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fergusonjeff

Scaling Up Glazing Buckets

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I am throwing larger items lately are really prefer dipping to pouring or spraying in many cases.  I have been using square and round 5 gallon buckets but cannot fit larger items for dipping.  I typically make my main 4-5 glazes in 3 gallon batches.  I am thinking about scaling up for larger amounts for my three main glazes. 

 

My current plan is to use 17-19 gallon tubs like these: http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/fortiflex-large-capacity-plastic-bucket-17-1-2-gal-capacity-black

and put them on top of funtiture dollys.  These tubs are much heavier duty than the common tubs available from walmart.  I will make simple plywood covers and then roll them under the slab roller for storage.  I still plan to mix up the glazes in 3-4 gallon batches and test each before combining just in case I screw something up. 

 

Is there anythng I am overlooking before scaling up like this.  The tubs and dollys are not a big investment, but one of my glazes is particularly expensive and will cost about $150 to make about 12 gallons.

 

Any advice or warnings appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Jeff

 

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I got 36 casters off ebay and made dollies out of plywood. I use them for large storage containers for my clay and glaze buckets. I can store them under the work tables, slab roller, and wedging table. I brought a black rubber bucket similar to yours back in '97 when I taught a workshop in Spain. I still have them. they are great. If I had known TSC had them, I would have gotten them there!

 

 

Marcia

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I use a few large buckets for glaze besides the usual 5 gallon size.

My only suggestion is these seem low even on a dolly and bending over to glaze is not good.

I set up my glaze room so the buckets (all buckets) are up to my ideal dipping height .

Large buckets are great as you do not need to make as often and you can dip wider and taller forms.

Mark

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Mark,

I put the glaze buckets up on wheel stools with 15" wooden tops. They double as turntables when I am working on large handbills pieces. I agree that working as comfortable heights is important.

I have several hydraulic wheeled mechanics stools that I use in this way. I put flat discs on top after removing the padded seats.They work well for adjusting to good working heights.

 

Marcia

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It would be such a luxury to have tables that I could devote only to glaze buckets. Mine stay on rollers, in 5 gallon buckets, under old cafeteria tables. I have to work from the height of the bucket on a rolling dolly. I lessened the back strain by sitting in a rolling chair, propelling myself around from bucket to bucket as I need to stir, rinse, get another piece. helps some, but at the end of glaze day, I'm tired! and my arms are sore from lifting turning, using tongs. In a perfect world I would have a room devoted only to the glazing process.

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Making a glaze area full time in studio was one of the better things you can do even if its a small area. Moving buckets full of liquid materials is just more labor on an already labor intensive process.

Another source for great larger buckets is a restaurant supply house.

Mark

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Mark, Marcia, and Clay lover: thanks for the advice.  I picked up the buckets and furniture dollys this weekend.  I am not too concerned about the height of the buckets as I am used to working at floor height and don't tend to do long glazing sessions anyway.

I was a little annoyed that I had miscalculated the cost of the glaze materials.  One of the glazes will require more than 5 pounds of Tin oxide at about $25/pound.  That one ingredient accounts for about 1/2 the cost of all three buckets of glaze. 

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Hey,

     The college ceramic dept has about 35 glazes, most I don't use and most in 5 gallon buckets. ( I do plan

to copy the good glaze recipes before too long.)  They do have about 5 large buckets that a student picked up at

a local pool where they used clorine.  They're maybe 15 or 20 gal. buckets with screw on lids.  So the options

to glaze something large is to pick a glaze in one of the large buckets, or break out the large aluminum

pan (if you can find it), and pour portions of a five gal. bucket in it to dip in or put the sticks across the top

of the pan so the glaze can be poured onto/across the vessel.  Generally, I know what the stuff will be glazed

in, before its made and that allows me to avoid the drama and trauma. ;>)

     Before I paid $20.00 for a bucket, I'd call the city pool maintenance guy and ask about empty buckets.

"Do you have large buckets, do you know a pool who has large buckets?  Thank you."  Thats not hard.

Check the flea markets for the blue 50 gal drums and saw them in half for two 25 gallon buckets. (Blue barrels

are usually $5.00 to $10.00 or free if you have a bottling company near by.  They can't re-use the barrels.

I once used a Black and Decker circular saw to cut one into and it worked ok.  It made alot of blue chips to

sweep up.  A Saws All should work with one of the Demolition blades on if you don't have a circular saw.

     But call around first, then buy buckets.

