How Much Glue Left in Drum?

Simple ways to know when your supply of edgebander glue is getting low. October 23, 2007

Is anyone aware of a device or method to visually measure the level of glue remaining in a 55 gallon drum? We are constantly running out of PVA and contact because no one reports when we are low. It would obviously be easy to use a dipstick but I'm looking for something that anyone can see by visual inspection, so we are not dependent on someone remembering to check.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor B:
This is kind of low tech, but why not just put the drum on a heavy duty scale? Know the full and empty weights and you'll know when it's getting low. Sort of like a gas grill tank weight gauge.

From contributor Y:
In the meantime, when you first get the drum, fill up a five gallon bucket. At least you will have an emergency reserve if you run out.

From contributor D:
You can buy clear polyethylene drums for that purpose. Google "clear plastic drums" and you should be able to find several options. One company is Containers Unlimited.

From contributor S:
I wonder if the glue would allow you to use a clear indicator tube plumbed to the drum like on the old commercial coffee pots. I am assuming that you are using the drum on its side?

From contributor L:
We couldn't beat this problem, so we just always keep a second drum on hand and order a new one when one runs out. Put a tag on it that the employee brings to the office when he changes drums.

From contributor J:
Don't know your usage or the shelf life of your glue, but we found a price break and freight balance on three drums at once. When you get to the last drum, buy the next three, but we use about 4 drums a month, so I don't know if the shelf life would allow for you to do that or not.

From contributor A:
Contributor B hit the nail on the head! Weigh full and empty. Nothing easier than that. Almost nothing cheaper.