DIY - clawfoot outdoor bath

It’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow and for a while she has been making little noises about how nice an outdoor bath would be for relaxing…and she loves clawfoot baths, so I figured I’d try to sort something out (the single bathroom in our little house is too small to have a bath, so we only have a shower at home).

I found an old clawfoot bath for cheap on an online auction that passed in and this morning drove out to the southern outskirts of Auckland to a 30ha farm to pick it up. Stepped on not one but two cow piles in the process of loading it on the trailer…talk about being a clueless city kid, huh.

I didn’t take photos before flipping it over (and it weighs over 100 kg’s so wasn’t going to do it again just for a photo), but the enamel is in good order and a bit of rust remover gel did wonders on the rust blemishes around the drain.

These shots are after running an impact driver with a brass brush over the claw feet and spraying them with some rust converter (the black stuff on the claws and around the drain).

It looks like the bath was manufactured in 1914, on October 9, specifically.

I like it that there was a time when a man would walk to his job in the morning, change the date on his metal dating tool, make a bathtub and stamp it with a date to show when it was made. That’s awesome.

The 9th of October in 1914 was a Friday. That week, events of note included the capitulation of Antwerp to the Germans, the birth of Thor Heyerdahl, a Royal Naval Air Service bombing raid by two Sopwith Tabloids to the Dusseldorf Zeppelin sheds and the first flight of Sopwith Gun Bus.

Anyway, I digress. Her highness wishes for the claw feet to be white and the tub to be “charcoal”. Please nobody tell her the spray can says “black”…

Feet done, started with the…charcoal…before I ran out of day.


Nice project!
And yes, restoring old stuff is very rewarding! They built things to last, back then.


The Gun Bus and the bath look like close cousins. Somebody at Sopwith must have said something like, “Heck, I bet I could make a clawfoot bathtub fly!” And he did.


I had a bath like that indoors at the farmhouse. Karen my wife could not use it as she slid down and when her feet hit the tap end she was under water :laughing:
Best bath though it takes some filling. I hope your not doing it with a hose it will take hours :heart_eyes:

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:joy: hahaha you are not wrong!!

I’d weld some fins on the side of it, attach a vertical pipe, and then leave it on the front lawn upside down…


…oh come on! You know we were all thinking about it. :grimacing:

(at least those of us in the States. They may not show this commercial elsewhere…which would be a good thing.)


It is SOOOO hard to make love that way. I used to yell at my TV, “He doesn’t need Cialis! One of them just needs to leave his or her respective bathtub!”


You got to admit that if that Cialis allows him to love her without leaving the bathtub…
Eh… I’d think about it.


Are you plumbing it I to the water supply or building it a stand so u can light a fire underneath :hot_face:


As much as I love the idea of a fire underneath, convenience won…our old 50’s house has the garden water taps in all the wrong places, so I’m getting a plumber around to install a couple of new ones and at the same time plumb in a hot and a cold tap on the wall by where the tub is going.

I’m not sure if there is enough drop to connect the tub drain to the wastewater too - if not, we can just let the tub drain downhill across the garden / use the water to water the plants manually.

First coat on. Rough but doesn’t matter, it’s a rustic outdoor bath. I didn’t bother paint stripping because it would be good to get this job done fairly quickly. If the coat doesn’t last, I’ll do it properly in a year or two. If I can finish the painting this weekend, I can call in the plumber during the week.


Painting done. Pretty stoked how the white feet stand out.


ESM sensors…



Now I really want to get some stencil numbers and paint a white “571” on the side…but I would be in so much trouble…



That’s a really neat project. I certainly would hope that you have some high fences around your property if this will be an outdoor tub.


No, not…just explain its is some obscure local ordnance:

Ordnance 35-1: Safe Volume markings for free standing, outdoor water vessels.
a. All free standing receptacles, containers, vessels, basins, tanks, tubs or pools which hold water shall have the volume of liquid that they can safely hold–the Safe Volume–(in liters), prominently and clearly displayed on each side of said receptacle, container, vessel, basin, tank, tub, or pool.
b. Rain barrels are excluded from this requirement.
c. Receptacles, containers, vessels, basins, tanks, tubs or pools, installed before 1978 are permitted to use pints or gallons in lieu of liters. The abbreviation “Pt” or “Gal” shall be annotated next to the numerical indication of the Safe Volume.

Its the law…you have to do it. :neutral_face:


Sorted! Plumber came around on Friday and the bath was promptly put to use that same evening.

It was great, I got to fly in peace all evening, so long as I occasionally brought the bottle of rose out from the fridge for a top up😁

The bad news is that the ultimatum for painting the exterior of the house has now been brought forward, as it isn’t as pretty as the bath. Sigh.


Hand her a paint roller with an extension and have her paint the wall while she is in the bath. :hear_no_evil: :see_no_evil: :speak_no_evil: