55 gallon plastic drums are advantageous for all sorts of DIY projects, native emergency preparedness to jobs that are simply for fun. If your home includes access to a pond or lake that’s good for warm-weather recreation, a floating dock is a an excellent addition. These docks provide a good place to reap outdoor fun with friends and also family and are reasonably simple to construct using a couple of 55 gallon drums, making castle a great family job or chance to acquire into DIY.

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In this article, we’ll show you how to develop a floating dock with 55 gallon north from waiting Sea Containers. The a reasonably easy procedure that can carry out a great spot for every kinds that activities, from swimming to fishing come canoeing. First, let’s talk about why 55 gallon plastic north are suitable material for this project.

Why 55 Gallon Plastic Drums?

Traditionally, floating docks have been do with specialized dock floats, huge plastic tubs that room designed to save a dock floating. Yet 55 gallon plastic north can likewise easily be offered for the process, and they have actually some benefits that do them an attractive product choice.


The advantages of 55 gallon drums over traditional dock floats include:

55 gallon plastic drums have thick walls and are developed with great structural truth that permits them to survive harsh outdoor conditions easily.55 gallon plastic drums have the right to be an ext resistant come freezing than dock floats due to the fact that their rounded form is less prone come cracking when iced over.55 gallon plastic drums have the right to be rolled over the ground, making them much easier to transfer than dock floats.

Building a Floating Dock with 55 Gallon Drums

Now, let’s see how the actual procedure of building the dock is accomplished. The materials you’ll need include:

4 55 gallon closed-head plastic shipping drums4 2×8 cure boards, 8’ long, for external frame7 2×4 treated boards, 8’ long, because that inner frame17 1×6 treated boards, 8’ long, for deckingFour 4×4 treated posts, 8” long, for corner postsSilicone caulkingTwenty l brackets100 feet the polypropylene ropeThree-inch coated deck screwsHeavy duty eye hook screwsDrill/screwdriver

It’s best to assemble her dock near the lake or pond that you wish to place it in, as your perfect product i will not ~ be easy to relocate over a lengthy distance.


1. Construct the external frame.

First, you’ll need to construct the square frame that will provide the foundation of her floating dock. To perform this, place your 2×8 timbers into a square shape and screw them with each other at the corners, making sure to usage the inside fairly than external cornerss<1> (as shown in the diagram).

To give your dock framework some extra stability, location a 4×4 corner short article at each corner of the frame and also screw them right into the corners. Currently you’ve got the outer framework that will offer your deck its simple structure.

2. Develop an inner structure for support.

Next, you’re walking to usage your 2x4s to create bracing for the inner structure that will hold the barrels in place, support the dock, and also give you a location to nail your decking boards. First, measure up to the exact facility of your square, place your very first crossbeam there, and attach it through screws. You’ll require to create a “cradle” because that each barrel the will hold it in place and prevent it from shifting.

To perform this, ar another collection of 2 2×4 support on every side of the facility beam, as displayed in the diagram. Place a plastic barrel in between the supports to ensure the they’re the right distance apart and have a snug fit—the barrel shouldn’t be touching the ground. Remove the barrels before attaching the cradles to the structure with screws.

Then, you’ll connect two crossbeams on height of the others, running perpendicular, as shown in the diagram. This supports avoid the barrels from moving in their cradles and also provide added support come the dock. To find the best spot for the horizontal crossbeams, measure wherein the barrels finish on the cradles and also place the supports so that they will organize the barrels firmly in place. As soon as you’re done, include L base to the crossbeam intersections in the inside frame—these will assist make the frame more stable.


3. Prep her barrels.

Your 55 gallon plastic drums carry out your dock’s key flotation, for this reason you’ll need to make sure that they’re prepared for use before including them to your floating dock. Tighten the plugs on your plastic barrels as far as they will certainly go, then include silicone caulking all about the plug to develop a watertight seal. Some DIYers like to add ballast water come the drums for stability prior to sealing them, specifically when structure a dock that will sit ~ above a big and much more wave-prone body of water such as a lake.

4. Connect the barrels to her frame.

Next, that time to add the barrels. First, you’ll include eye bolts come your structure to organize the ropes in location that will hold your barrels. Drill pilot holes for the eye bolts, two on every side of whereby each barrel will certainly sit, climate screw the eye bolts in by hand.

Place the barrels in the cradles, climate string your polypropylene rope through the eye bolts to tie under the barrels and keep them firmly in place. The easiest method is to tie a knot around the eye bolt closest to the frame, climate loop the rope v each of the three remaining eye bolts and tie another knot approximately the last bolt.

5. Flip your dock over.

Flipping your dock upright deserve to be a deceptively difficult task, for this reason recruit part friends or family members members to assist you lift and also flip that safely—two to three people should it is in plenty. Move your dock together close as possible to the body of water in i m sorry it will rest prior to beginning the next step.

6. Add the decking.

You’re acquiring close to perfect now, therefore it’s time to add the decking plank to your dock. Take your 1×4 boards and screw them right into the assistance beams to create a deck. Make sure to leaving some room between the decking boards (about ⅛” is good) to allow the boards to expand and also contract and prevent warping as soon as they gain wet. As soon as you’ve included a few boards, you deserve to use them together a platform to squat on when you nail in the rest.

7. Secure the dock.

Once the dock is in place, you’ll want to store it from drifting away. A an extremely simple method is adding another eye hook come the external of the dock, control a piece of rebar right into the ground, and tying off the dock utilizing your leftover polypropylene rope. If you want to store the dock an ext firmly solved in one location, just install an ext tie-down poles ~ above the shore and add much more eye hooks come the dock.

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Now you’re ready to gain your dock. Grab her summer fun gear and also your friends and also family, since you’ve gained an awesome brand-new place to reap the good outdoors!

Air Sea Containers has numerous choices for your following DIY or upcycle project. For more tips on just how to use our assets to construct cool stuff, see just how to Repurpose her Old Jerrican right into Something Useful and also 11 methods to Upcycle Your used Paint Cans.