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Glaze mixer

Although these look like tent pegs, they are actually glaze mixers,  to be used in an electric drill to stir 5 gallon buckets of glaze.
For a while, I've been getting frustrated with my previously touted chain mixer, because it was wearing out, and the thinned chain links tended to get caught on one side or the other of the mixer, making the whole thing lopsided.  One other drawback of the chain mixer is that it requires welding to make one, and I don't have a welder.  So I thought about what's required and started trying to bend one from some 1/4 inch steel rod I got at a local fabricator shop.  (For $3.00 I got two 6 foot pieces, which actually would've made 4 mixers if I knew what I was doing.)

As I see it, the important uses of a motorized stirrer are to:


My first test had a radius of about 4.5 inches, which made it very fast, but had to be held in the middle of the bucket, and couldn't reach the edges.
So I tried: a diamond shape,  and a triangle with the end being a relatively flat part, and then the shapes shown, which are simply rounded and open.  By the way, if you want to make them, at first I tried heating the steel before bending with a propane torch, but later found it was just as easy to do it cold with a vice and pair of vice grips.
Anyway, most shapes work,  ( a circle or jelly bean shape would be good, if you could do it) but the one shown  on top in the photo, which is about 3 inches across, seems the quickest for stirring.  (I scrimped a bit on the lower one, so I could make two from one 3' piece of rod).  I think having a flat part at the bottom helps for getting corners and encouraging glaze through a sieve.

If you want to try to make one, start with a piece of 1/4" rod about 20" long. Using a vice and some vice grips,
make the first bend 5" from the end,  about 45 degrees angle. This is, in the illustration, the first bend shown after the long straight part.
Make the second bend about 1.5 ", aiming it back towards the center of the rod.  Finish by bending up the last inch or so, possibly even back in towards the middle so it doesn't scratch the side of the bucket.  When you're done shaping it, balance it by setting it on a level surface with the shaped end protruding. Whichever part hangs down, bend the whole hook the opposite way until it doesn't roll when set down.  Good luck.

Always use it when spinning submerged, or it will spatter glaze all over.  Keep hair, clothing, and body parts out of it, and you'll do well.

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