L-456 member sells, donates tool buckets
ABOUT THREE YEARS ago, Local 456 member Gikus Bigelow decided to make a tool bucket for himself that was lightweight, tall enough to sit on comfortably and fitted with a sturdy rope handle for hoisting. When he brought the bucket to work it was an immediate hit with his fellow Boilermakers.
“Everybody wanted one,” Bigelow says. He began making buckets as fast as he could. “I sold 230 of them on one job,” he recalls.
While he sells the buckets to those who want them, Bigelow believes in helping out his brothers and sisters. He has sold his product to six different lodges. He rebates $5 from each sale back to the lodges’ sick and distressed funds. He also donates them for fundraisers. Two of his buckets were raffled for a Toys for Tots campaign and brought in enough ticket sales to purchase 90 bikes, he recalls with obvious pride.
Recently, Bigelow delivered 12 buckets to the Local 456 hall as gifts to contestants in the 2015 Boilermaker National Apprenticeship Competition. They were an immediate hit.
“If any hall needs a bucket for a fundraiser, if it will help a brother, I have no problem donating them,” Bigelow says. “All they have to do is call me – and give me time to make one.” He says it takes him about 25 minutes to cut the bucket’s wooden seat, wrap it with duct cloth, and finish the assembly. The cloth cover can be imprinted with a photo, logo or other image.
Lodges or individuals who want a bucket can contact Bigelow at 336-394-7827 or firstname.lastname@example.org. “I ship all over the country,” he says.
With more than 4,000 buckets made to date, the popularity of Bigelow’s product is undeniable, and Bigelow’s bucket list continues to grow.