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    Blue Barrel Volume Mysteries

    Joel bought a used blue barrel for use in the motor canoe. 23 bucks including shipping from the Ebay link Glenn provided in this thread

    http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/...sed-30l-barrel

    He brought it up to the shop and I scoffed scoffed That is not a 30 litre barrel, that is like a 20L.

    We got out Joels 60L, identical to my 60L, and my thirty L barrel for comparison.

    Joels 60L, my 30L, his new shortie barrel.

    PC300275 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

    Joel, no freaking way that is 30L barrel.

    We took it in the house and measured out liters of water at the sink. Joel lost count and we had to begin again with the barrel already half full. I recorded the count this time.

    WTF, 30 liters? How can that be?

    Sundry Barrel Dimensions
    The 60L, 24.75 inches tall x 13.5 wide at the outer lid rim.
    My 30L, 23 inches tall x 10.5 wide at the outer lid rim.
    Joels 30L, 19 inches tall x 10.25 wide at the outer lid rim.

    Mine cannot be a 30L. I bought it as a used 30L. It looked like a 30L. I was sure it was a 30L. I just did the liters of water count on my 30L barrel.

    45 liters. I have been bragging that I magically managed to get three weeks worth of food into a 30L barrel. That is far less magical if the barrel is actually half again that large.

    While we were at the watery barrels we leak tested Joels new Yes Dear It Is a 30L barrel. We left a couple liters of water in it and when turned upside down it leaked like a sieve. Water poured out instantly . Fark, or words to that effect. Not watertight means not odor tight.

    There were no holes in the barrel or lid, it must be the clamp, or the gasket. Do we have a gasket that sized? Seren freaking dipity, the gasket from a 2.5 gallon screw top pail is exactly the right size.73 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

    That pail gasket popped out unglued easy and clean and we just laid it atop the too compressed gasket in Joels barrel. We did not even take out the old over compressed gasket, we just laid the new one over top. The spring ring is very tight now, and has some years of gasket compression in its future.

    PC290273 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

    PC290274 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

    We dumped water back in that 30L barrel and turned it upside down for a long spell. Not a drop. Schweet.

    In for a penny, in for a pound, we did the same with Joels 60L barrel. Dry as a bone.

    Well, sheeeet, that be a cute lil barrel, with a southern accent. I bet I can stuff in at least two weeks worth of food in an actual 30L barrel, provided my eggs do not break and drip onto the busted Ziplock of pancake mix, creating a barrel sized cannoli tube.

    While that does in fact sound like a tasty treat on a group trip I do not usually pack enough powdered sugar or vanilla to make a cannoli that size.

    I may have enough chocolate to contribute though.
    Last edited by Mike McCrea; 12-31-2017, 07:24 PM.

    #2
    So does your 45L barrel leak after all these years?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Gdwelker View Post
      So does your 45L barrel leak after all these years?
      It did when, after 10 years of use, I finally got around to leak testing it.

      Like Joels 30L, my 45 leaked like a sieve. The spring ring had always seemed very easy to close. Too easy, I could lock it shut with my pinky.

      I bought a new spring ring, which cost as much as the used 45L barrel, and it leaks not a drop with the new ring.

      In hindsight I probably could have saved that expense. The gasket from the 3 gallon screw top pail that we installed on Joels 30L barrel made the spring ring close much more tightly and forcefully.

      Comment


        #4
        30L barrel gasket update

        Originally posted by Mike McCrea View Post
        While we were at the watery barrels we leak tested Joels new Yes Dear It Is a 30L barrel. We left a couple liters of water in it and when turned upside down it leaked like a sieve. Water poured out instantly . Fark, or words to that effect. Not watertight means not odor tight.

        There were no holes in the barrel or lid, it must be the clamp, or the gasket. Do we have a gasket that sized? Seren freaking dipity, the gasket from a 2.5 gallon screw top pail is exactly the right size

        That pail gasket popped out unglued easy and clean and we just laid it atop the too compressed gasket in Joels barrel. We did not even take out the old over compressed gasket, we just laid the new one over top. The spring ring is very tight now, and has some years of gasket compression in its future.
        OK, while the doubled gasket was watertight, it was too damn tight. I had not manipulated the spring ring after that second gasket install, and when I did I no like.

        It was a fierce struggle to get the ring properly seated and closed, especially aligning the metal ring overlap. That was gonna eff up that spring ring eventually. That double gasket was too tight for the spring ring.

        I pulled out the double gaskets and tried it with just the thick screw top bucket gasket. That one was too loose.

        I pulled out several screw top bucket lids for a looksee. Ohhh, whaddaya know, they have different thickness gaskets, ranging from beefy foam gasket to skinny O ring.

        I leak test tried a variety of combinations. A slender O ring gasket, positioned under the OEM barrel gasket, was jussst right. Not a struggle to close the ring, and did not leak a drop with the barrel half full of water and upside down.

        I could, in a pinch, have achieved the same result with a circle of screen window spline underneath the OEM gasket.

        Leak test your barrels, especially if they seem easy to close.

        Comment


          #5
          And although this is an old thread I'll note that you should not store the barrel with the lid clamped as that can permanently crush the gasket and lead to leaks when you actually use it....

          Best regards to all.


          Lance

          Comment


            #6
            What Lance said!!!
            ...better to be up the creek without a paddle than not be on the water at all!!!

            Comment


              #7
              And speaking of barrel volume mysteries sometime in the next few days I'll be cleaning and sanitizing 10 new-to-me barrels I just picked up here in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. The 5 larger ones appear to be 60L barrels and the smaller ones would seem to be 30L barrels but there are 2 with unusual lids and clamp rings and one that is a few inches taller than the little guys but does not appear to be a common size. I'll use some of my beer/wine making pails that have graduations marked to see just how big they are when I'm rinsing them.

              Click image for larger version

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              The labels are faded but the ones that can still be read show that, as the seller had stated, they held components of nutritional supplements and vitamins. They were outside and those with lids on them were clean and dry inside and some had rain water and a few leaves in them.

              The seller had more barrels but they had been pretty well picked over and you had to be careful to get matching barrels, lids, gaskets and locking rings. The price was certainly reasonable ($8 ea or $70 for ten) After leak testing and dealing with any leaks I'll know better if it was worth the two hour round trip. They were certainly cheap enough to be worth taking a chance.

              ,As of last Saturday (1/11/20) the seller had a few complete 60L barrels but although there were several 30L barrels and lids some of the lids were missing gaskets and all of the remaining 30L barrels lacked locking rings. The seller says he will try to get more barrels and let me know when he gets them.... I also asked him to check if he could get any smaller than the 30L ones. If I get good news from him I'll post the sellers address and contact info, etc in a new thread.



              As an aside, for those that have barrels for which the locking rings don't seem to grip tightly, it is worth noting that a good bit of the fit of the locking rings on the most common lids is dependent on gasket height. It is entirely possible to have a gasket that will seal watertight that has compressed to such a degree that the locking ring isn't having to pull the lid down as far as it is intended to. And given the given that the interior angle of the ring is intended to significantly compress the gasket as it locks even a little it of compression "set" in the gasket can make a good locking ring seem loose. Even if the lids appear to seal I suspect that Mike M's advice to lay a ring of screen window spline or something similar in the bottom of the gasket groove will go a long way towards tightening up most of the "loose" locking rings out there.

              Best regards to all,


              Lance

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by LanceR View Post
                As an aside, for those that have barrels for which the locking rings don't seem to grip tightly, it is worth noting that a good bit of the fit of the locking rings on the most common lids is dependent on gasket height. It is entirely possible to have a gasket that will seal watertight that has compressed to such a degree that the locking ring isn't having to pull the lid down as far as it is intended to.
                Even if the lids appear to seal I suspect that Mike M's advice to lay a ring of screen window spline or something similar in the bottom of the gasket groove will go a long way towards tightening up most of the "loose" locking rings out there.
                The leaky 45L barrel was bought used, and it came with a locking ring that was simply too loose. I could close the ring lever using my pinkie. I suspect that somewhere along the line the locking ring got switched with that from another barrel.

                About storing barrels with the locking ring off or left loose so the gasket isn’t continually under pressure, that is a good idea. With a couple cautions; it is easy to bend or malform the locking ring when it is off the barrel, or damage the lever part if left sticking awkwardly out from the barrel with an unsnapped lock ring.

                In home storage I take the lid off and lock the ring lever closed around the rim on the barrel where it fits loosely but lever closed, and just rest the lid seated on top. The unlocked lid simply resting in place is enough to keep mice out, but the gasket isn’t being continually compressed.

                The 60L barrel I mentioned in another thread that pulled a deforming vacuum on elevation change was one of two barrels stored horizontally on minicel cradles in the back of the tripping truck over the course of a seven week western wander. Two guys, duplicate everything and 7 week’s worth of gear meant travelling with full barrels, so the lids were always on with rings closed.

                When we got back home only the 60L had pulled a deforming vacuum, a sign that something was amiss with the un-deformed 45L barrel, which on later testing leaked badly.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well, the two short ones with the black lids are 30L barrels as are the two slightly taller ones with the blue lids (they are taller but narrower...). The mid sized one is 45L. Sometime in the next day or two I'll leak test them and deal with any leaks.

                  And I guess that now I need to start thinking about harness choices.....

                  Best regards to all,


                  Lance

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by LanceR View Post
                    Well, the two short ones with the black lids are 30L barrels as are the two slightly taller ones with the blue lids (they are taller but narrower...). The mid sized one is 45L.

                    And I guess that now I need to start thinking about harness choices.
                    Nice to have barrel choices so you can pick the right sized container for the trip. I use the barrels only for food & cookware storage and the 60L is overkill for anything but four person family trips. The 60L doesn’t fit as conveniently in some of our solo canoes, and not at all in the decked canoes.

                    And, mostly, the 60L is too damn heavy when food packed for me to carry very far, even with a (poorly designed) harness. That 60L, bought outfitter-used, came with a horribly uncomfortable Kondos harness. The harness lacks sufficient back padding padding, leaving the barrel curve pressed hard and heavy against the spine.

                    The better reputation barrel harnesses are pricey. Bang for buck I’d like to try a used ALICE pack frame & shelf with some DIY’ed back padding and webbing strap restraints for the barrel. With the barrel unstrapped that mil-spec pack frame might be handy for other hauling uses.

                    The best “harness” system we use is an old internal frame Vau De backpack that accommodates two stacked Cur-tec drums. The Vau De is small enough I can use it as a daypack for hikes from camp. Best piece of road kill I ever found; worth getting off at the next highway exit and circling back to pick up.

                    An old top loading backpack might work for the 30L’s, especially the narrower ones. I’ll be interested to see what you come up with harness-wise.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Mike

                      A good friend that has a real Army/Navy store where you can actually buy genuine Army/Navy gear and uniforms (no Carhartt coats or Timberline boots in sight) can get me all the ALICE and MOLLE gear I want. First though I'm going to look and see if I still have the cargo shelf for my huge old external frame Camp Trails pack. It was the biggest pack I owned and was the pack I used for extended winter camping and back county hunting trips. The main pack and accessory/expansion bags pop off by pulling a few pins or buckles. And the frame itself has an telescoping extension that can be adjusted for length with two pins. The old adjustable length Tech-5 suspension and hip belt combo from Camp Trails is still a darn good suspension even 25 years on.

                      I don't think a round barrel is a good place to start but having never used a tumpline I want to spend some of my hiking/backpacking time this winter and spring experimenting with one.

                      Best regards to all,


                      Lance

                      Comment

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