Truth.

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Ariel Durant

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Useful gear.

From a friend who works in a restaurant, I recently acquired four of these giant containers. They are very heavy duty plastic jugs, inside a cardboard box.

I took the cardboard off, filled the containers half way with hot water, and then added a big dollop of dish detergent that touts itself as a grease cutter.

My thought was to get these clean and use them for water storage. Unfortunately, hot water and dish soap are not having any effect at all. I can't get the oil out of them.

If anybody has any ideas on how to do that, I could use the suggestions. Obviously, I can't put gasoline or anything like that inside them.


I ordered some plastic ammo cans.  They were cheap, and came with a good gasket and seal. Unfortunately, for reasons known only to the manufacturer , the bottom of the cans slope upwards at an angle. That means you can't pack them tightly with boxes of ammunition like you can a square military can.  Still, for the price I can use them for something. Maybe loose packed ammo on stripper clips for ready use. I try to avoid metal to metal contact with my ammo, but this wouldn't have to be over a long period of time.



These are the real deal ammo cans. You can buy them brand new, unissued condition from AIM or Sportsman's Guide, among other places. I have heard that the military has been ordered to destroy ammo cans now rather than allow them to be sold as surplus. Other than pure and unadulterated vindictiveness on the part of some Obama bureaucrat in the government,  I can't think why this would be. Maybe it's a rumor. I know the same bureaucrats tried to have the military stop selling  once fired brass as surplus, but enough people howled to their congressmen to get that bit of hatefulness stopped.



Metal buckets are a good thing to have around the house.  If you have a fireplace, you need them because "dead" ashes are usually still hot enough to start a fire. So you set your metal bucket full of ashes out on the porch, on a brick base, and let them cool off.  Or use it to haul water, wash clothes in, or for whatever else comes up.  They don't cost a lot and last forever if you take care of them.




When I finish using up whatever I bought in a glass jar, I wash it up good, get the label off, and put it in my shop. Glass jars are great for storing nails, nuts and bolts, 22 LR ammunition, matches, salt, sugar, or whatever else you need to keep dry and safe.

Those giant pickle jars you get with dill pickles are what I use to store brass in. I can see in the jar so I don't have to open them up to figure out what caliber is in there.



Old military telephones are great.  You can run some slash wire from Point A to Point B, and you have communications that nobody can listen in on.  The TA-312 is the most prevalent on the surplus market right now. Nice piece of equipment.  You can use two , or you can use several on the same line. Military slash wire is really cheap and readily available.






All you need to power this system is 2 BA -30 batteries per phone. (That's a "D" cell battery, just like you put in a flash light.)  These telephones are for sale all over the internet. Sportsman's Guide usually has them.


These are just a few things that stuck in my mind as I was going over a list of equipment and supplies tonight.  


34 comments:

  1. Harry I have cleaned a couple of them using about a gallon of HOT water a dollop of dawn and 4 oz. of awesome from dollar tree or dollar general. Shake wait shake wait. Doing BBQ I love Awesome nothing cuts grease and oil better.

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    1. Gary, I have never heard of Awesome, but we have a Dollar General store here so I will pick some up. I am constantly having to clean out containers I get from here and there. I'm obsessive about storing water, probably far too much so since I have alternate sources. But I know how important water is, and how much one person uses in a day.

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    2. Harry,

      Dawn has specific soap for grease cutting. It works great, I use it to cut grease all the time.

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  2. Harry - try putting a handfull of rice in each container and then shaking the containers vigorously for a good 10-15 minutes....you can shake them vigorously for 5 mins, leave them and go do another job, then come back and shake them again. you can do it over several days. the rice will pick up a lot of the oil in the containers. empty the rice, rinse the containers with very hot water. then fill the containers with warm water and regular white vinegar. let them sit for at least a couple of hours or overnight. then rinse again with very hot water. then fill them with warm water and baking soda. let them sit for an hour or overnight and then spray them (or fill them) with very hot water. after doing all of this they should be clean but if not - then add some dish detergent, let them sit, spray them out and let them dry. this has worked for me in the past.

    (we bought 2 rainbarrels that were made from 80L barrels of olive oil. when i asked the people how they cleaned them - the above recipe is what they did. i have been cleaning oily bottles like this and like i say, it has worked very well in the past).

    i hope this has helped. sending much love! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, that sounds like a good plan. I have heard of using rice to clean containers before but I have never tried it. Right now, I store most of my water in 1 gallon "Gatorade" bottles. I have shelves full of them and use a labeling system to rotate the water. I use a lot of water outside for the dogs, cats, chickens, etc. But I would like to switch over to these big containers. They would save a lot of space if I can get them clean. If your system worked for rainbarrels I'm sure it will work for these jugs. Thanks for the tip.

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    2. Hey Kymber,

      (captaincrunch)

      Sounds like you were trying to make some kind of Asian dinner using several shaken rice and water.

