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Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid
Mixes, pours and stores
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 11-6-2012
Quart cans are very handy for reducing the amount of paint or finish you have to buy for a smaller project and they take up less shelf space. Just about everything about quart cans after that is problematic. Getting the paint out of the can without filling the rim up is virtually impossible and then getting the cover back on tight enough to actually seal the remaining material to prevent drying up is just as unlikely. Enter the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid and the quart can starts looking way better.
The Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid handles mixing and pouring paints and finishes plus keeps the typical quart-sized can sealed when not in use. For those of us who have splattered themselves while trying to close a used quart can or punch drain holes in its rim the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid is sounding better all of the time.
To install the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid you simply remove the quart can lid and replace it with the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid. A seal within the lid and pressure created when you rotate cam-type locks under the rim seal and secure it to the can. When done simply release the cams and the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid lifts off of the can which remains undamaged.
For pouring the material into a tray or other container the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid has a drip-free spout that works much like restaurant style syrup dispensers. A spring-loaded sliding top seal literally wipes the spout clean and seals in the contents. Depressing the lever that opens the spout also exposes an air bleed that lets the material pour smoothly. A pistol grip handle lets you pour where you want easily.
Mixing paint and finishes can also be a trying experience if you do not have a commercial paint shaker on the bench. You can shake the quart cans and yourself all over the shop but the material near the bottom of the can still needs to be stirred. With the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid you simply crank the handle and the large auger inside the can mixes the material thoroughly. Turn the handle clockwise and the auger lifts the pigments from the bottom and disperses them upwards to insure even and surprisingly fast mixing.
When done with that quart can or to move the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid to another can the handle and auger slip out to make cleaning it easy. None of the internal components are made from metal so the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid is fully compatible with water and solvent-based materials.
In the Shop
For a tool that does so much the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid is deceptively simple to use. It is apparent that the folks at Rockler put a lot of thought into this tool during the design phase.
After installing the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid on a can of paint that had been sitting motionless in my cabinet for a year or so I noticed that there is a bit of up and down play in the auger shaft. That lets you adjust the height a little to be sure you get everything off of the can bottom. You can also cheat the auger up some if the pigment is sort of dense at the bottom because the can had remained motionless in your cabinet for a year or so. Give it several turns and the auger will sink down as the pigment mixes into suspension. This is a small but possibly important feature for many of us.
The amount of mixing needed certainly varies with how settled out the pigment is. However, in every case I could find the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid had the material mixed nicely way before I could have shaken and stirred it up. I suspect that the design of the auger involved a bunch of testing to make it as effective as it is.
Finally, the pour spout also works great. The sliding closure actually does seal off the flow and except for rare exceptions, no drips. If anything a quick wipe with a paper towel is all that is needed to keep your work area spotless. This is light years better than any pouring or scooping solution I have been able to find or come up with.
I may never be a real fan of finishing but the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid sure makes it far less of a problem for me. This is an elegant solution for a virtually universal problem in all of our shops. Having one tool that seals, mixes and dispenses finishes so cleanly is worth quite a bit to any woodworker or homeowner. The fact that the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid has a street price of just $14.99 (11-5-2012) is remarkable to me.
If you do any kind of woodworking that requires finishing or own a home, the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid is sure to be of value to you. Because it seals the finish so well the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid will save money down the road by preserving the finish material longer. I can think of no good reasons not to have a Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid on at least a few cans of finish that you use even occasionally. And in case you were wondering, Rockler tells me a gallon sized version of the Rockler Mixing Mate Paint Lid is in the works at this writing.
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