Small Sara Rayner pot repair

Inspired by the recent pot repair Feature Content, I worked on a small Sara Rayner pot today. It is thin enough that I was reluctant to drill completely through it to secure one or more copper “staples” (for fear of introducing even worse spider-webbing cracks). Instead I used a dremel tool as shown to create a shallow trough and placed a copper wire ring in the Oatey 2-part FixIt Stick on the underside of the pot. I did a similar operation on the inside of the pot on the side where a crack reaches the rim at a chipped spot. Covered over the chip as well and will come back to sand it down with a dremel attachment. I can put this spot in the rear so it doesn’t have to be perfect or even near so. I may try to paint after sanding the epoxy, not sure.

IMG_5616 2


1 Like

I take your post as a chance to comment on the suggested approach by Mirai. It is not meant to criticize your work. And if it holds up, you achieved everything necessary. And I realize your pot did not separate.
I do not fully subscribe to the Mirai approach of repairing a pot. Especially if you have the thing broken completely and being rather substantial like in the feature. Modern epoxy glues or specialized ceramic glues would provide more stability at the seam than the actual material itself. This is why today motor components in cars are glued rather then screwed together.
So, why introduce more structural weakening to the material then? Also why would it be necessary to introduce a channel to have the „staple“ inserted? This staple would never be able to secure the two parts and hold them together. The stability comes from the epoxy which is adhering to the surface of the container and embedding the staple. I would assume just laying the metal flat on the container and then applying epoxy over it will net the same benefits in terms of stability. Happy to be corrected with more insight, why wakening, stapling and then epoxy ala Mirai would work better or has benefits.

1 Like

All very good points, and no offense taken. You may well be correct about adhesives being as strong or stronger than metal screws or wires. In Mirai’s case the argument may be that a screw insertion into drilled holes gives additional strength to resist shear force. I suspect it also depends upon the degree to which the adhesive penetrates the ceramic. A ceramic is different from a car part in that it is inherently weaker (it coheres to itself less strongly) and reacts to shocks differently (metal is rigid without being brittle; clay ceramic the opposite). It’s difficult for me to believe that without bracing that broken ceramic surfaces epoxied together could be as strong as unbroken ceramic, but perhaps I don’t understand modern adhesives.

In my case, I did initially question the creation of a groove as weakening the pot, but in the end was concerned that the finished ceramic on the bottom of the pot, while not glazed like the sides, might not provide an appropriate surface for the epoxy to adhere to, whereas the groove exposed the interior of the ceramic and added surface area. But these are gut feelings not bolstered by experience. Thinking about it now, perhaps using a 1/16" steel plate epoxied to the bottom of the pot might have worked better, but in that case I worry about the different expansion coefficients of the steel and ceramic creating a situation that would put stress onto the adhering surface.

All food for thought! Do you have a suggested adhesive different from the Oatey Fix-It Stick?

1 Like

Agree on the large metal plate not being ideal in terms of repair material. No real suggestion for the „glue“ (and also depends where each of us lives regarding availability). Try to get hold of a catalogue of any of the specialized adhesive manufacturers for your territory. (Not the stuff they sell in the big box stores) and see what is available there. You will find suitable solutions for all kinds of materials and scenarios.

1 Like

I’ve had some success with two part resin-epoxy. I apply mica powder to give it a kintsugi type effect. The resin is a glass polymer or something to that effect. I applied to the broken ends and piece together and hold it under pressure until it sets and cures. Once the material has set and cured the ring to the ceramic ahould be restored and function as if it were never broken. Ive been satisdied with this method of repair. I must add that none of my trees are as substantial as Ryan’s in terms of size. Heaviest tree I own is maybe 50-60 lbs with container, I’m sure the one Ryan has in that pot is a few hundred pounds and maybe the staples provide the integrity to prevent the root expansion from separating the ceramic. He also leaves his trees in pots for greater than 5 years, which is a lot of time to accumulate additional root mass. Which in small containers would exert tremendous force on the container over time.

After sanding and buffing the epoxy. It’s better in that it no longer protrudes, but still needs a touch of color. As it would be at the back, then it would be acceptable to me (i.e. usable, although admittedly far from perfect).