rolling up the drip tape for winter storage.  With several pieces of PVC pipe I will also be able to make separate spools for each garden and greenhouse due to their different lengths, saving me time in the spring when it’s time to reinstall irrigation.

Now I just need to get up the gumption to use my Christmas present and wind up that drip tape!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2015 5:59 pm

    Nice! We just coiled ours up and stuck ’em in a 30 gal galvanized can in the garage, but it was a little hard to keep the main drip lines from kinking. Hopefully having the pipe to wrap them around makes it easier..

  2. December 27, 2015 5:18 am

    Better than diamonds and pearls! Merry Christmas 🙂

  3. December 27, 2015 8:07 am

    Brilliant! And – cat approved! Bonus…

  4. December 27, 2015 8:57 am

    those are the kinds of gifts I love. Can’t wait to hear how it works out.

  5. nicky permalink
    December 27, 2015 11:30 am

    That is BRILLIANT! I have been trying to figure out how to deal with all my miles and miles of tape. Especially when I have to move it for the tractor. Usually it piles up at the end of each row and then I have the “fun” task of untangling a mess of “spaghetti” Thank you… I think my birthday present is set.

  6. Bluejeanqueen13 permalink
    December 27, 2015 11:02 pm

    I love the tape winder wagon of wonder! Nice to repurpose so many parts on hand. I finally requested my own set of hand tools for Christmas (pliers, wire cutters, etc). I only had to ask once!

    • December 28, 2015 6:09 am

      Bluejeanqueen13, you know how we are…oh I/we can make that! I bet, separate tools are pretty nice. I got new fence wire too but it wasn’t too exciting to post about 😉

  7. December 28, 2015 5:12 am

    Brilliant! Shows what a little ingenuity can do 🙂 I didn’t get a present from my beloved per se or he a gift from me, then again the car has new winter tyres and I will get some new glasses – that’s enough isn’t it? 🙂

  8. Bee permalink
    December 29, 2015 6:10 am

    Hey, repurposing has a long and honorable history! Two of our most useful articles are the trailer hubby made from an old pickup bed and the hay trailer he made from an old motorcycle trailer. That last sees daily use when we feed the horses and cows, and since it can easily be pulled with a 4-wheeler, we press it into service for hauling straw to the pigs and sheep, sacks of supplements and minerals, big rocks from the garden and the occasional child or three. And I see your cats (like mine) consider quality control, product inspection and general supervision to be their primary responsibility. For that matter, they think they run the ranch and graciously allow us to live here…

  9. mtnmedx permalink
    January 3, 2016 3:46 pm

    Dear Matron,
    Our very first milk cow (a 7 year old jersey) delivered a healthy jersey/ Angus cross heifer 2 weeks ago! (I know December is not the best time for calving but I purchased her already pregnant and beggers can’t be choosers.) Anyway am needing advise looking ahead to her next pregnancy. We have a short grass growing season here in NW Montana so do I try and have her calf during the summer or plan on calving in the early spring so she’s on good pasture when her milk production peaks at 60- 90 days? (Sorry for the random question).

    • January 6, 2016 5:59 am

      E, I would try to have her calve in early spring if you can, which will benefit her, the calf, and you. The milk will be healthier for you if she’s on grass, and you will have the worst part of winter off while she is dry and on a maintenance ration. That’s what I’m trying to get back to – spring calving. Congrats!!!

  10. January 4, 2016 3:07 pm

    I made one of Josh’s tape winders this fall-works like a charm. It also is great for winding up electric tape when I am moving the horse pasture. Having it mounted on wheels is of course the icing on the cake. But my frame is not nearly as nice as yours is…;)


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