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pete harrison

Water Cans and Handbowls

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A year or two ago I was told that it was no longer possible to buy new Water Cans and Handbowls as the known manufacturers were no longer prepared to make them.

 

This leaves the second hand market, where prices are variable to say the least.

 

I thought I would start a thread where second hand Water Cans and Handbowls could be the focus of discussion, and those for sale could be bought to the attention of possible purchasers as they are often described incorrectly when advertised.

 

To start things off I have just found these items on Ebay at £50 the pair, although it is the Water Can that captured my attention:

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Canal-Boat-Watering-Can-And-Bucket-/282192230384?hash=item41b3f7b7f0:g:XPgAAOSwLnBX5vyc

 

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by pete harrison

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A year or two ago I was told that it was no longer possible to buy new Water Cans and Handbowls as the known manufacturers were no longer prepared to make them.

 

 

I don't know who told you that but I put Buckby can into Google and found some straight away, both unpainted and painted.

Edited by Tiggs

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I don't know who told you that but I put Buckby can into Google and found some straight away, both unpainted and painted.

But not everyone wants a water can from Buckby.......

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A year or two ago I was told that it was no longer possible to buy new Water Cans and Handbowls as the known manufacturers were no longer prepared to make them.

 

 

I don't know who told you that but I put Buckby can into Google and found some straight away, both unpainted and painted.

 

 

More accurately it appears to be impossible to buy a new can of any quality, and certainly not one actually fit for its intended purpose.

 

Unless they have improved massively since the horrendous one I bought, the Black Country Metalworks item are not even god enough to paint as a decorative item, let alone to actually put water in.

 

Mine leaked from the outset, and seemed to use a type of "Teflon soldering" such that bits dropped off at random. I tried to make it usable by soldering it up myself, but wasn't clever enough to really succeed, although I did have it watertight at one stage, but it got dropped since.

 

I think nearly all the new painted cans sold are probably based on the Black Country Metalworks can, and I can only hope they have improved, because they could not have got any worse.

 

Mine currently has the lugs for the handle half detached on one side, but until it falls off completely I don't want to have to solder and repaint that part.

 

If you want a reasonable can, and certainly if you want one as more than a decorative piece, I think you need to be looking second-hand.

 

 

......... and possibly a lobotomy would help!

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There is a very interstin canal shop near a lock (to start just looks like a lock keepers house sopose it was but as you get close you realise its a shoo) its on the gu between long buckby and blisworth i think i cant remember the shop name but its where i got my 2 cans from and boy what a shop i could have spent 100s in there was fairly cheap and full of older cans!

Bcm cans are useless just to add

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There is a very interstin canal shop near a lock (to start just looks like a lock keepers house sopose it was but as you get close you realise its a shoo) its on the gu between long buckby and blisworth i think i cant remember the shop name but its where i got my 2 cans from and boy what a shop i could have spent 100s in there was fairly cheap and full of older cans!

Bcm cans are useless just to add

There was a shop like that by the towpath below Buckby top lock don't know if its still there.

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Sounds like the same place I haven't been there for years which is why I wasn't sure. Never went inside as I only saw it in passing but it looked pretty interesting.

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Sounds like the same place I haven't been there for years which is why I wasn't sure. Never went inside as I only saw it in passing but it looked pretty interesting.

 

Still there - Anchor Cottage Gift Shop - between Buckby top (Lock 7) and Lock 8 - delightful lady in there who runs it - lots of thank-yous even if you just buy an ice cream. From CanalPlan - http://canalplan.eu/location/vsvi

 

Going back to Pete's original post - I agree than if there can be a thread for painted ware it would really help.

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Yes Anchor Cottage Gift Shop, one lock down the Buckby Flight.

 

Very much still there, although the bulk of what it sells is newly painted stuff, almost certainly based on the Black Country Metalworks hardware, and often the painting is not very authentic looking. (My "Teflon soldered" unpainted BCM can came from them maybe 4 years ago).

 

They did have two or three old cans the last time we dropped in a few weeks ago, but had one less by the time we left. We bought this Ron Hough can.

 

IMG_2035_zpswqx5rcsi.jpg

 

IMG_2040_zpswkpxlt6h.jpg

Those who know more about Ron's work than I do tell me what we paid, (not the price on the ticket), was reasonable. However I would say most of their prices are mid range rather than bargain, although still far better say than the shop at the bottom of the Braunston flight, which charges a lot for poor quality modern work.

 

All "just in my opinion" of course, as I know they are all businesses, and need to make a decent profit.

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canal-Art-Painted-Buckby-Watering/dp/B009NGKCFU?tag=duckduckgo-ffnt-uk-21

 

Lovely . . .

 

Can we include Measham ware? Obviously not water cans or handbowls, and they are not painted, and it could be argued few boat people had them - but related to the Moira cut.

 

post-5975-0-82120000-1475836558_thumb.jpg

 

The motto is "Forget Me Not". No date, but generally made between 1870 & 1910.

 

Back on strict topic - painted by John M. Hill of Bloxwich:

 

post-5975-0-03696000-1475836808_thumb.jpg

Edited by Derek R.

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Mine leaked from the outset, and seemed to use a type of "Teflon soldering" such that bits dropped off at random. I tried to make it usable by soldering it up myself, but wasn't clever enough to really succeed, although I did have it watertight at one stage, but it got dropped since.

 

I am clever enough, and I couldn't seal one up. There was rust in the joins, so you were on a hiding to nothing, Alan.

