Thursday, March 11, 2010

Make Your Own Aluminum Can Crusher

Scout is crushing cans to earn extra money for his Boy Scout Troop - so we needed a Can Crusher - and being our frugal selves - we of course decided to make one instead of buying one - there are lots of different designs but we wanted simple and sturdy and cheap (or free)...

First, we went to our local lumber store and asked if they had any scrap 2 x 4's they could donate to the Boy Scouts - and of course they did - so we got those for free - then for about $3 we bought a heavy duty strap hinge and a handle at the local hardware store...

We followed the basic directions here...

...it was all super easy and Scout did it almost all by himself...

First we marked our 16 inches on the boards...

...and cut those...

...then you have two boards the same length...

...attach your strap hinge with wood screws (we already had a bag of those but for this project they would only cost a few cents from the bulk bin)...

...it looks like this opened up...

...next, attach your lids - the plans call for jar lids and I thought we would be able to use the tops of cans opened with our side opening can-opener...

...because I thought flatter was better - it was not - as the cans tried to slip off these flatter lids - we switched to jar lids later...

...see how nice and flat that is...don't do that - use the jar lids...

...then we attached our handle - next I'll show you the changes we made after a few tries...

...as I mentioned before we added jar lids - the rings that you use for canning - we just unscrewed the can lids we added earlier and they fit inside the rings so we screwed those down again with the rings around them...

...then we moved the handle back a few inches from the edge - because it was sort of right in the way of where you wanted to push down when you were crushing a can...

...this is the bin that Scout made to put over at the Church to collect cans - we drink so little pop (that's Coke for you southerners) that we'd be a while collecting them just for us...

...but this bin fills up about once a week - and we tote them home in a box...

...we found that if you pinch the can in the middle - just a little bit - the crushing is much easier...

...it really does squash the can pretty flat...

...here's the comparison - we took three bags of crushed cans to the recycle center and made $12.32 for the Troop - I know it's not a lot of money - but it's completely free money and the boys are recycling which is good for the environment too...

10 comments:

  1. Cool project, we need to do that. Now that we are in an apartment again we can't stomp on the cans on the floor.

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  2. I'm impressed! And thanks for clarifying the terminology: we do say "Coke" for everything down here. :)

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  3. That's just great- you're really handy with tools! I wish I could do more with them. If I can hang a picture I'm doing good.
    Thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. In Yorkshire there is a saying 'a penny saved is a penny earned' and it is very true. If every family connected with your scouts made the same amount of money as you have - bingo!

    It is so easy to belittle the small sums, but so wrong to do that.

    I think the can crusher is great.

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  5. This is wonderful! What a great and clever project.

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  6. There are many areas of England where people call fizzy drinks 'pop'.

    As a child my favourite pop was 'dandelion and burdock' a black, fruity flavoured drink with a hint of aniseed - only a hint, not like pernod.

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  7. Bravo on the homemade can crusher!

    It feels so satisfying when you crush em' too.... :0)

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  8. This is so funny as my cousin just gave me a mitre box as his work were giving them away. I said to him "what am I going to do with this" but now I know I can make a can crusher!!.

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