DIY: Wooden Can Crusher

Written by will milner
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DIY: Wooden Can Crusher
Crushing cans saves space for recycling. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Crushing cans helps limit the amount of space needed to store cans, which is particularly useful if you are collecting them for recycling. It allows you to transport a greater weight of cans to the recycling depot in one trip. In addition to saving you trips to the depot, it also helps to cut down on your carbon footprint. There are commercially available can crushers, but building one yourself is a cheap and easy alternative.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Three-foot length two-by-four lumber
  • Three-foot length two-by-two lumber
  • Door hinge
  • Screws
  • Screw driver
  • Pencil
  • Four nails, four inches long
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Lay the two-by-four flat on the ground. Stand the two-by-two vertically, with one end of the two-by-four pressed up against the side of the two-by-two. The two lengths of wood will form a right angle. Make sure the two-by-two is centred on the end of the two-by-four.

  2. 2

    Place the door hinge in the angle between the two lengths of wood. Open the hinge and put screws through each of the holes in the plates of the hinge. Screw the screws tightly into the wood.

  3. 3

    Place drink can in the centre of the two-by-four about 10 inches from the hinge. Trace around the bottom of the can onto the wood. Remove the can and bring the two-by-two down to the two-by-four by closing the hinge. The sides of the circle you have drawn will stick out from each side of the two-by-two.

  4. 4

    Hammer nails into the two-by-four, positioning them just outside the edges of the circle. Put two nails on each side of the two-by-two. Keep the spacing between them even and hammer them a little less than two inches into the wood.

  5. 5

    Open up the can crusher, place an empty can upright between the four nails. Close the crusher, applying pressure on the end of the two-by-two opposite the hinge.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep fingers clear of the crushing end when the crusher is in use. Be careful of sharp edges created by the crushed can.

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