 

That one got painted up by Sue and the owner presented it to Python as a collecting can

 

Richard

Edited by RLWP

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canal-Art-Painted-Buckby-Watering/dp/B009NGKCFU?tag=duckduckgo-ffnt-uk-21

 

Lovely . . .

 

Can we include Measham ware? Obviously not water cans or handbowls, and they are not painted, and it could be argued few boat people had them - but related to the Moira cut.

 

attachicon.gif 002 Measham tea pot.JPG

 

The motto is "Forget Me Not". No date, but generally made between 1870 & 1910.

 

Back on strict topic - painted by John M. Hill of Bloxwich:

 

attachicon.gif004.JPG

I have several measham pieces including a tea pot like the one illustrated, the other week our German shepherd managed to knock it over and broke it in several pieces - superglued most of it back but still gutted

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The cans from "Black Country Metalworks" (in Oswestry) and "Midland Chandlers share the same part numbers if I remember correctly and are the same sourced non British items. The cans and bowls I have seen both plain and painted are of awful quality and certainly not to the standard I had our "Boatmans Cabin Co" ones made too.

If you start with poor quality metal then no matter what else you do it will be a poor quality item.

 

The best cans are the ones which were galvanised post manufacture, although the soldered ones by Lesters and similar if done well are just as good.

 

It may surprise some to know there are still firms capable of manufacturing cans and indeed I have looked into this extensively quite recently. Apart from two parts all other components are already made for other uses so tooling up isn't a problem. The problem is the number required to achieve a sensible price and then where to store them..

Whilst there is much talk of the prices achieved on ebay you have to consider how many would sell each month to warrant the investment and in my opinion the number isn't large enough.

 

Sadly a large proportion of todays boat owners have little interest in traditional decoration or decoration which gives a big reduction in the potential to capture waterborne buyers, you will find few water cans in the tin can housing estates around our "navigations".

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canal-Art-Painted-Buckby-Watering/dp/B009NGKCFU?tag=duckduckgo-ffnt-uk-21

 

Lovely . . .

 

Can we include Measham ware? Obviously not water cans or handbowls, and they are not painted, and it could be argued few boat people had them - but related to the Moira cut.

 

attachicon.gif002 Measham tea pot.JPG

 

The motto is "Forget Me Not". No date, but generally made between 1870 & 1910.

 

Back on strict topic - painted by John M. Hill of Bloxwich:

 

attachicon.gif004.JPG

The "John Hill " painting is on a can made by Bococks of Birmingham who did an economy version for sales to the public at shows (note missing handle grip), these were produced in Tinplate as well as better galvanised versions.

My original can from "Neptune" is a tin one which was painted internally and is still in good water holding condition today 38 years on.

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Sorry to be off topic but i think this is the same as windlasses. I was wondering if it would be worth getting a batch of single socket windlasses like the old type made in cast steel and chrome plated. Size appropriate for the so-called "standardised" paddle spindles.

 

Just because I think they are great windlasses it doesn't mean people would actually buy them. I expect the retail price would be about the same as the dunton double so people would just go for the aluminium one.

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Sorry to be off topic but i think this is the same as windlasses. I was wondering if it would be worth getting a batch of single socket windlasses like the old type made in cast steel and chrome plated. Size appropriate for the so-called "standardised" paddle spindles.

Just because I think they are great windlasses it doesn't mean people would actually buy them. I expect the retail price would be about the same as the dunton double so people would just go for the aluminium one.

 

These are cast steel. I had them nickel chrome plated by a car restoration company in 2007 at the cost of £35.00 each. So as you say I don't think there would be a viable market.

 

 

 

One flaw with having them chromed, they slide off your shoulder if you carry them thus:

 

 

 

They are also heavy and tend to pull your trousers down if you hook them in your trouser belt. An ex Army wide leather belt is required.

 

 

 

Edited by Ray T

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I often use a chrome one same as the smaller windlass in your picture. I find it tucks into front of my belt quite nicely (I am thin and wear a wide belt). Not keen on putting a metal tool into the back of my belt as I have heard that my spinal cord runs down that way and its worth looking after.

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There was some optimism at one stage that someone might make a batch of forged windlasses, which to my mind will always be massively nicer than cast ones. Was it Hairy Neil involved in that proposal, I'm not sure and would need to look back.

 

Sadly it seemed to founder. I suspect the per unit price would be high. I would be prepared to pay it for something that ould never break, and could be retrieved with a magnet, but there are probably not enough who would to make it a viable business proposition.

 

Chroming is a luxury I could do without though.

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It was Hairy Neal yes

 

I was not quite sure if that was a joke as his forum name was a bit similar to Harry Neal who was a famous windlass blacksmith from years ago.

 

I had been considering approaching a blacksmith about it but I realised that they would probably need a former of some sort and these days its rather difficult to get a standard spindle size. I have had paddle spindles out with the magnet before but never kept them as if I kept everything my boat would sink.. Twice!

Edited by magnetman

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There was some optimism at one stage that someone might make a batch of forged windlasses, which to my mind will always be massively nicer than cast ones. Was it Hairy Neil involved in that proposal, I'm not sure and would need to look back.

 

Sadly it seemed to founder. I suspect the per unit price would be high. I would be prepared to pay it for something that ould never break, and could be retrieved with a magnet, but there are probably not enough who would to make it a viable business proposition.

 

Chroming is a luxury I could do without though.

 

Didn't CWDF member Bee? who lives in Ironbridge look into producing bronze windlass?

Edited by Ray T

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Bee produced several apparently but never made much profit.

 

For some reason I think that people who actually like using a "proper" windlass also like it to be old. So s new "proper" windlass just won't be something in demand.

 

That's what I think.

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