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Glaze Bucket Failure


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Has anyone had any issues with their glaze buckets developing leaks, or failing all together?

I bought a set of buckets from a big box home improvement store a year or so ago, and added a couple more since.

On three different occasions, I discovered some moisture around the buckets, and when I lifted the buckets, there was a good portion of the glaze coming out.

The bottoms of the buckets had split.

I have not be rough with the buckets at all.  I either hand whisk or use an immersion blender to mix up my glazes, so I don't think I am causing any damage.

Since I bought them all at the same time, I guess I could have just got a bad batch, or maybe they just aren't a good product in general.

Thoughts?

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Quality not what it was  , for sure!!

Buckets used to last for years. Not anymore.

I have slit a bucket with an agitator attached to a drill but not with your methods.

Disappointing, eh?

I get cast offs from local bakery , used fir cream, sauce etc. Seem better quality than in the stores and much less costly.

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I use mostly paint buckets as they are pretty heavy duty. I keep about 30 of them around (also for apple jusicing season) My glaze buckest are 20-40 years old. I have gone thru bottoms with a worn out jiffy mixer.

Get your buckets from painting contractors for free. 

I have one big box bucket as it came on my power sponge about 25 years ago and is on a stand .It only holds water and I only add water as it evaporates .

My guess is the buckets a big box are rock bottom cheaply made for the low low price point

Backery as Babs said is alo a good source-never bought a 5 gallon bucket in my life

I also have 6 gallon and 10 gallon and a 20 gallon that I use for glazes-the 10-20 gallon sizes come from restaurant suppliers and are high quaility

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I have never had a 5 gallon bucket fail at the bottom. I have had them crack where the handles attach, though. That's lots of fun when you pick up a full bucket and the handle snaps off. It usually takes years and years before that happens, though. Plastic gets brittle over time. I've had lids collapse inward when stacking, too. But never a leaky bottom.

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I’ve noticed that the quality of plastic that the store with that big orange logo have been selling lately for paint mixing seems to be lower. They’re not as thick as some of my old food service buckets, or even the buckets that drywall mud comes in.  Could be covid related supply line issues, could be the fact that they took BPA and BPB out of some things a few years ago. I’m not saying the removal was a bad thing, because the stuff is bad for folks. But it did make plastics more, well, plastic. Could just be that corporations are being cheap.

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On 11/20/2022 at 4:36 PM, Mark C. said:

My guess is the buckets a big box are rock bottom cheaply made for the low low price point

Yep. To my eye, the blue, orange, or green - whichever color your favorite box store sells - buckets are both thinner and a more brittle plastic than the gray or white ones that paint and drywall 'mud' (joint compound) typically come in.  

Might be worth driving through an area where there's new construction, and see if you can snag a couple of empty buckets from the drywall crews.  (Drywall compound is water soluble, even after it's dried, so the buckets are easy to clean.)

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i also use bakery buckets from the supermarket.  have had no problems and they are many years old.  been here for 20 years and some of them came then.  i did once buy a bucket from sherwin williams paint store when they were having a $1 sale.   got the last one.   it is good because the bottom does not have a seam, the wall curves down and there is no corner where it is joined to a bottom. 

drywall buckets are 5 gallon most bakery buckets seem to be 2 1/2 gallons these days.   i still have lots of them but the water here is so hard that some have crusted up beyond saving.  well, i could fill them with vinegar. but $$$$$$$ why?

Edited by oldlady
posted too late at night to spell correctly
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I think it's also about the type of material the buckets are made out of. Google search brought up buckets made from polypropylene, polyethylene (low and high density), polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride, polyetheretherketone, and something called  Halar®. "Halar® tops the list for chemical resistance in plastics. It can resist even the harshest chemicals, acids and solvents – including sulphuric acid – without effect on its mechanical properties. The only corrosive chemicals that can affect Halar® are hot amines and ketones."

