The black swan of trespass

Repeatedly at auctions I have passed up tyre swans and more importantly tyre urns because they weren’t exactly what I wanted so now I find myself still swanless and none appear at auction anymore. I was forced to think about this when I came across this site selling bus brake planters. I have some planters made of old bulldozer track runners, and very elegant they are.

But they are not tyre urns. I am further irritated by the knowledge that a few kilometres up the highway the town of Rylstone has an annual tyre swan competition. My envy runneth over. So I’ve tracked down how to do it.

This pdf gives you the basic run down on the swan. And this site tells you how to make the planter.

The classic urn that I admire so much is created by cutting the planter with the tyre still on the wheel then when you turn the tyre inside out the offcut makes the base, the wheel makes the middle section and the tyre is the top planter section.

And finally, in case you wondered why, this site tells you why it’s such a cool thing to do, along with other ways to coolness.


  1. Posted 29 Jul ’06 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Long after Ern, there was Johnny Nice Painter: “Black! You lock me in the cellar and feed me pins!”

  2. Posted 29 Jul ’06 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I once tried and failed miserably to make a planter using a cut-off wheel on a nine inch grinder. The tyre was,of course, steel belted. After the acrid smoke had settled and my blood and stinking tyre stained overalls had been removed and binned along with the mangled remains of the Goodyear I went inside to drink beer and pick molten rubber dags out of my face and hair.

    Thankyou Ian, but after that brutal arvo I gave up on the fuckers.

  3. Posted 30 Jul ’06 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Perhaps this means that there is a market for ancient tyres from before the era of steel belted radials? A very small market, of course.

  4. Posted 30 Jul ’06 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Even less elusive than the the black tyre swan? Usually they’re painted white.

    Smash repairers must know how to cut up steel belted radials

  5. varp
    Posted 30 Jul ’06 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I thought the tyre and rim looked real old and the rubber soft to the touch….steel free I thought. The first cut with the cut-off wheel revealed steel, but not a lot. Perservere I did. Fine, hard stainless is awfully sharp. Still I perservere. The steel prevented the rubber from stretching in any kind of meaningful way so the inversion part of the process (going to be a planter) couldn’t happen.

    Blood, steel and the smell of burning of rubber says it all really.

    You just can’t make ’em out of steel belted tyres.

One Trackback

  1. […] clothes hoists, road sign tables and more. They’ve even got a tyre swan – bliss! Is this the Mad Max future as heaven rather than hell? […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *