# Gluing Plastic Storage Containers

The maximum weight that a floating object can support is the weight of the water that it displaces. In a milk jug, then that is pretty much the weight of the jug filled with water. Milk and water are very close in density. Therefore, if a milk jug will support 50lb, then it will weigh 50lb when filled with water. How do you explain the 50lb number you posted?
Mike
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is that how dolly parton stays up?

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Actually my buddy told me I'm in error. They calculated each jug to support 25 pounds, so 4 jugs to 100 pounds. I believe Dolly only has two.:)

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A pint's a pound the world around. A gallon of sea water is about 8 pounds. You will get a significant part of that in bouyancy with a jug of foam. So about 13 jugs for 100 lbs. As someone who actively participates in beach and bay cleanup I will also say a garden variety milk jug won't last that long in the sun and salt water. They will get brittle and crumble within a year. The standard float for people who don't want to buy the real dock floats is the poly drum. They even make hardware to fasten them to the structure.
Things that work "out on the lake" (like that galvanized fence idea) will not hold up in the southern sun and salt water. By the end of the summer that 16ga galvanized wire will be a rusty mess. You also may have to deal with some "named" weather ;-)
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bouyancy is determined by how much water is displaced and a foam filled gallon jug displaces just as much as one that isnt filled when submerged, assuming no crushing occurs. the only reason to fill them with foam is for durability.
randy
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clipped

What is a "poly drum" and where does one buy them and the fasteners?

I would have passed on the galvanized, but sure appreciate all the input. I believe that sheets of PVC are used to wrap pilings to deter barnacles ... is there a "paint on" coating of PVC? Believe I've read of PVC in paint? Would be nice to find an inexpensive material that also doesn't grow barnacles :o)
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http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=USPlastic&cate gory%5Fname%&product%5Fid699
You are looking for something like this. If you are in a big enough city or a place with a lot of imports there is probably a "used drum" place in the yellow pages. Otherwise check out recyclers. These things come in full of fruit juice, cleaning products or some kind of petroleum product. They are usually not worth cleaning and shipping back to the 3d world country they fill them in since most are made in a 3d world country anyway. The hardware is usually available from places like Overton. My neighbor built a floating dock for jet skis but I am not sure where his stuff came from. It was mail order tho. I suppose you could just use nylon webbing from a surplus place (cheaperthandirt.com or sportsmansguide.com) along with cradles cut from salt treated PT 2x8s. I have a 55gal poly drum behind my shed I fished out of the bay 5 years ago and the sun hasn't hurt it. Still looking for a good use ;-)
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Gino wrote:

Good trick since an empty, sealed one gallon container will only support a bit over eight pounds. Adding foam doesn't increase the weight supported, diminishes it a bit actually.
dadiOH's dandies v3.05... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Sorry for the fuck up. I apologize for being so stupid. Of course you are right.
My buddy was taking about a different milk container not one gallon jugs. When he told me they used milk containers I just assumed. These were some sort of commercial dairy container, more like a big bucket.
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The weight of the stuff supported has to be less than the weight of the volume of water displaced by the containers. Sea water density is dependent on the temperature and salinity, but you can use an average of 64 lb/cu.ft. Take the weight of what you want to support (deck, people, objects etc) and divide by 64. That tells you how many cubic feet of volume you need in containers underwater. Be conservative and make sure you have more flotation than you think you need.
Mike
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if the weight of the water displaced by the object as it settles in the water, weighs more than the object, it will float. find the weight of the kayak, estimate the weight of the float, add some to cover your butt, convert that weight to gallons of water and you have some idea of the displacement required.
randy
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Norminn wrote:

To determine cubic inches of PVC interior per running foot... (square of radius in inches ) * 3.14 * 12 -OR- http://grapevine.abe.msstate.edu/~fto/tools/vol/cylinder.html
A cubic foot of dead air will support around 60+ pounds. There are 1,728 cubic inches in a cubic foot.
Weigh what you want to support and go from there. Keep in mind that a wood platform floats by itself and that the PVC has weight too (which needs supporting)..
dadiOH's dandies v3.05... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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The materials used for those containers are difficult to adhere anything to. Some can be heat welded.
I'd try to get a block of foam to be sure it will not crack, fill, leak, or fall apart. I sold block of expandable polystyrene foam will support 62 pounds for every cubic foot of foam. .
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I have a friend who built a dock 5 years ago at his lakeside cabin filling 4 liter milk jugs with expanding foam locking them loose in a treated lumber frame under his dock. I've seen 6 adults on the thing and it doesn't even move.
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why not just use styrofoam that already floats, doesnt need the top glued on, and is cheap if not free...
randy

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wheres waldo...

so will the plastic containers.

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Oh, not really. Over many years the UV will break it down some, but we're talking years, not months. You can always put a coating of latex paint on it. Entire companies have been in the business of supplying the molded foam for use in mooring buoys, lobster markers, etc. Not to mention pool accessories, floating chairs, surf boards, etc.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/

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Look for the recycling mark. There should be a triangle of arrows with a number inside and some initials below. The initials identify the type of material. For example:
PP - Polypropylene PS - Polystyrene PE - Polyethylene
etc.
Then you can determine which glue to use. Plastics like polypropylene have a low surface energy and are very difficult to glue. There are glues available, from companies like 3M and Locktite, but they are very expensive - like \$25/oz. What you need to find is a high surface energy plastic that is easy to glue. Polystyrene is an example, but it tends to be brittle.
You also have to consider what properties are appropriate - toughness, UV resistance etc. Do a web search on the properties of plastics and you'll find something. Don't get your hopes up for the low plastic containers like Rubbermaid makes - they are likely polypropylene and will not be glued easily.
Mike
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clipped

I don't want to get into either rocket science or the properties of plastic. May buy a couple of slabs of styro, a heavy tarp and some duck tape. :o) Hubby is thinking of 5 gal water jugs, fill with expandable foam, and seal with that plastic goop you dip wires into to insulate :o)
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