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Thread: Can Crushers

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Can Crushers

    Like everyone else, I'm having a rough time of it. While I did manage to get a job, it doesn't pay alot and I don't even see full time hours consistantly. Since I don't have money to do much when I'm not working, I've gotten into recyling lately.

    I actually stumbled across this a few weeks back when cleaning out the garage. Had a few dozen old metal file cabinets. Thought, what the heck even if I got $5 that'd pay for a gallon of milk or something. To my surprise, I got nearly $75 for all the metal I had in my garage.

    So I printed out my town's garbage pick up days and I've been cruising the alleys the night before and picking up bulk metal. The cash has come in handy and I've got a nice supply of metal for welding projects as well.

    Then my mother wanted to get in on the recycling band wagon and she's been saving all of our aluminium soda cans. I just have open problem with this. It takes so many to make it worth while and they take up sooo much room, I need some way to compact them.

    We do have one of those can crushers that you mount on the wall, but they really don't smash them down all that much. Then I do remember someone made a crusher and posted it on here. But I can't find it, even after doing a search of the site.

    Basically the person that built it made a box out of 1/4 plate and then had a ram with another plate press down on it. I kind of like the idea, but I would like to see it again before I start building it.

    I also did a google search, seen one built with a hydrolic ram on the miller site, but I'm not sure I want to get all that involved with pumps and stuff. I do have a compress to run a pneumatic one though.

    Jax
    Lincoln 3200 (175?)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxom View Post
    We do have one of those can crushers that you mount on the wall, but they really don't smash them down all that much.
    They don't? This was done with a $3 wall-mounted crusher from Horror Fright... I can't imagine how you'd need to get them crushed much more than that.

    If you're short on $$, talking about building one out of steel plate and pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders just seems ridiculous. You're not running a recycling center, you're just hauling a few soda cans in.

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  3. #3
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    A long time back, when I lived 'back in the woods', I used to toss my many beer cans (and there used to be lots of them) along my gravel drive, then keep running over them with my Jeep each time I came and went, then, when I had a nice crop, I gather them up and bag 'em. Not for everyone, but it required no extra expense or effort.
    "Good Enough Never Is"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotfoot View Post
    A long time back, when I lived 'back in the woods', I used to toss my many beer cans (and there used to be lots of them) along my gravel drive, then keep running over them with my Jeep each time I came and went, then, when I had a nice crop, I gather them up and bag 'em. Not for everyone, but it required no extra expense or effort.
    Ok That is just too friggin' funny
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, I'm short on cash. But not so bad that a few dollars spent on building something would break me. I've got one of those horror frieght jobbers... didn't do as well as I expected. What I didn't mention and probably should have is I live blocks away from a forest preserve. One that allows drinking! Any given day you can find garbage cans loaded with cans. I've seen them myself! (Just picked up about 50 in 20 minutes this afternoon)

    Must have been nice hotfoot. Here in urban ****, if I did that either 1)I'd get a ticket for littering 2)someone else would clean up on the cans! LOL

    Jax
    Lincoln 3200 (175?)

  6. #6
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    Z-

    For when you get bored

    http://tesladownunder.com/CanCrushing.htm
    Ed Conley
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotfoot View Post
    A long time back, when I lived 'back in the woods', I used to toss my many beer cans (and there used to be lots of them) along my gravel drive, then keep running over them with my Jeep each time I came and went, then, when I had a nice crop, I gather them up and bag 'em. Not for everyone, but it required no extra expense or effort.
    Now that was funny. It belongs in one of those Jeff Foxworthy, You might be a Redneck if" books.
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  8. #8
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    I saw a cool one at a really small recycling center near me a few years ago. It was kinda like a baseball pitching machine with the two big wheels on it. I had a great big hopper, maybe 200 gallons or so. You weighed your cans and they dumped them into the hopper. When the hopper got full they turned it on and the thing smashed the cans AND threw them to the front of an 18 wheeler trailer.

    It was a blast to see it work. Now I wish I had it to look at, it would be a cool project. I also would like a fast smasher that I could pour bags at a time in. I have seen several on u-tube but it takes more time and effort to stack the cans in perfectly and is more of a novelty.

    I used to have a 25 ton hydraulic press (not a jack) that would smash them as thin as a dime but it probably cost more to smash them than it was worth but the kids like to watch me do it.



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  9. #9
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    A friend and I made a can crusher from a piece of 1/2" plate and a piece of 4" pipe. Cut the 1/2" plate to the desired size. Something like 4"x6" works. Actually any size works. Now weld a piece of 4" (or there about) pipe to it. The pipe only has to be about 4 or 5 inches high. Now you need a handle. We used a piece of 1" pipe about 3 feet long. Weld it to the 1/2" plate somewhere near the center of the 4" pipe that you already have attached to the plate. At this point, pour the 4" pipe full of concrete. Lead works better but who can afford lead these days?

    Now that you have your can crusher made from scrap, you can start using it as soon as you have an empty can. This can easily be accomplished by opening and drinking a beer of choice. Once the brew is consumed, put the can on the concrete driveway and CRUSH it with your new tool.
    Jim

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim-Tx View Post
    A friend and I made a can crusher from a piece of 1/2" plate and a piece of 4" pipe. ...Once the brew is consumed, put the can on the concrete driveway and CRUSH it with your new tool.
    Hotfoot's method seems like less work. Even better if you have a concrete drive. When I was a kid, we had an '82 Chev 1 ton dually. We kids would take cans and line them up in Dad's shop and he would drive over them for us.