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    3. If anyone could it would be Kymber. I bet it would be scrumptious too. :-)

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    4. Ditto what Kymber said, except for the rice. I keep a small container of BB pellets under the sink to use instead of the rice. Doesn't taste as good with soy sauce, though.
      Strelsi

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    5. Hey, Stelsi. I hope you aren't working too hard on the place out there. You've got a lot to manage though so I suppose you probably are.

      I cleaned out the jugs with a mixture I made up of different things people suggested which I had on hand here. I think I got them clean but I want to flush them out a couple of times and let them sit with fresh water in them. Then I'll know if I need to work on them some more.

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  3. Two things about those jugs; as far as I can tell you will never be able to completely get the veggie out of the plastic. That one reason they are not normally recycled. The second thing is that they aren't as tough as you'd think. They tend to fail at the corners.

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    1. Well, they will primarily be sitting on a level cement floor in the barn, and won't be exposed to extremes of temperature, so I am hoping they hold up. I know you are correct that they might let go, as I have had plastic Jerry cans suddenly start leaking from the bottom seam. If I can't get the oil out of them completely, I will use the water for things like animal troughs. I can get two of these a month when business is good for the restaurant and they don't cost me anything so it's worth a try.

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  4. Harry, not sure what the solution would be for those canola jugs. A friend gave me 10 "food grade" 15 gallon containers that they had used at a cottage cheese plant, I rinsed them out good and they are fine for my water storage. No smell to them either. You may just have to give up on the idea.

    I heard that .gov was also trying to do away with surplus ammo cans. Maybe that's why I see the price hike on em. But I still noticed that Federal still packs their 5.56 'M855 ammo in them and sells it to the public. --Troy

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    1. Troy, I've gotten a lot of good ideas for cleaning them out from people, and I hope something will work. It would be too bad if I couldn't get them clean because they are just what I want for water storage. I think if I can't get the oil out of them, I will use them to store salt.

      Is Federal using military surplus cans or are they using new production? I know Aim and Sportsman's Guide are selling ammo cans but they are Turkish commercial production. That suits me fine, an ammo can is an ammo can. It just strikes me as unbelievably petty and vindictive if the government surplus facilities are actually crushing them. I hope that's just a rumor but if it is it is certainly getting wide dissemination.

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  5. I used to use just a damp paper towel to wipe any grease from the rims of jars of meat I was canning. I had seal failures. I switched to using a paper towel dipped in vinegar for the job. No seal failures. I don't know if vinegar would cut the oil in your jugs, but it does cut grease. Might be worth a try.

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    1. Vicki, I had not thought of vinegar but I have plenty of it so there's no reason I can't give it a try. I really thought the dish detergent would work, it says right on the bottle "cuts grease with no scrubbing" or something like that, but it had zero effect as far as I can tell. I'll give the vinegar a shot. What I think I will do is try out the different suggestions people gave me and see which one is the fastest and best. I should be getting more of these jugs as times passes.

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  6. Try using a mixture of bicarb, vinegar and dishsoap. Vinegar normally helps to break down the fat / oil content. Be warned - the bicarb and vinegar will react. Personally, I would've left them in their boxes - for support - perhaps if you friend gives you other containers you could leave the cardboard on?

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    1. Dani, is bicarb also called baking soda? If it isn't , where do you get some?

      The boxes had oil on them, so they were kind of nasty. I figured when I was washing out the jugs the cardboard would just get wet and fall apart. I guess I could try to wash them out without spoiling it though. I wonder if these things would be stackable then. They each weigh a lot.

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    2. Yes - is the same thing. You should be able to find it in the baking section at any grocery store. It is often used in baking.

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    3. I have baking soda here at the house. I can mix up that brew you suggested and try it out. I went out and poured a mix of ingredients suggested by everybody using things that I had on hand into the jugs. They are sitting out in the sun soaking now.

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    4. Harry - put the bicarb in first, then add the vinegar and lastly the dish soap. Swirl round with something abrasive ( like rice / small pebbles / etc) You may have to repeat. We did this to our 1000lt tank which had previously held cooking oil (from a bakery). A high pressure squirt of water finally cleaned out the last of tge mess. I did a blog posting on it - check my recycling / water storage label or seach white water tank.

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    5. Dani, I'll try it. I just went outside and checked how my home made solution was doing, using things people recommended that I had on hand here , but it doesn't seem to be doing too well. Who would have thought canola oil could be so hard to get out? I don't have any trouble getting it out of the frying pan. Although I admit the dogs lick the frying pan. Too bad their tongues aren't long and skinny I bet they could clean these jugs in no time.

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    6. http://ecofootprintsa.blogspot.com/2011/10/were-slowly-getting-organized.html

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  7. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    I don't know what to tell you about the Canola oil containers,. Maybe try using baking soda a quart of water then shake it up real good and let sit for awhile. Maybe try dry sand also using the same process (just no water) Im thinking the oil will stick to the sand.

    Metal pales are a good idea. I also recommend those cheap five gallon buckets (like paint buckets) that can be found in big box stores for storing all kinds of stuff (except hot coals)


    Springfield XDS .45

    Im seriously looking into a Springfield XDS (single stack) .45

    The one I was quoted on was the pistol, five mags, holster and other items in the box (gently used) for $500.

