Posted By Bonnie on January 22, 2013
This is our new hay ring. Well, it isn’t so new now, but it was new in October. I wanted to wait on telling people about this hay ring to make sure that it was going to work. We made this out of the gray EMT that is used to protect electric wires. You can get this stuff at most hardware stores and we chose it over regular PVC because it is more UV stable. We used 3 inch diameter to make the legs and 3/4 inch to make the rails. You have to have the specific glue for this type of plastic, but they usually sell the glue right next to the plastic emt. You then drill holes into the legs and put the tubing through and space the legs out. Once you have the spacing right, you glue the rails together. You do all of this with the rails unbent. Then once you get everything together you bend it into place and glue the rails. It took both my husband and I to bend the ring and hold it for gluing. Once the glue is set, you can use a rubber mallet and move the legs around a bit to get things just right. We used some small cut off pipe pieces that were cut in half perpendicular to the round ends and drilled holes in those to make stops on either side of the legs on the rails to keep the rails from sliding around. We riveted the stops in place. You could use bolts, but you would have to make sure they were cut off close and ground down so you would injure the horse. Rivets worked great because they were smooth with no place for a horse to catch themselves on it.
We had one rail break right after we made the ring and started using it. We think this is because we did not put stops on the legs to keep the legs from sliding around. We easily patched the break with a smaller diameter piece of PVC which we slid inside the rail and riveted it in place. That was in the first two weeks of use in October.
It is the end of January and this hay ring has been working very very well. I can pick it up on one side using one hand. This makes it very easy to move this hay ring around. I was afraid it would break when it got cold but it is handling temps down into the teens and single digits without a problem.
Best thing about this hay ring is how low cost it is to make. If you put caps on the legs it will run you $120 to $150 for materials. If you don’t put caps on the leg posts, it will cost you $100 or less. That is amazing. As soon as I can afford it, I am going to build another one and quit using my big heavy metal hay ring. The other best thing about this hay ring is how light and easy it is to move!
2 ten foot sections of 3 inch diameter gray plastic EMT pipe to make leg posts.
12 ten foot sections of 3/4 inch diameter gray plastic EMT pipe to make rails. Each rail is made from 2 and 1/2 sections. Use some of the cut offs to make stops for the legs.
Plastic EMT glue and primer
rivets or bolts to put the stops on with
optional 3 inch diameter pvc caps (we spray painted them to help make them UV resistant.
If you want some more pictures or better directions on how to make this hay ring, send me a private email and I will get those to you.