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I Forge Iron

Soup cans


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I use coffee cans with plastic lids to keep odors down when I am degreasing and soaking parts. It really does help, even though the lid becomes soft after a while.

I also use cans for keeping track of nuts and bolts for reassembly as I take apart. Works much better than the rain channel or something. I prefer those magnetic pans, but only have one.


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I like to buy soup in them. :rolleyes:

I always keep a few around the shop for whatever I need one for. I've considered making a little rack maybe a lazy susan, to hold several, maybe 6 or 9, tipped back at an angle for handy working tool storage. Think of a wine rack with cans holding chisels, chasing tools or whatever.

I plan on making a similar rack to hold the square kitty litter buckets for power tool storage. Keep them in sight, handy, cords untangled, and out from under foot. On wheels of course.

I'll also cut them up if I happen to need a piece of steel that size.

Mostly though, crush and haul to the dump.


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I use soup, coffee, juice, etc cans to store stuff in like the rest of you guys. But the one use that is very useful, is to use them as molten aluminum molds. If you have leftover aluminum after pour. It makes real good turning material, because it's already round. One idea I haven't tried yet, but will soon is to prop a piece shafting vertically inside the can then pour around it. That way you have the shafting cast to aluminum disk. This could be used to build a belt grinder drive shaft and wheel. The coffee cans will make 6" diameter wheels. Depending on how deep you pour the aluminum as to how wide the wheels will be. Just and idea.


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I used to punch holes in the bottom and mount them on a handle to wet the fire to control the size and temperature. Before I had a shop with a head I used to pee in an empty can then thow it out the door when no one was looking and then pray for rain. I always hated it when guys would pee in the slack tub so empty soup cans were handy, hence the expression going to the "can".

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  • 5 weeks later...

Old tuna cans made great flasks for sand casting using a hose clamp to hold them together and the seam line to line them up. Lots of stuff doesn't need a large flask!

For chisel cooling I made a little holder that holds a can and clips to the turn up on my forge table---piece goes into the forge and chisel goes into the can.

Note for high alloy tools an empty can works too.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

i cut em up for mozzi coil holders, the quench thing, tool holder, circular bolted leg clamps on the old forge, shims for the blower mount on the forge, edge liners and stiffening in leather work, charcoal and coke powder dipping, reflector type candle holders, a replacement circular valve on top of the head of a air compressor, billy tins and cooking, cockroach traps, gasket for a fuel pump on the landrover, patterns for small parts, bigger ones for charcoal cookers, money boxes for small change, ashtrays...yada yada.

amazing how a pair of scissors or tin snips can transform the humble tin.

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  • 2 months later...

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