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Archive for July 25th, 2018

Rubber Soaker Hose Repair

A soaker hose leaped under a descending garden fork and accumulated a nasty gash:

Soaker Hose Splice - gashed

Soaker Hose Splice – gashed

Mary deployed a spare and continued the mission, while I pondered how to fix such an odd shape.

For lack of anything smarter, I decided to put a form-fitting clamp around the hose, with silicone caulk buttered around the gash to (ideally) slow down any leakage:

Soaker Hose Splice - Solid Model - Assembled

Soaker Hose Splice – Solid Model – Assembled

As usual, some doodling got the solid model started:

Soaker Hose Splice - Dimension doodle 1

Soaker Hose Splice – Dimension doodle 1

A hose formed from chopped rubber doesn’t really have consistent dimensions, so I set up the model to spit out small test pieces:

Soaker Hose Splice - Test Fit - Slic3r

Soaker Hose Splice – Test Fit – Slic3r

Lots and lots of test pieces:

Soaker Hose Splice - test pieces

Soaker Hose Splice – test pieces

Each iteration produced a better fit, although the dimensions never really converged:

Soaker Hose Splice - Dimension doodle 2

Soaker Hose Splice – Dimension doodle 2

The overall model looks about like you’d expect:

Soaker Hose Splice - Complete - Slic3r

Soaker Hose Splice – Complete – Slic3r

The clamp must hold its shape around a hose carrying 100 psi (for real!) water, so I put 100 mil aluminum backing plates on either side.¬†Were you doing this for real, you’d shape the plates with a CNC mill, but I just bandsawed them to about the right size and transfer-punched the hole positions:

Soaker Hose Splice - plate transfer punch

Soaker Hose Splice – plate transfer punch

Some drill press action with a slightly oversize drill compensated for any misalignment and Mr Disk Sander rounded the corners to match the plastic block:

Soaker Hose Splice - plate corner rounding

Soaker Hose Splice – plate corner rounding

A handful of stainless steel 8-32 screws holds the whole mess together:

Soaker Hose Splice - installed

Soaker Hose Splice – installed

These hoses spend their lives at rest under a layer of mulch, so I’m ignoring the entire problem of stress relief at those sharp block edges. We’ll see how this plays out in real life, probably next year.

I haven’t tested it under pressure, but it sure looks capable!

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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