    The pistol is used, but it looks like they put a 50 rounds or less through it. The feed ramp and barrel are both cherry. There is no wear marks on the pistol, no scratches etc.
    The pistol has no concealed carry marks, abrasions or anything. I can only surmise is that it kicked a lot and it scares the owner.

    I fired a similar Springfield XD and was impressed with it.

    What spurs me to have a pistol that's more easily carried is my encounter with the 'Girl with Pink Brass Knuckles' at walmart a few nights ago.

    I avoid trouble but it snuck up on me (asking for gas money)

    I admit, I was not armed that afternoon. Luckily it was not a violent encounter, but anyone approaching me wearing brass knuckles even to beg for gas money, I go into Defcon mode, Red Alert.

    One good hit in the head with brass knuckles and I can be dead or brain damaged for life.

    Im waiting to see if this wearing brass knuckles thing as jewelry thing becomes a trend. I talked with a cop friend of mine and carrying brass knuckles in Texas is a Class B misdimeaner.

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    1. If a girl kicked your ass you'd have to commit Seppuku anyway. I'll come down and be your second.

      Weird people carry all sorts of weird stuff. You can never tell what someone has on them.

      I don't really know much about the XD except that it's featured in a lot of adds in Handguns, Guns and Ammo, and other gun magazines. Must be a good weapon if its so popular with rank and file shooters.

      Lots of well off people buy guns on the spur of the moment, but they aren't collectors so they trade them in on something else the next weekend. I got a lot of really good guns that way. My Kimber Custom II was one of those I sold on a Saturday at the General Store, then took back in trade the next weekend because the guy found it was too heavy to tote around.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      "If a girl kicked your ass, you'd have to commit Seppuku anyway"

      That made me die laughing 'Harry.

      I'd would be glad if all I got was a good ass kicking by that girl. Them Pink Brass knuckles could kill a Samurai.

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    3. Things just aren't right in the world today are they? Stalwart old sailors accosted in the streets by thug girls. Dogs marrying cats. A Kenyan Moslem in the White House. I tell you C.C. it's got to be the end times. :-0

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  8. Great ideas. My last two field phones were caught in a flood. Guess I should replace 'em. The 'ole need and want setting in here.

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    1. There's always more out there than a fellow can afford. I like the TA-312 because there's so much flexibility in how you set it up, and it uses a very common and easily obtainable battery. Since I use scanners to keep up with what's going on around my place, I am painfully aware that radios are convenient but pretty easy to listen in on.

      Sorry your gear got destroyed by a flood. Sometimes it's one step forward and two steps back.

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  9. maybe lots of white vinegar for the oil? add detergent and a little h2o?

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    1. Several people have suggested vinegar and I never even thought of it. Actually, I wouldn't have thought it would do any good because don't people mix oil and vinegar in their salads? But I'm going to try it since it seems to be a popular solution to this problem with a lot of very practical people.

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  10. On the oil containers you want to use the hottest water you can get short of melting the plastic and add some Arm & Hammer Washings soda. If that don't do it try a product called Purple Power available at NAPA. They have it on sale right now. It is a soap not a solvent. That stuff will really cuts any kind of grease. Rinse well afterwards.
    I have the same plastic ammo cans with the Calebas label I get them for about 8 bucks when they have them on sale at out local store. I use them mostly for my reloading supplies and 22s and I noticed the tapered sides. I think the shape is a result of the rotomolding process needs to be able to remove it from the mold. The Galvanized ash buckets are hard to come by here. Tractor Supply has them locally but they are quite pricey. As I leave mine out on the cement patio and they get rained on occasionally they seem to rust out at the bottom after a couple of years so I have taken to dropping a suitably sized cheap metal pie tin in them after they get holes in them.

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    1. Is the Purple Power stuff poisonous? Do you think it would soak into the plastic while I was washing out the jugs? I guess if it's just soap it should be ok but the name is a little unnerving!

      We have a farmers depot here, and they sell all sorts of metal buckets, tubs, troughs, etc. I bought a really good wash tub for washing your clothes by hand. You're right they are not cheap. I paid sixty dollars for the wash tub. I keep a lot of those metal buckets because they come in handy for so many things. What usually happens to mine is they get dented at some point, and where ever there is a dent they start to rust out.

      I like to store boxes of ammo in a good ammo can, and it aggravates me that you have a lot of wasted space in these plastic ones. I can see it if I loose packed ammo but I usually don't. Still, as you point out, they are really cheap compared to a metal can.

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  11. Field Phones: If you cannot find U.S. G.I. phones, the German phones are very nice. I have 2, and they also use "D" cells (two). Work the same as the TA312.
    Think I bought a pair from the big surplus outfit in Pennsylvania. Price is good.

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    1. What big surplus outfit in Pennsylvania? Maybe it's one I don't know about, and if so I'd like to be able to take a look at them.

      I've seen the German phones for sale. Marginally more expensive than American TA-312 units but they always look unissued, while the American phones are pretty beat up sometimes.

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