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I have an excellent 5 gallon bucket.  It has a screw lid  with the threads on the outside of the bucket.  They are relatively expensive, but well worth the effort.  The glazes don't dry out, even the splashes on the inside stay moist for the 3 months between firings.  Only problem is the handle.  I don't know if it's the same plastic, but they get hard and break.  My test for bucket life is to flex the rim of the bucket.  Any cracks or noises indicate the end of the bucket life.  In regular buckets, Home Depot is pretty good life, but Lowe's blue buckets are not.

Anyone have a trick idea for replacing bucket handles?  

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Most of mine I got off cragslist for cheap from a restaurant,  the only ones i have bought were firehouse subs cause they are a dollar.

If a handle breaks I wrap it super tight with duct tape 5 or 6 wraps.

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I have at least 35 ,5 gallon buckets-never bought a new one ever. Either they came from products like wax or paint or mud or whatever-as a home owner you are always buying 5 gallons of this or that. Or I knew  many a house painter who went thru buckets like falling rain drops-unlimited supply.

Of couse there is no Lowes or Home Depot near me -the closest is a 3 hour drive.

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Yeah, see that push down lid is the problem for  me.  It doesn't seal very well and can be a real problem to pull up when your hands hurt.  Plus, like I said, the glazes don't live very well without a good seal.

Free is not always a good deal and wisdom is knowing when that is so.  I guess the conventional wisdom is to not spend $7 on a bucket.  Problem is, 5 gallons of glaze can easily be worth more than $7.  Yeah, it can be reclaimed.  Not easily if it lost all the water.

Maybe I'm the only one that thinks glazes need to be able to sit for 3 or 4 months without deteriorating.  If I don't use a glaze on any particular firing, that can easily be 6 months.

Screw top buckets are the bomb.

 

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The screw top lids are your ticket for long term storage. My lids are never fitting tight but I sue them newarly every week or two and live in a climate where evaporation is slow 

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Another alternative to the duct tape which can get sticky over time is the flexible black automotive wire loom material in 1/4" or 3/8". You can get it at any auto supply store and even Amazon.

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I don't worry too much about the lid seal, because my class glazes tend to dry out more from being left open all day during glaze week than from sitting unused for the 8 weeks between glazing sessions. I have several glazes in 10 gallon Rubbermaid buckets, and those lids don't have any sort of seal but seem to avoid evaporation fairly well.

I do like screw top lids, however I don't use them in my studio because there are several different types, some with locking mechanisms and such, and when mixed in with regular lids it just confuses people.

Are you talking the entire handle needing replacement, or just the plastic bit on the metal handle? If the entire handle is broken, I'd do something like bolting on a length of garden hose or something similar that's easy on the hands. A couple of small stainless panhead machine screw heads on the inside of the bucket won't get in the way of stirring. A piece of garden hose slipped over the metal handle is an easy replacement for the little plastic handle when they break.

 

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I have several larger-20 gallon buckets from restaurant supply stores with great snap lids for my popular glazes as well as a 30 gallon industrial tub whick I use a painted wood round that sits on top  for a lid and is a small table space when not in use as well for my rutile glaze which I use the most

when handles or buckets break I toss them .

We jusice apples here yearly as a community event and always have at least 25  buckets in upside down stacks so buckets are a commodity for us-peopole supple me with them. Wed pick apples with them wash apples in wheelbarrows and drain in 5 gallon buckets and hual them to the power press in them. I have food quaility buckets in an out building as well for honey and food storage .

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Buckets and containers were like gold in college. We couldn't afford to buy them, so we were always on the search for free ones. I remember in undergrad we had a gallon pickle jar that the dolomite was kept in, so I associated the smell of pickles with dolomite. When I got to grad school and opened the dolomite container and it didn't smell like dill, my first thought was that someone had put the wrong material in the container!

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I always got my free buckets from the grocery store bakery depts (have to wash the sticky frosting out.)  They come with a lid that keeps the frosting fresh enough, but snaps on tightly. 

Uline makes a gamma seal screw on lid.  They're kind of spendy, but nice.  I use mine on buckets for rice/beans/bread flour/sugar/etc.  https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-17945W/Pails/Gamma-Seal-Lid-for-35-5-6-and-7-Gallon-Plastic-Pail-White?pricode=WB0549&gadtype=pla&id=S-17945W&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI54b49cqS8QIVchitBh147g2cEAQYASABEgL_XPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

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If you have snap on lids that are hard to remove you can buy a tool at a paint store that makes it a lot easier,  gentle on your hands.   I got one as a gift,  it is yellow  heavy plastic L shaped with a pry type edge on one end.  It is made for removing 5 gal lids,  they are inexpensive.      Denice

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1 hour ago, Denice said:

If you have snap on lids that are hard to remove you can buy a tool at a paint store that makes it a lot easier,  gentle on your hands.   I got one as a gift,  it is yellow  heavy plastic L shaped with a pry type edge on one end.  It is made for removing 5 gal lids,  they are inexpensive.      Denice

Its a must have tool-I keep one in shop and one in studio

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There are screw lids for 5 gallon buckets that come in 2 pieces.  One piece with the threads attaches permanently to the bucket and the lid part screws into that.  Don't like them because pouring the glaze out of the bucket goes into the threads.

The buckets I have now I really like, but the handles are all plastic.  The bucket is staying soft, but the handle seems to be a cheaper plastic and gets hard and breaks.  Just what you want when you pick up a full bucket.  I will try to remove a wire handle from an old bucket.  I'm thinking about the garden hose idea.  I think that might be the right track.

Where I get the buckets and such also have a larger size about 15 gallons.  I have enough trouble storing 5 gallon buckets.  That's really my limit for glazes.  I do have a bunch of plastic lid barrels for storing bulk glaze ingredients.

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Nice!

I can't believe I've never seen these bucket wrenches Denise mentioned before.   I saw them in plastic and here's an aluminum one with a 14" (leverage) handle: https://www.amazon.com/New-Star-Foodservice-38019-Opener/dp/B009L8A1ME/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=pail+opener&qid=1623602127&s=home-garden&sr=1-5

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bucket LIDS have been an issue for me in the past.  The Homer buckets last forever, but not so the lids.  I bought extra Homer lids last time I bought studio buckets, which were stored in my closet with my clothes (I anticipated lid breakage over time and wanted to be prepared).

The buckets, like I said, last forever.  I am still using buckets that are at least 10 years old.  However by the end of year 2 ALL the lids were in pieces - including the ones I had in the closet.  They literally just shattered into pieces and left me holding the gasket when I tried to use them.

I've not been pottery-active since but I'm about to become so again (closing is on July 14).  I agree about stuff getting in the screw top lid threads - I tried to use those for paint recently, it was an awful mess.

So what other options are there for the lids?

I had one of the plastic lid levers and it broke the first time I used it.  If there is a metal version, that's the one I'd go for.

EDIT: The screw tops I'm talking about have a snap on lid and the center unscrews.  Very messy.  @CactusPots - where did you get yours that screw on the outside - like a Mason jar I'm assuming? Jar outies, lids innies?

Edited by Pyewackette
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Posted (edited)

Yes, I was using the snap on adaptor screw bucket lids and they aren't worth the time.  When you pour glaze out of the bucket, you're pouring across the threads.

In San Diego, I'm getting the good buckets from a local distributor, but looking at the bottom of the bucket, the manufacturer is M&M Industries and their website is ultimatepail.com

If you do have throw away buckets, be sure to salvage the wire handle.

 

Edited by CactusPots
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