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Old 15-01-2019, 17:18   #1
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Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

I have a circle of plexiglass and want to cut the bottom out of a 5 gl plastic bucket and adhere the plexiglass in.

Should I use clear silicone as the adhesive or 4000, 5200?
Gut says silicone, but maybe one of the others is better?
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Old 15-01-2019, 18:38   #2
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

I used "5200" for it's adhesive properties.
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Old 15-01-2019, 18:42   #3
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

Be sure to leave a good half inch ring of the bottom so there is a good base for the plexiglass and sealant. I’d probably go for sikaflex since it works so well on the plexiglass material in my hatches.
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Old 15-01-2019, 18:48   #4
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

I'd go 5200....it's not like you will be wanting to take the bucket apart later.
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Old 15-01-2019, 18:55   #5
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Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalimniosjohn View Post
Be sure to leave a good half inch ring of the bottom so there is a good base for the plexiglass and sealant. I’d probably go for sikaflex since it works so well on the plexiglass material in my hatches.


Yeah, but it’s not available. Plan is to put the plexiglass on the outside of the bucket so any pressure is pushing against the seal, and I’ll leave likely an inch as all I have is a saber saw.
5200 is available here, but I’ll have to price it, some things are stupid expensive here, and some things are normal priced, makes no sense.
Like $5 for a single small roll of cheap paper towels?
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Here is a deal, only $25 if you buy 6
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Old 15-01-2019, 23:59   #6
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

Paper products are luxuries for foreigners, many places.

If you don't have Sikaflex on board already, the 5200 should do fine, but it is also a product mainly for foreigners, and may therefore be unacceptably expensive. Maybe they have some other caulking available that they use for windows and the like. See what the hardware store has. If you have to re-do it every three months till you get somewhere you can get a reasonable price on 3M, so be it.

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Old 16-01-2019, 00:48   #7
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

As I recall, the commercially made ones just use silicone. As you point out, the water pressure will hold it in.

One of my first jobs was assembling real wooden glass bottom buckets. We’d order a gross of wooden buckets from Maine with no bottoms. We had them cut the croze (groove) at the large end of the bucket. We’d get a local glass company to cut 12” circles of 1/8” glass. My job was to drive one of the hoops off the bucket, spread the staves enough to get the glass into the croze and then drive the hoop back on. I then melted bee’s wax in a ladle and used it to seal the glass to the wood.

The best glass bottom buckets are smaller at the top than at the bottom. This reduces the light entering in the top which can cause glare on the glass.
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Old 16-01-2019, 01:13   #8
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

What ever is cheap or you already have on hand...it's not like you have to worry about the boat sinking because it didn't seal perfectly and as others have mentioned, you aren't likely to disassemble it.
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Old 16-01-2019, 01:54   #9
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
What ever is cheap or you already have on hand...it's not like you have to worry about the boat sinking because it didn't seal perfectly and as others have mentioned, you aren't likely to disassemble it.
+1
I'm not a fan of 5200 for something like this. If it leaks and you need to redo it every 6 months it will be a royal pain to remove the parts of 5200 that do stick.

Plus I'd put the plexi on inside of the bucket, preferably all the way to the inner rim. This will stop the bucket from flexing and breaking the seal. It will also partially protect the plexi from scratches as it gets thrown around the dinghy and in storage.
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Old 16-01-2019, 02:23   #10
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

We have one that is just a rectangular plastic bucket with a clear plastic lens glued into the bottom. It works... doesn't leak and all that, but so much sun comes around one's head and into the bucket that your vision into the water is badly compromised.

The good store bought models incorporate a "hood" with eyecups in it... much like the ones on old commercial radars. If you can work out a way to emulate this, perhaps with an old leaky dive mask, it will greatly improve its performance. Such is on my to do list,but rather far down in priority so it's been there a few years (at least).

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Old 16-01-2019, 02:28   #11
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Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

Repurposed traffic cones make EXCELLENT bathiscopes. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Narrow end up, deals with the whole sunlight and angle of view thing plus they are bl—dy near indestructible, being made to handle wayward trucks and drunk drivers.
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Old 16-01-2019, 02:50   #12
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

I would put the plexiglass on the inside. In normal use the water pressure on the outside is negligible and some kitchen and bathroom sealant will seal and hold it with a decent flange.

However, in an emergency that bucket might be used for bailing and then the loads and handling could be far from gentle.

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Old 16-01-2019, 04:25   #13
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

I placed the glazing on the inside of the bucket. When you’re looking, the bucket only has to barely penetrate the water surface, so little inwards pressure. I also used the bucket as a “bucket”, so, sometimes, larger outward pressure, when full.

What Pete, GILow*, & Jim C. said.
* I never thought of a traffic cone - brilliant!
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Old 16-01-2019, 05:49   #14
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Repurposed traffic cones make EXCELLENT bathiscopes.
Great idea! Now if I only knew where to buy one...


Oh well, they're doing so much road construction around here that even if there WAS a place to get them, it would be a pain to get to...


Heeeeey! Wait a minute!!!
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Old 16-01-2019, 06:17   #15
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Re: Making a “Glass bottom Bucket”

So please forgive my ignorance. What is the significance or purpose for a "Glass bottom Bucket".
Perhaps I've been missing a valuable boating tool all these years?
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