You know the white pails that every product you can think of comes in. The pail is strong, the right size, and can be found everywhere. Most of the time these pails are thrown away, and the lids that come with the pails are an SOB to take off with your fingers. The lid is called a GAMMA Seal and I think it is the best thing since sliced bread. I use this lid for my lunch pail, and when I am in Hawaii I use two of the pails with lids to store my items and I fill them with pool water to add weight to my workouts.
For my job I need a tool pail that I can power wash, fits in annoyingly small areas, I have to be able to sit on it, and operate an auger for hour long stretches. For me this is the answer that fits my life to a tee.
Step 1: Acquiring the Materials.
- A 5 Gallon Pail no lid.
- A leftover scrap piece of 200mm (8") PVC Sewer Pipe.
- A leftover scrap piece of 150mm (6") PVC Water Pipe
- Gamma Seal Lid (Any color)
- A leftover piece of wood larger than the inside diameter of the bottom of the 5 gallon pail.
- PL9000/Epoxy or substitute.
Optional: Metal Carabiner, 1-1/2" tubing, handle tubing.
Tools you will need:
- Access to a band saw, table saw, drill press, power sander, router.
- A bastard file, some sand paper, an exact-o-knife. a caulking gun.
- Optional: Spray Paint, Masking Tape.
Safety PPE required:
- Eye protection, gloves, ear protection.
Step 2: Nylon Buckets Are Everywhere. the Lids Are Not.
I have purchased probably 6 of these lids so far in my life. In this case it will be used as a lid for the tools and a seat top for the stool. The store only had green which is good because in my line of work sanitary infrastructure is painted green.
Step 3: Think in Circles.
Because I work near cast off sections of both water and sewer pipe, I am able to find product that works for this. If don't have access to PVC pipe, you may have to think in triangles. I'll let you think about that.
Step 4: Cutting the Pipe.
The water pipe was cut on angle to match up with the inside diameter of the sewer pipe. I did this by eye with a Sharpe pen and a band-saw. I chose to go with a shorter compartment and a larger compartment by cutting two different sizes of dividers. You can do what you want with your stool pail.
My hands are going in to this pail at least 10 times per day. Therefore the edge of the pipe must be rounded off so that I don't shave my hand off everytime I reach in. I did this with a table router and a rounding bit.
One word of advice. Routers cut through pipe like its butter. The shavings are highly susceptible to static. If you have the option try to router the edges with the shavings shooting away from you. If not you will be wearing the shavings for most of the day. You have been warned.
Step 5: The Wood Base.
I chose a piece of hardwood that was leftover from another project. Measure the diameter of the bottom of the pail. Now cut your wood so that it fits in the bottom. The wood won't fit just yet, take the wood and trace the outside curve of the pail. Now with the aid of a band-saw cut the curve into the piece of wood. Then do some dry runs on the way it fits. I had to cut the curve twice, An easier way of doing this is to take a string that is half the diameter of the bucket bottom and with center mount, trace the circle on the wood. I didn't have any string, but I made it work.
this was just a base for fitting the pipe into.
I wanted a wood base that was channeled out so that the pipe fit inside. The advantage of the channel is when you apply the glue and/or epoxy the surface area is tripled and the pipe stays together better.
Take the wood base and place the 8" pipe on the wood. Trace the inside and outside of the pipe on the wood. Drill out a channel. slowly keep over lapping the drill until you take out all of the wood within the tracing. Dry fit the pipe. If you need to take the file and ream out the channel. If you have a chisel this might be easier. I did not. Once the pipe fits in the channel take the water pipe and once again trace the pipe. Then drill out the inside channel and dry fit the pieces.
When you are satisfied you will be prepping for the final stage. Gluing.
Step 6: Gluing.
Get a rag, some latex or nitrile gloves, and your caulking gun. Epoxy set up time was 5 min, and the PL9000 was 10 min. my order of operations was PL9000 for the wood base channels, and epoxy for the pipe to pipe connections. Figure out your own prep times, before you start gluing.
Caulk the glue into the channels. Take the outside pipe and place it in the wood channel like you dry fit previously. Press in place making sure the glue forms around the pipe.
Start to mix the epoxy, and coat the edge of the water pipe that will but against the sewer pipe. Start with the smaller divider and at an angle press the pipe into the channel filled with glue. Straighten into the walls of the sewer pipe, and make sure it is firmly pressed against the inside of the pipe. Repeat with the larger divider. Use your finger to wipe any excess in the joints.
Remove gloves and set project to the side so it can set.
Step 7: Masking the Pail
I masked the pail with newspaper and tape and sprayed a rectangular mask over the logo. Later when the paint is dry I will remove the paper and apply another mask with my logo.
Step 8: Installing the Lid and Extras.
The lid is the most expensive part of the pail. At around $15 your going to want to do this properly. The lid is super easy to install. Just make sure you don't get too excited. The stool is almost ready for use.
On of my touches is the handle. The small cylinder handle is just to small. If you want a better feel. Go to the hardware store and buy about 2 feet of 1/2" hose. Thread the wire or plastic handle through the hose and reconnect. You can see the clear tubing on some of my pictures. It makes for a more comfortable feel when carrying.
I had an old locking carabiner so I decided to incorporate it into the pail. I drilled a 3/8" hole, reamed it out and inserted the hardware.
One thing I didn't plan for was bigger tools. My solution was to bolt on some holsters to the sides of the bucket. The 1/2 inch flexible plastic pipe can hold with the help of gravity and friction our 15, and 18 adjustable wrenches when we need them. When we are not using them, they will act as bumpers. Pictures will follow in the coming weeks.
Step 9: Start Using the Stool Pail!
Step 10: The External Tubes.
It is cheap, organized and it works. Build yourself an indestructible or easily re-purposed stool pail.