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Old 13-05-2013, 14:31   #1
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Look Bucket how-to sought

I have a black bucket from Dollar Tree (one gallon size) and want to turn it into both a look bucket and a bucket-bucket. It's the bucket I use now to rinse off the swim platform, bale the dinghy, etc.

In preparation I cut two 6" plexiglass circles... I have nuts and bolts and silicone sealant. What I wonder is if I should place the plexi inside the bucket (thus making it sturdier for bailing) or outside for better seeing the bottom? I'm thinking the nuts will protect the plexi from scratches (won't counter-sink) so that's not a factor.

Is this an either-or, or is there a preferred method? And why?
And yes, I chose black deliberately as it's better for seeing -- less glare/reflection.

Any tips before I start?
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Old 13-05-2013, 14:34   #2
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Re: Look Bucket how-to sought

i made two, but out of five gallon buckets. i put the plexiglass inside, thinking that when i set it down it would be less likely to get scratched then if it was outside. the five gallon buckets are a bit of a handful to keep down below the surface - wondering if i should have made them from smaller buckets.
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Old 13-05-2013, 14:42   #3
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Commercially available versions have plexi inside bucket secured w adhesive only. Hole in bottom of bucket is smaller diameter than plexi insert.

Ours doubles as the trash can.

Great for non-snorkelling guests too.
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Old 13-05-2013, 15:20   #4
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Re: Look Bucket how-to sought

We have a cheap commercial one that a guest left on board. It is a normal square plastic bucket with an acrylic plastic window epoxied inside the bottom. The epoxy has lost its grip in some areas and sikaflex 291 sealed it backup.

But, they are fairly useless without some means of excluding light coming in past your head from the sky. The "real" ones have a sort of hood with eyeholes over the open end and they work way better. Take a look at one in a catalog somewhere and you will get the idea... perhaps one can figure out a similar DIY solution.

Cheers,

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Old 13-05-2013, 15:54   #5
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Re: Look Bucket how-to sought

I made one years ago from a five-gallon bucket and a piece of plate glass. I secured the plate glass inside the bucket with a bead of silicone sealant. The plastic bucket eventually disintegrated. The plate glass and the sealant were still good. You don't need mechanical fasteners.

Fabbian
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Old 14-05-2013, 15:50   #6
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Re: Look Bucket how-to sought

Thanks so much for the responses. I did not know that nuts and bolts were not required -- that was very helpful, and yes, I'll put the plexiglass on the inside of the bucket as per the advice provided. Ah, isn't it wonderful that the water is warming up nicely?

Life is great afloat. And thanks again.
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Old 14-05-2013, 19:04   #7
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Re: Look Bucket how-to sought

i went to all the trouble of putting in eight machine screws and nuts all around the plexiglass, in addition to the sealant. afterwards i saw another home made looking bucket that just used 3m 5200. whole lot less trouble. owner said it never leaked....
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Old 20-05-2013, 08:34   #8
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Re: Look Bucket how-to sought

I cutout plexiglass circle with a jig saw, and put it both on the outside and inside of the bucket cutout. Used 5200 to glue it, used my divers weight to keep pressure on it overnight. I needed a lot of 5200 since the bucket bottom lip will bend slightly after the cut is made. My first version had plexiglass only on the inside on the bucket, top side of the cutout. But then when you put the bucket in the water to look, the water pressure eventually pressed it op causing a leak. My rev 2 look bucket works pretty good. You can fill it with water and it hold, and you can submerge it fully, and it holds.
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Old 20-05-2013, 09:34   #9
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Re: Look Bucket how-to sought

If you wanna get real fancy, there are some nice scratch-resistant polycarbonates out there. . . . I had some stock left over from making portlights for my boat, so that went into a sturdy 5-gallon looky bucket.

FWIW, I made mine with the clear sheet inside the bucket, with stainless machine screws, and I think it was Shoe-Goo as an adhesive. . . . just used up whatever was around. The bucket has seen heavy use both for doing dishes and for peeking at the undersea world. Still in great shape after 5 years.

The scratch-resistant sheets are marketed under a number of trade names: Makrolon, MR-10, DMX, Margard.
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