Tiny House Summer Camp 4

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lost Love For The Bucket- the OTHER Tools for building your tiny house

Not the most sensational-sounding, or super-exciting blog post, eh? Hear me out though.....

While teaching tiny house-building workshops on my own (Nov 2-4 we have another one coming up near Boston), and for the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, in addition to Jay Shafer's list of the 14 tools needed to build his tiny houses, I also list several of the tools that I've personally found invaluable. This list ranges from archaic hand tools (for off-grid work), to a surform, coping saw, tarps (yes, they can be considered a tool), A nail gun and air tank (hugely time saving for larger jobs), and buckets....YES, BUCKETS.....

These little $5.00 jobbers (if you purchase them and can't find 'em free), have many uses, and have saved my butt many a time while in the midst of a building project for a video, a client, or myself. I always make sure I have many of them on hand, as you never know when they might make themselves useful.


1. Storage- If you're caught in the middle of a downpour, buckets with lids make for a quick stash spot for your tools, nails, and materials.

2. Saw Horses- use two of them to bridge a piece of wood you're working on, and you'll save your knees from a little extra bending (if you were working on the ground).

3. Carrying Water- for mixing cement, putting out fires, rinsing/cleaning tools/materials.

4. Hauling Dry Goods- tools, nails, and whatever else- its especially helpful for large amounts of small tools.

5. Step Stool- a bucket will hold a heck of alot of weight when flipped upside-down, and get you 18" or so higher.

6. Collecting Water- while building off-grid and in need of water for mixing cement, a tarp rigged to collect rainwater can be channeled into a bucket for such needs.

7. MIX CEMENT IN THEM- a mixing vessel for small batches, and carrying vehicle, in one.

8. Trash Receptacle- pretty self explanatory, as a clean work site is a safe and efficient one.

9. A composting/sawdust toilet- if there are no facilities around the site you happen to be working on. 

....And I'm sure there are more uses! If you have any, please add them here....

And check out details for our Nov 2-4 Tiny House-Building Workshop right outside Boston, MA

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen


  1. If there is a Firehouse subs near where you live, you can buy their pickle buckets for ~$2 (which actually is a donation to their foundation that helps fire departments in depressed regions or hit by disaster buy / upgrade equipment). Truly a feel-good purchase all around.

  2. Craigslist works well also for buckets. Check out this blog, among the uses posted washing machine, swamp cooler, bike panniers.

  3. I saw buckets being used as washing machines on a few other sites... still trying to tweak a few modification ideas. Do plan on going through the Five Gallon Ideas and soaking in ideas.

    But why is it everyone forgets one of the simplest ideas... as a seat? =smile=