See ya,

Alabama

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Alabama,

  Thanks for the suggestions.  I did look around first.  One thought I had was the large buckets that hold feed/salt for cattle, but they are too thin and brittle.  I looked into the blue barrels, but they run about $20 each on craigslist and I am not convinced they will be very sturdy with a cut rim (that is not rolled over).  Plus, it can be difficult to get a really clean cut and this would make a plywood top not fit as well (and they are not flat on the bottom/top which makes stirring more difficult).  I even looked into various metal barrel options with no clear solution.  In the grand scheme of things, $20 for something I can trust was not a bad option, considering one will be holding about $150 in glaze.

  The chlorine buckets are an interesting lead.  I will look into this in case I decide to eppand the Glaze palate into other large-quantity glazes.

thanks,

Jeff

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Hey,

I went to Mike's Merchandise website but it doesn\t say anything about buckets.  Because they are surplus

building material warehouses, they only sell stuff that comes in.  there are 5 Mike's in Alabama. 

(Not sure what state you're in.)  I went to swimming supply stores on the inter-net but the bucket size

aren't clearly evident.  I was planning to see if they had big buckets of stuff and ask if they would let me

know who was buying it or leave my contact info.  I'll check with the city pools in Wetumpka and Hartselle

and maybe some in between.  Some universities have large olympic size pools that might

have buckets too.  There is a pool service that advertises on the radio, I'll call to see if they have empty buckets

with lids.  I can't think of anyone else who would need bulk materials, in buckets.

I just went to Lowe's site but they only have 5 gal. buckets.  Uline.com/buckets has some but not sure about the size.

www.thecarycompany.com  carries 7 gallon buckets with lids.  They might have something else since they are

a spill control product business..

I'd google the size of the bucket you need with lids and see what happens.

Good luck and if I find out something I'll get back.  I don't need buckets but I might one day.

Alabama

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Alabama,

  Thanks for the suggestions.  I did look around first.  One thought I had was the large buckets that hold feed/salt for cattle, but they are too thin and brittle.  I looked into the blue barrels, but they run about $20 each on craigslist and I am not convinced they will be very sturdy with a cut rim (that is not rolled over).  Plus, it can be difficult to get a really clean cut and this would make a plywood top not fit as well (and they are not flat on the bottom/top which makes stirring more difficult).  I even looked into various metal barrel options with no clear solution.  In the grand scheme of things, $20 for something I can trust was not a bad option, considering one will be holding about $150 in glaze.

  The chlorine buckets are an interesting lead.  I will look into this in case I decide to eppand the Glaze palate into other large-quantity glazes.

thanks,

Jeff

 

Be careful using chlorine buckets! I almost gassed myself once when taking the lid off of a newly emptied one. Not pleasant. I don't know if chlorine has any potential to affect glaze...

 

Another alternative for larger containers is rectangular plastic bins with lids (like Rubbermaid). You might try filling one with a like quantity of water to see how it performs before going whole hog with them for glaze.

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for large amounts the University I attended used 55 gallon trash barrels, heavy plastic kind.  We also used some 5-7 gallon buckets for smaller amounts of glaze. The trash barrels last a long time and you can get them with built in wheels for easy moving.

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The brute are very heavy duty and you can get a special dolly for them. The only drawback and for me its adeal buster is the center is raised (not a flat bottom) and fits over the dolly centers.

since I use power mixer each week any bucket with non flat bottoms will get torn up over time with jiffy mixers. I only use flat bottom buckets. Thats me-for those who use whips to mix up glaze these will work great.The brutes are sold in restaurant supplies as well.

Mark

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Be careful; some of the plastic tubs you find can be brittle, and an propeller style mixing blade banging against the side of the bucket can cause them to crack and fail, especially if they are cold. We use the brute brand, like Mark said. Our glaze buckets are the 20 gallon size. I do agree that a glaze that settles out rapidly can be a pain to remix with a non flat bottom, but a good mixing blade should be able to pull the material from that recess area. I DO NOT recommend the dollies that brute sells for these cans. When filled with liquid they are extremely heavy, and if one of the castors catches a crack in the floor I have had them buckle and break free from their plastic housing, causing the can to fall over. Get heavy duty (at least 4", if not 6") swiveling castors and build yourself a nice thick (1-1.5", glue layers) plywood base, using carriage bolts to secure castors. One other note about mixing up large bins of glaze; if you screw up while measuring you now have a LOT of poor glaze. Write your scaled recipe out, and check off materials as you add them to the glaze; dont get distracted while measuring. Also, take a piece of plywood that is as wide as your glaze bucket its and cut a 5 gallon bucket sized hole out of the center to hold your glaze sieve while you pour. Our shelves on the wall are high enough that a bucket can slide underneath and be as out of the way as possible.

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