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5 gallon buckets stuck together

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5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/21/2014, 9:15 pm

Okay, so I learned the hard way not to sit on a lidded 5-gallon bucket if I ever want to get the lid off again. But now those dang buckets are thwarting me again. I up-potted a tomato plant deep into a 5-gallon bucket full of MM to try it as a planter this year, and stuck that bucket inside another 5-gallon bucket ... and now I can't get it out!

Is there any special trick to it, besides not doing it in the first place?

It would be especially nice if I could get out my planted bucket without killing the plant or spilling all its soil everywhere.
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  boffer on 6/21/2014, 10:14 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:...Is there any special trick to it, besides not doing it in the first place?... 

It always helps to imitate a grizzly old sailor:
^(()^#$&()&^&^%))_%%$&I(

 Wink 

If the buckets aren't too old and brittle, a big flat tip screwdriver can help pry them apart after setting the buckets in a sink full of hot water.  Once in a while though, it's just a lost cause.

In the future, put a rock or block of wood in the bottom bucket to keep the top bucket from sliding all the way down.
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  sanderson on 6/22/2014, 1:14 am

@boffer wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:...Is there any special trick to it, besides not doing it in the first place?... 

It always helps to imitate a grizzly old sailor:
^(()^#$&()&^&^%))_%%$&I(

 Wink 

If the buckets aren't too old and brittle, a big flat tip screwdriver can help pry them apart after setting the buckets in a sink full of hot water.  Once in a while though, it's just a lost cause.

In the future, put a rock or block of wood in the bottom bucket to keep the top bucket from sliding all the way down.
+1 since the top one is planted.
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/22/2014, 6:55 pm

@boffer wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:...Is there any special trick to it, besides not doing it in the first place?... 

It always helps to imitate a grizzly old sailor:
^(()^#$&()&^&^%))_%%$&I(

 Wink 

If the buckets aren't too old and brittle, a big flat tip screwdriver can help pry them apart after setting the buckets in a sink full of hot water.  Once in a while though, it's just a lost cause.

In the future, put a rock or block of wood in the bottom bucket to keep the top bucket from sliding all the way down.

K thanks, I'll try. I've never had so much trouble getting two of them apart!
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  plantoid on 6/22/2014, 7:56 pm

Use two loops of thin rope ( hangmans noose pulled tight ) 
The pull ropes to be diametrically opposite & between the two bucket rims ,. stand on the ropes and gently pull up on the top bucket rim/ handle .


If it is too heavy to pull on for long un pot the plant and empty the bucket first & pour some hot water over the outer bucket when it's upturned to soften it a tad first ,then proceed as above ..

or
Use four hangman's nooses , the top two are for suspending  the inner bucket a foot or so off the floor , then pull the bottom nooses taught , push your foot down on the rope to exert a pull force . Now do the same to the other side of the bottom bucket .Repeat as needed for it can take several attempt to separate them  .
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  jrfrommd on 6/22/2014, 9:01 pm

bang them with the side of a hammer
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  Shelby Lou on 7/16/2014, 10:22 am

Put about 6" of ice in inner bucket, and set the outter bucket into warm watter. this should cause the buckets to contract away from each other allowing you to pull them apart.... Very Happy
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  camprn on 7/16/2014, 11:00 am

sawzall

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  rabbithutch on 7/16/2014, 1:31 pm

I've had success by rolling them on their side on the concrete driveway will exerting some force to pull the inner one out.
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/16/2014, 6:35 pm

The fire and ice suggestion was a pretty good one.

Since the inner bucket had holes drilled in it and the other one didn't, I eventually realized I could get water into the lower one and use the weight to help pull the two apart from the inside. So I poured lots of water into the top bucket, let it percolate down, and suspended the first bucket by its handle a couple of feet from the ground. Overnight, the lower bucket's water weight pulled it off.
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Re: 5 gallon buckets stuck together

Post  donnainzone5 on 7/16/2014, 9:38 pm

Marc,

A scientific solution!
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