Two or three months ago I built myself a tanren uchi. Afterwards I realised that
I should have taken some pictures to illustrate how I did it so that I could write
a brief "how to", as I couldn't find anything like this on the web when I looked
before building mine.
Last weekend I thought I'd better weather proof it & took advantage of this time
to take some pictures to illustrated how I went about building a tanren uchi.
This is a description of how I built my tanren uchi using those pictures. Not
exactly a definitive guide, just a way that worked for me using the materials I
could lay my hands on.
An old car tyre (I'd this one for ages as I'd saved when I last bought new
tyres, knowing I wanted to build a tanren uchi )
2 x stout chunks of timber that come up to around waist height when stood
on end (I had these left over from some raised beds I'd built). They need to
be sturdy as they will be taking the weight of the tyre & the force of your
6 x planks of wood. These don't have to be particularly strong as they act
as braces & aren't taking any direct force (I got mine from some old palettes).
2 x lumps of timber that will act as feet (again I used parts of the pallet
4 x bolts & washers (you will also need a drill bit big enough to make holes
in the tyre to accommodate these)
20 x wood screws (weather proof if it's going to be left outside)
Wood treatment (only necessary if it's going to be left outside)
The tanren uchi build process:
I started off by drilling the holes in the tyre. I drilled 2 on either side
for the 2 main supports & a few in the bottom for drainage. I used a 10mm multi-purpose
drill bit which did the trick without too much trouble (expect a smell of burning
Next I worked out how high I wanted the top of the tyre to be (around waist
height) & drilled the supports. I then used the bolts to attach these to the
The next step was to attach the cross braces. Make a pilot hole to ensure
the wood doesn't split.
Finally, attach the feet.
The pictures below help to clarify the process I used to build my tanren uchi.
Tyre attached to the supporting legs
Close up showing bolts that attach the tyre to the supporting legs
Close up showing bolts on the inside of the tyre
The drainage holes in the bottom of the tyre"
The cross braces & feet
The cross braces are to one side
...and then the other
Close up of the foot
First foot attached to the tanren uchi
Second foot attached to the tanren uchi
Close up showing feet attached to the tanren uchi
The finished tanren uchi
Hints & tips:
I found getting the bolts through the tyre quite difficult because the thread
of the bolts got caught on the steel belting within the tyre. With hindsight,
I could have done a few things to make this easier.
I could have used shorter bolts!
I could have used partly threaded bolts
I could have drilled larger holes (my bolts & my drill bit were the
same diameter which made things awkward).
Be sure to weather proof your wood before construction or you'll be dismantling
your tanren uchi again as I had to!