    I have one of the HF crushers. I agree that it doesn't crush the cans enough, so I crush one. Then set another can on top of it. This will crush each can to about a 1/2" height. You can put a third can in, but it's more effort to get that next little bit out of it.

    Just for fun, I did crush a few cans in my hyd. press. I did pre-crush them so they wouldn't crush unevenly and come flying out at me. Then put a piece of plate on top and underneath and started jacking. It was pretty thin!

    I did draw up a 2-wheel crusher awhile back. Don't know what I did with the plans. Basically it was 2 heavy wheels about 3" wide and about 20" in diameter. They were belt driven with an electric motor. Both were pretty heavy too, so they would act like flywheels. I never built it, but it would have been pretty cool, I think. Not really worth the money, but cool.

    I also started to make a motor driven ram-type can crusher. Think small-square baler for operation. It would have been a lot more practical. I was also thinking at the time that I ought to exercise more, so I had it drawn up like a stationary bicycle. If I ever get it finished, it'll probably have an electric motor on it, but the bike idea is probably better.

    Dave
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  11. #11
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    Here is a motor driven piston design with about a 24 pack feeder.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvZp8uJT7EE

    It is a little hard to see but the electric motor is driving a sprocket so there is gear reduction on the crank mechanism the drives the piston.

  12. #12
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    The last time I recycled aluminum cans was about 7 years ago. My gollege roommate and I found a bunch of BEvERage cans in the drop ceiling of our dorm at the beginning of the semester and decided to add to them until the end of the semester, then recycle them and split the cash. Around came December, so we climbed up on the desk, pulled them all out and bagged them up, some were crushed, but that got old quick, so we just bagged them up as they were. We ended up with an 8 foot pickup bed full of cans and drove to the recycling center. Fourtyfive minutes later, we ended up with enough money, total, to buy a 6 pack and I swore off of recycling for money.
    With the going rates for aluminum now though, I'm thinking of building a compactor like a box with a 20 ton press built into it so that I can load it up and go out about once a week and crush them all at once. I'm thinking they should fold and kind of get stuck together somewhat into a bale of sorts. That way, when I take them to the recycling plant, they'll be easier to manage.
    Anybody have any idea what a bale of cans say 24"X24"X24" might weigh? Obviously not as much as a solid block of almuminum, but maybe 50% depending on how well they were compacted?
    Contact me for any metal polishing needs you may have, my avatar is a pic of a standard, painted fire axe that I ground, sanded polished and buffed to a mirror finish.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by txfireguy2003 View Post
    ...Anybody have any idea what a bale of cans say 24"X24"X24" might weigh? Obviously not as much as a solid block of almuminum, but maybe 50% depending on how well they were compacted?
    Well a 24" cube of solid Al is about 1385#. I don't think you'd come close to 50% crushed. Maybe more like 20%. Still, that's over 250#, and at 80/#, that's $200!

    Dave
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  14. #14
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    Sounds good to me, but I bet that's a helluvalotta beer cans. Of course, with 3 of us in the house, and all of us drinking sodas and waayyy to many, we might be able to make a cube in a few months.
    Contact me for any metal polishing needs you may have, my avatar is a pic of a standard, painted fire axe that I ground, sanded polished and buffed to a mirror finish.

  15. #15
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    Hhhmmm...getting some good ideas. I've seen a few on you tube now. The hydrolic ones seem nice, but I really don't wanna get all that techincal with valves and things. Although I can't see how pneumatic would be any different.

    My first idea was to build basically a box, with a ram that pressed down on any cans dumped inside. One side would be hinged so you can remove the squished cans as a large block. This would be more efficent then those smashers that only do one can at a time. But still cumbersom if you wanna do bulk cans (aka raiding forest preserve garbage cans) I get back from a day of can picking and have a couple of 55 gallon gabage cans full of cans, I don't want to spend hours crushing them all.

    Then I was thinking about a program I seen on cable where this machine basical ground any and all metal into chunks the size of quarters. The show even gave an example of dump a whole truck, engine and all in it and it came out in pieces. They basically used a large chute with two enormous rollars to smash the metal (including engine blocks) to bits.

    If I could down size this a bit, I think I might be onto something. Imagine a large chute. Dump the cans in and then lower a something heavy, could even be a piece of plywood with cast iron weight set ontop to push down on the cans. at the bottom have the "chute" narrow above two rollars made from large diameter pipe with perhaps a sprocket welded on. Recycle a washing mashine motor or something for drive and have that squish the cans.

    If that don't make make sence, think of a tree shreder, but instead of shredding, I'd be smashing. Best thing is I think I can do it on the cheap!

    I'd just need a bit of help determining how close the rollers would need to be. Too close and it'd just jam all the time, to far apart, it'd defeat the purpose. Also not so sure how I can get one roller to spin clock wise while the other roller spins counter clock wise.

    A slight twist to this would be to have a small conveyor feeding a roller that's say half inch over some plate steel. The plate steel wouldn't have to be too wide... say 6" at best, by how deep the conveyor is.

    Hmmm... must think some more...

    Jax
    Lincoln 3200 (175?)

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