In what innovative ways have you used or seen people use empty joint compound buckets?
As weights for beach cabanas filled with water
I use them for growing vegetables of all kinds, including potatoes, squash and zucchini.
—Dennis Taylor, Owner, Taylor Exteriors, Hiawassee, GA
Drumming on the street for change. You can make more money than in the drywall business!
I have a 1997 Reinel boat. Water would run down the edge of my engine compartment and leak on top of my hydraulic reservoir and contaminate the oil. So I took a bucket and trimmed it up to fit around the oil pump area. Have not had any problems since.
—Scott Dickerson, Branch Manager, Calply-Fresno, CA
Mouse trap: Stretch a wire with a peanut butter–coated can mounted on it. Mouse jumps on can and rolls off into bucket.
—Rick Wollitz, Wollitz Builders, Kingsland, GA
I use them for flower pot holders. With a coat of spray paint for color and some decorations and turned upside down, they make an awesome raised flower/vegetable garden, and I don’t have to bend over to pull weeds. ... I can scatter them wherever or group them together and have a raised bed. Because the pots are not sitting on the ground, the bugs and ants are not so bad.
—Pat Phillips, President, Landmark Interior Builders Inc., Krum, TX
Upside-down as stilts, with duct tape for straps. In brewing beer. Mixing and storing bonsai soil. As jackstands, to support a car while repairing.
To plant potatoes AND form a "wall” around the garden to keep out the critters. :)
—Taneytown Drywall Services, LLC, Taneytown, MD
I always have at least 200 buckets around. I use them for just about everything, but the best so far was when my daughter’s dance teacher wanted to know if I had a few buckets she could use for props in their dance recital for the song "Car Wash.” She didn’t tell anyone about the props until they put them on stage for the dance, and at that moment everyone I was sitting with started laughing, looked at me and said, "I wonder where all those came from?”
—Andrevich Drywall, Freeport, PA
Years ago, all mud came in metal buckets. Dad hired us young boys (his 3 sons) to clean all the buckets, which he then took to some local orchards and traded for fruit that mom then canned. The buckets used to hold a peck of fruit or 1/2 bushel of grain. The orchard farmers always had needs for the buckets (folks coming in to pick fruit), and our family sure enjoyed the fruit. Getting paid by dad with sodas was sure sweeter than any money ... it was dad after all.
—Lee Barnhart’s son, Lee’s Drywall Services, Kansas
I use a 5-gallon bucket to catch sand waste when washing my tools in sink so the sand does not clog the drain.
—Tom Venticinque, Application Specialist, Dryvit Systems Inc., West Warwick, RI
Most of our work is for homeowners. We leave the buckets for them. They appreciate a bucket with a lid to keep things in.
—Tom King, Drywall Unlimited, Andover, NJ
Our warehouse guru built shelves, then installed the buckets on an angle. They store all our different types of caulking. Very easy to separate and see what you have!
—Dan Fulton, Fulton Interior Systems, Evansville, IN
Portable gardens. Many of my friends ask for my empty buckets so they can use them all year long for plants and vegetables. They either do not have enough property for a garden or they have too many critters that eat everything they plant so they "deck garden.” Easy to water, protect, maintain and pretty darn smart if you ask me.
We used a mud bucket as a burial vault for my brother’s ashes in 1990.
I have seen them used to hold baseballs for the local youth baseball league.
—T.J. Maunder, Operations Manager, Southern Wall Products, Inc., Tucker, GA
Since we use such a large quantity of compound, we buy it in boxes. However, we are also a paint contractor that uses a lot of latex paint. We clean those paint buckets and put the box mud in those buckets to use. Then, if anyone wants to clean the mud from the buckets, we give them away.
—Joe Griffin, President, Griffin Insulation & Drywall, Inc., Florence, SC
One local cemetery has them by each water tap so visitors can water their flowers.
Crapper for my boat.
Best tool box ever, and with a scrap of drywall, a good seat at lunch.