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Old 04-12-2007, 10:29 AM
Roundrocktom's Avatar
Roundrocktom Roundrocktom is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 742

At least in Texas, if you come down the drive... better not plan on steeling anything. My wife keep asking when I am going to have our 200' driveway paved. Simple, never. Any sound wakes the dog, which wakes me. I'm not a pretty sight during the day, let alone if someone wakes me at three am.

Back to the can crusher:

Hunt around and use scrap metal. Rusty scrap is good.

Can's are about 2 3/4" diameter. Pipe with 3" inside diameter will work.

Plunger to fit inside of the above pipe. Overall about 8" of pipe, 14"
of plunger. Bottom 6" of the pipe is cut away... about 200 degrees. Keeps a can from getting pinched by the sides if you made the opening only 180 degrees. Bottom plate on the pipe can have a 2 degree angle towards the back. Keeps can from falling out.

Mechanical advantage. The plunger will move about 6" (Can is about 5" tall). Have your six year old hold his arm up high, then bring it low. Probably about a 24" movement. Your pivot point will 6" back from the center of the can. Crusher arm then is about 24" long. Give the kid a good advantage on his weight.

Perhaps a return spring (screen door type) to lift up the lever so he can put in the next can.

I can think of a whole bunch of ways to add "can eject" and other things, but simple is best. Main issue is to make sure he can not get pinched by anything (advantage in the mechanical arm length is he hast to stand back from the crusher).

Mount the whole contraption on the walls (sturdy) inside the shop/garage. Ideal area allows everything to hose down to keep bug downs and shop clean (after a 100 cans of mountain dew looks like you spilled a full one).

Alternate, mount to a wide board (kid can stand on the board) while crushing, and big enough the thing doesn't fall over). Check to see hand clears everything.

Oh... if you google "can crusher" and hit image.... it should give you more ideas. I like the "auto feed" one. Save it for when they are 12.
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