Why are paint caps made like this?

16ga

Well-known member
Messages
177
I was going to post this last month but forgot.
I dropped one my Grumbacher tubes and noticed the top of the lid was now cockeyed when I picked it up. And of course when I gave it a twist to open it the last tabs snapped…
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Now for those of you who never examined one of these lids. Instead of being molded in one piece the top of the lid is connected to the threaded collar by only 4 small plastic tabs. These tabs take all the stress if over tightened or in this case dropped and if one or 2 of them snap then the remaining ones will follow when you give the cap a twist.
I’m not sure if its just a grumbacher thing or if other companies do it as well but is there any benefit to making caps this way?
 

Artyczar

Moderator
Messages
5,467
I think all companies have problematic caps. I use a lot of Gamblin and they have leaky/braking issues too. An inventor of a good cap for oil tubes may make millions.
 

16ga

Well-known member
Messages
177
Why? I can’t think of any good reason for the artists. For the MFGs, lower quality usually equals lower cost. Years ago the caps were metal.
I understand cheaper and easier manufacturing. But these lids are basically 2 parts held together with the 4 tabs. That’s gotta be more complicated to make then molding one completely solid lid.
That leads me to wounder if there’s a benefit either for the paint storage or for manufacturing by doing it this way?
 

P. Barrie

Well-known member
Messages
421
I see your point. It is a conundrum. Sparks my interest as I’ve always liked finding design problems and looking for solutions. Perhaps it has something to do with the steps in Mfg? Maybe the threads are cut (rather than part of a casting) and then the top of cap attached? Although that does seem more complicated. Maybe a factor of speed in mfg process?
 

cranberryartworks

Contributing Member
Messages
12
Windsor and Newton .. 200 ml tubes .. never a problem.
I stopped painting for a long time. I have WN paints that are 20 plus years not opened. And everyone was perfect. One or two I had to put a little paint thinner around the edge of the cap. I was very surprised.
 

AES

hi
Messages
81
Some asshat probably figured out they could save .000000003 cents on plastic per cap by making them this way, and then sold the idea to the shareholders as "environmentally friendly retooling".
 

16ga

Well-known member
Messages
177
I stopped painting for a long time. I have WN paints that are 20 plus years not opened. And everyone was perfect. One or two I had to put a little paint thinner around the edge of the cap. I was very surprised.
I have a lot of my grandmothers old paints. Mostly 37mm grumbacher, shiva, and w&n. Some are from the 60 and 70s.
A few of them have splits in the lid but the paint in them was still fine after decades. Some others have the threads striped out on either the lid or on the tube itself but they can still be pushed on and off and once again the paint was fine.
I think all the brands were just better made in the past.
 

Triduana

Forum Guide
Messages
206
I've never had this problem with any of my watercolour tubes but I have with my System3 acrylics - it's really frustrating! If the thread's still attached to the cap I put a bit of cling film over the end and screw the damaged cap back on, it seems to stop them drying out.
 

Lazarus

Well-known member
Messages
217
In case you faced Daler-rowney Georgian tubes. same problem. i have another oils Polish brand with different cap, same problem.
these cheap are toys.
 
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