I had a quick look at the underside of a couple of my buckets that have stood up well, they say HDPE which I think stands for high density polyethylene. (wine makers 6 gallon buckets) If we wanted to actually pay for buckets I'ld get the ones that are more resistant to chemical attack and weathering. 

Edited by Min
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For anyone needing 10 gallon buckets, Brute buckets have always been my choice because they last forever and I could get them locally, but a few years ago they redesigned them and they are pretty awful now. The issue is not durability, but rather they changed the design of the bottom of the bucket and now they're really difficult to stir and get the thick stuff off the bottom. They used to just have a simple hump in the middle, but now they have 3 (4?) bumps on the bottom that make it impossible to maneuver a stirring stick and get the bottom stirred well. I was at one of the local community colleges a month or two ago and they had just purchased about 2 dozen of them and filled them with glaze before they realized the change and they were NOT HAPPY. Plus they couldn't justify the expense of replacing them all with different buckets so they are stuck with them.

A friend of mine has some of the Carlisle Bronco 10 gallon buckets that are available on Amazon, and they have a good bottom and are priced much lower than Brute, and you can get them shipped for free with Prime. There are others available online, but the shipping cost is usually a killer since they're bulky.

10 gallon buckets are difficult to move around the studio, so unless you can leave them in one place I recommend putting them on a dolly. I made some simple dollies by glueing up 2 layers of 3/4" plywood to make a 1 1/2" thick slab, cut it into octagons that are just a bit larger than the bucket, and put 4 blocks around the edges to hold the buckets in place. For casters I got cheap 2" casters from Harbor Freight. They've worked well. With the price of plywood  as high as it is right now I would probably use MDF or OSB instead. Whatever you use, paint it to protect it from the wet glaze. I have seen some dollies available online for as little as $25, but they appear to be pretty flimsy plastic that I wouldn't trust with a full 10 gallon bucket of glaze. Glaze weighs 11-12 pounds per gallon, so you want something beefy. Tipping over a 10 gallon bucket would be an incredible mess!

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yes, neil, a true mess and a half.   the first pottery workshop i attended was with charled counts, whose work i had admired for a very long time.  he dipped the cylinders, bowls, jugs, everything in slip "buckets" that were 32 gallon trash cans by rubbermaid.  kept them outside, i think,   rubbermaid made the Brute then.

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For my main 3 glazes I got big 20-30 gallon tubs from the farm supply store.  Have held up well for over 5 years.  got cheap furniture dollys from Harbor Freight and just added slightly larger wood tops.  made covers from plywood. 

I have used square 4-5 gallon icing buckets for all other glazes.  The square shape is better for dipping most items than round buckets.  Get them free from Sams Club.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've gotten some 5 gallon soy sauce buckets from a Japanese restaurant. They seem to hold up well, as they may be sturdier than the ones you can buy from the hardware store.

For the uneven bottom of a glaze bucket, you can try using a brush to stir the glaze. I prefer to keep my stirrers in the bucket to not waste glaze by rinsing it off every time you mix a glaze, so I use ones made of silicone or plastic so it doesn't rot or rust. I imagine you could even attach a kitchen scrubbie to a stirrer like a spatula to get down into the uneven spots. I'm thinking of those rounded ones, not flat like a sponge. 

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I use the same mixer all the time, spinning the glaze off of the end when out of the glaze. Of course these means having a taller bucket than needed to let the slop glaze spin off. Then a spinning rinse in the clean water bucket. No glaze really wasted as the clean water bucket stays relatively clean through the entire glazing time.

 

best,

Pres

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to catch the spinning glaze Pres and i get when using a drill to mix glaze, i use a paper bag with my smaller size test bottles.  usually a one quart plastic jar that comes with hot soup from the chinese restaurant.  i approached the owner and he allowed me to buy a bunch of them for 50 cents each.  they have tight lids and last for many years.  the very thin ones are not much good.

there is no restaurant supply store for 30 miles or i would buy a sleeve of them with lids.  very inexpensive.

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