Home Repair

Rain Barrel



SKILL LEVEL intermediate

Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Get ready to water May Flowers with an eco-friendly Rain Barrel!

by Dremel ®


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Supplies Needed For This Project


SM20 Saw-Max Tool Kit

Model # SM20


SM500 Wood & Plastic Carbide Wheel

Model # SM500


678-01 Circle Cutter & Straight Edge Guide

Model # 678-01


565 Multipurpose Cutting Kit

Model # 565


  • 1

    Gallon Bucket
  • 1

    32 Gallon Outdoor Trash Can
  • 1

    Screen Material
  • 1

    Water Spigot

Let's Get Started

To reduce the risk of injury user must read instruction manuals for all tools used in this project. Wear eye and respiratory protection. Use clamps to support work piece whenever practical.


Step 1

To allow water to filter and drain properly, we decided to integrate a bucket in the top of our barrel. Begin by making adjustments to your gallon bucket. This is where your drainpipe will meet the rain barrel. To make this connection possible, you need to cut out an opening in the center of the bucket lid for your drainpipe to fit into. Remove the end of your drainpipe and trace its shape in the center of the bucket lid. Next, mount the cutting guide onto your 4200 tool. To do this, remove the nosecap of the tool, insert your 561 multipurpose cutting bit (included in the kit) and replace the nosecap of the tool with the guide. Set the tool to a speed setting of 5-10. Plunge into your marked line and, applying light pressure, trace around your marked line. Test your downspout for a snug fit.


Rain Barrel

Next, you'll want to remove the base of your bucket. We marked a line 6" from the bottom of the bucket. To make a straight line of cut around the bucket, we wrapped tape around the bucket at that 6" height. Next, using a Dremel Saw-Max tool and a SM500 Wood and Plastic Blade, we cut flush along our tape-marked line. As you cut, slowly rotate the bucket towards you, while pushing the tool away from you. The abrasive finish on the wheel will leave a smooth finish behind.


Step 3

Next, we cut out space for the bucket to fit into the lid of the barrel. First, place your newly cut bucket on the top center of the garbage can lid and trace around it. Next, we used a Dremel 4200 tool with the same Multipurpose cutting bit to create a circular cut. Begin by setting your tool to 5-10 and plunge a pilot hole directly in the center of your garbage can lid.


Step 4

Next, measure the diameter of your bucket to determine the size of the opening you need to make. We needed a hole 12" in diameter for our bucket to fit snugly inside of the lid of the trash can. Cutting precise circles with the 4200 is easy, especially when using the Circle Cutter Guide included in your kit! With the same 561 bit in place, mount the Circle Cutter onto your tool, set the diameter to 1 1/2" and cut at a speed of 5-10. Cut in a clockwise direction using consistent, moderate pressure. Tip: To assemble the cutter, unscrew the pivot foot knob and turn the picot foot over so that the center point is down. Next, remove the nosecap of the 4200 tool then thread the Guide onto the threaded portion of the tool, turning clockwise until tight (do not over-tighten).


Step 5

Fit your bucket inside of your newly cut hole. Push it far enough in that it is secure. We left about 4 inches of the bucket out of the top of the garbage can lid. To keep away pests and filter water coming in, we added screen material over the top of our bucket. The bucket lid holds the screen in place. We removed the lid of our bucket, set the screen in place, replaced the lid to the bucket and cut the screen to size.


Step 6

To finish off the barrel, we added a spigot at the bottom. You can dispense water straight from the spigot or attach a hose to it. To cut a hole for the spigot, you can keep using the Dremel 4200 tool and the 561 Multipurpose Cutting Bit. Trace around your spigot and cut around your marked line running your tool at a speed setting of 5-10.


Step 7

The final step is to attach your downspout to your new rain barrel. You may notice that you need to extend your existing downspout out and away from your house in order to feed the spout into the barrel opening.


Step 8

Cutting extra downspout material is easy with the Dremel Saw-Max! Begin by measuring the length you need and marking your line of cut on your material. If you are cutting vinyl downspout, you can use the SM500 Wood and Plastic Wheel. If you are cutting aluminum downspout you'll need to use the SM510 Metal Wheel. Secure your downspout extension to a workbench. Turn the tool on and begin cutting along your line of cut, rotating the downspout towards you as you did when cutting the bucket in step 2.


Step 9

Finally, insert your extension and set your downspout into the barrel. Please note: Check for restrictions on rain barrels and rain harvesting in your area. You may need a permit in some locations, or the use of rain barrels may be prohibited or governed by state, local or neighborhood regulations.

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Dave Fawcett's picture Dave F.

That is soooooo cool! I bought my rain barrel but I need 1 more. I hope you don't mind if I use your design! Thanks!

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