An Alternative To Tin Can Carts: Part I

My wife is a crafter . . . she’s crafty? . . . she makes things and shops at Michael’s.

Before Christmas she pinned a tin can caddy on Pinterest and asked me if I could make some. She planned to decorate some tin cans for her crafting friends to use as storage and organizers. The caddy would allow them to take the cans to scrap booking parties and  the like. Of course I accepted the challenge and set about looking at the tin can caddy my wife had pinned.

The original caddy.

The caddy on Pinterest has six (6) cans arranged in two (2) rows. Three (3) on each side of the center plywood handle. Based  on the photo, it wasn’t entirely clear how the cans are attached to the center handle. My guess is  either short screws near the top or glue.

When I discussed the can attachment issue with my wife, I explained that I didn’t think a single short screw near the top would be good enough (especially as it would allow the cans to twist and the screws would work loose). I broached the idea of embedding magnet in the center so the cans would be removable. This was vetoed, but the idea of removable and swappable cans appeal to my wife. I finally settled on having a bottom to support the cans and a top ring to keep the cans attached to the handle.

My design would be made from ½” Baltic Birch plywood. Each Can Caddy would have a center handle piece, a single bottom which would run under the handle and extend out on both sides and two (2) upper can retaining pieces (1 on each side).
Laying out the height of the can retaining piece.
I began by taking out a can and using it as a reference. By marking it out full scale on my bench, I figured out that ½” would be a good spacer between cans and for the width of the bottom and upper pieced to extend out beyond the cans. I simply held my hand above the can and determined how much higher the handle piece should be and where the handle opening should be.
Layout of the bottom with the curved corners.
Designing the upper can retaining pieces came next. I laid out the centers of each can cut out. I also used a compass to mark the curves at the outside corners, which were centered at the outside can centers.

The bottom would be the same shape as the upper can retaining pieces without the can cutouts.

With the design done, it was time for batch fabrication.