How To Make a Fire Hose Cross
Okay to be honest this post is going to be thrown together because I have promised several people I would share how I make my fire hose crosses for firefighters and I just need to quit procrastinating. Later I will come back and fine-tune the post to be more eloquent and beneficial. However, I love a DIY post that gets right to the point of the DIY.
There are many types of wood you can use to make your fire hose cross. I have used pine, select pine, alder, poplar, and oak. Because I make them in a large quantity to donate, I try to be cost-efficient with the materials. My favorite is probably alder wood if I am staining the cross. If I am painting the cross I will usually use select pine or poplar. All you need to know is that you need to purchase a 1 x 6″ board. If you are making just one cross, all you need is about 42″ of the board. Pine boards are sold by the pre-selected cut board at our local hardware store, the smallest being 6 feet. If I buy oak or poplar, it is sold by the linear foot so you can just buy your 42′ length. However, both of these boards are pricey so it will still cost you more for your cross than purchasing the 6′ select pine. It just depends on the final look you are going for.
Before making my first fire hose cross, I had not seen a YouTube, Etsy, or a craft fair with them at it so I like to think I am the first that came up with this idea. I would say I have made more than a hundred by now and I don’t even have one in my own home.
Materials needed for this project:
Kreg Jig and 1 1/4 or 1 1/2″ length kreg screws
Stain and/or Paint (for the finish)
One D-Ring hanger for the back
42″ of 1 x 6″ board
A saw to cut your wood to length. I use my slide mitre saw, but you could also just use a circular saw
60″ give or take of a cross lay fire hose
Stapler / Crown Stapler (I use a Ryobi 18-Gauge Cordless Narrow Crown Stapler)
Probably the first step is to acquire a safe fire hose. Make sure that your fire hose has been properly cleaned before making household projects with it. I power washed and dried the hose at the fire station before bringing home and then I power wash it one more time in my driveway and then scrub with a scrub brush and OxiClean (if the hose is a white hose).
I think the big DIY step that you need to know is the measurements. You want just enough wood to peek out from the fire hose so a 1 x 6″ board works perfectly. Just cut a 27″ piece and two 7″ pieces. The 27″ piece will be the body and the two 7″ pieces are the arms of the cross. I mark a line 7″ down on the 27″ piece and that is the top part of my arms. I attach the arm pieces to the body with my kreg jig. I also use wood glue to further reinforce the attachment of the cross arms.
Once you have your wood cross constructed, just decide on what type of finish you like. I have a previous post where I discuss what finishes I have used and why I choose them. Here is the link:
Whether you choose to paint or stain your cross, once you are happy with your finish, the next part is all about the fire hose. Just cut your fire hose to the length you need. For the horizontal piece, I usually cut the hose at 26-27″ and the vertical piece to about 34-35″. You just want to make sure that you have enough hose to cover the wood front and then fold over and staple securely to the back.
I basically know that all most people need are the measurements because a fellow Captain had seen my work and asked me about the measurements and he was successfully able to make a cross by just following a few specifications. He attached his hose a little bit differently than I did, but that may just be because I am a little of a perfectionist in making sure the staples are spaced evenly. Really the staples are just to secure your fire hose to the wood cross. You do not have to be as methodically in placing them as I am. It will be beautiful either way and best of all… the most heartwarming gift you can make.
I love that he went all out and used Oak wood. I would have been a little nervous using it for my first fire hose cross because of the price. But just look how fabulous the stained oak looks peeking out from under that red hose.
Well, this is all I am going to post for now because I just need to get a bowl of ice cream… after all, I am a retired firefighter (we do love our Blue Bell) and it is National Ice Cream Day today!
Stay safe my fire family and happy DIYing!
The Mother Trucker
Ps. check out a few fire hose crosses below and you’ll see the different finishes and hose combinations that you can come up with.