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I hit the last garage sale of the season and …

… Score! $2 each for five-gallon gas cans. Pre-repaired, besides. Take that, stupid EPA!

The linked article by Jeffrey Tucker makes me laugh:

The whole trend [toward unvented gas cans] began in (wait for it) California. Regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion spread and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to spread as much human misery as possible.

Of course regulations have been circumvented by polite Freedom Outlaws ever since. And those who don’t thumb their noses at the regulations have been spilling more volatile chemicals than ever on the express orders of “environmental” bureaucrats.

Anyhow …

This garage sale was at some rich guy’s house up on a fancier hill than the one I live on. Great sale, too. Doors, windows, construction materials, and tools of all sorts. I kept wanting to grab them, then reminding myself I’m done with that phase of my life.

I still have plenty of interior construction, but for that I already have the doors and tools required, and noplace to stash more spare materials. So I came away with the four Outlaw gas cans, a new-in-box pump for a future small pond ($3), and (okay, I can’t pass up everything tool-related), a large kit of screw-head drill bits for $1.

Today is bone-chilly, with a north wind and leaden sky. But it’s a goooooood day.


  1. Joel
    Joel October 20, 2018 12:36 pm


  2. Mike
    Mike October 20, 2018 12:51 pm

    Very nice. I’m sure the items will come in very handy.

  3. david
    david October 20, 2018 1:06 pm

    I’m jealous.
    And still trying to find plastic gas cans that aren’t nearly impossible to pour from when full. It’s become akin to an obsession for me. Plastic jerry cans! Where are they?

  4. Plug Nickel Outfit
    Plug Nickel Outfit October 20, 2018 2:30 pm

    The problem I’ve had with the type of container pictured is that they tend to split along the seam – particularly near the handle.

    A surplus store in a nearby town occasionally gets the Scepter .mil plastic jerrycans used and passes them along at around $30 – about what Harbor Freight charges for their POS metal cans. I really like those Scepter cans – very solidly built. The only difficulty I’ve found is that the lids can be a bit stiff to thread – both to tighten well and later to get open again. In my copious free time I’ve been working on fabricating a wrench fitted to the top of the lid which should ease that issue. For $35 I could buy a wrench fitted to the lid on A-zon – but that’s no fun.

    A couple weeks ago I scored two metal NATO jerrycans – free for the taking.

    The biggest trouble I find with multiple cans is keeping them rotated and filled with fresh fuel. I’m generous with stabilizer and try to remember to run a can thru a vehicle every 4-6 months. Haven’t had any issues yet with 2 y.o. fuel.

    For our purposes I usually siphon the fuel when transferring – so pouring hasn’t been an issue.

  5. Claire
    Claire October 20, 2018 3:36 pm

    “The problem I’ve had with the type of container pictured is that they tend to split along the seam – particularly near the handle.”

    Do you have a lot of temperature variation where you live, PNO? Or do you store the cans where they get a lot of light on them? I’ve never had a problem storing them in dark, cool conditions here in the PNW.

    But I’d still happily grab old metal jerry cans. Currently I have only one of those, but it’s the real deal. And yeah, it took a while to find the right tool (that was already around the house) to remove the cap.

  6. jed
    jed October 20, 2018 4:30 pm

    Cool beans!

    I rarely hit garage sales, though sometimes I’ll drop in on one if I’m driving by and not in a big hurry. Working Sat. interferes with that too.

    But I did get a big score at the last hamfest I went to. Picked up a 115V AC synchronous motor with a gearbox, for $2. Went looking for documentation for it, and found the same one listed on Amazon for $65. Of course, I have yet to discover whether it runs, but the gearbox alone is worth it. Assuming it runs, I think I’ll cobble together a mini-lathe. It’ll be low-precision, but useful for lots of little things I want to do.

    @david: These days, I think the solution is to modify your cans — install some vents.

  7. Comrade X
    Comrade X October 20, 2018 6:33 pm

    Good job!

  8. Plug Nickel Outfit
    Plug Nickel Outfit October 21, 2018 12:40 am

    Claire – the temp. variations here aren’t so much over a day – but they are significant over the year. It also gets pretty warm – ~100f – which can’t help. I keep them in a shaded area – to put them in direct sunlight here would invite problems with any container.

    I thought of using an oil filter strap-type wrench on the Scepter containers – but the strap that runs from under the lid to the top of the lid is pretty stiff and won’t let one fit the metal strap down around the lid itself. Somewhere around here I have a pipe strap wrench with a chain that unhooks – which would allow me to get past the strap on the lid – but I haven’t managed to find it for a couple years now! I wonder where that managed to walk off to. Thank goodness firearms don’t wander off around here like some hand tools do!

  9. Billy Bob Hammerbanger
    Billy Bob Hammerbanger October 21, 2018 1:23 am

    Scepter can threaded caps (both water and fuel) – Channellock #215 15 1/2 inch oil filter pliers, $20. You’ll find lots of other uses for them as well.

    Tracking when cans are filled – Amazon sells stainless military dog tags, pkg of 25 for $15, Stainless Steel Wire Keychain Cable Key Ring pkg of 20 for $3.Wire keychain cable goes around the can handle with a dog tag, use a regular grease pencil to write the date on them.

    Steel jerry cans – don’t bother with the cheap Chinesium knockoffs, pay the big bucks and go real NATO only. FYI, get extra NATO can spouts, nothing else fits, and develop a Plan B for when the flexible plastic section of the spout tears and dumps gas on the ground (Lowe’s plumbing dept has galvanized fittings with 1″ male threads on one end and 3/4″ OD nipples on the other, fits unleaded fillers perfectly, remove the entire torn flexible section, replace with 1″ ID clear plastic tubing. Pro Tip: Tubing should be 20″ long, allows reaching any filler neck without scraping the bodyword with the can.

  10. Joel
    Joel October 21, 2018 12:56 pm

    “Chinesium” – yeah, that’s where I went wrong when I began my own safari into the heartbreaking world of cut-rate Jerry cans.

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