Once the pieces were cut to size and shape with a combination of track saw, table saw and miter saw. To cut the handles, I first drilled out each end using a hole saw, then I connected them with the jig saw. The bottoms and can retaining pieces first had their curved outer corners cut with jig saw. They were then refined on an oscillating belt sander. Finally the can holes were cut with a hole saw.
It was at this point that I realized that I had cut the bottoms as two (2) pieces which would have the handle between them. Unfortunately, I cut the handles to fit on top of a single bottom piece. Once I realized this, I then cut and fabricate new bottoms to make up for it. Two (2) of the mistaken bottom pieces were used to make additional can retaining pieces. With an additional handle and bottom, this allowed me to make four (4) rather than three (3) can caddies.
|Lots of Caddy pieces.|
The next step was to cut out for the cans. I accomplished with with a hole saw. In order to hold the pieces still, I made an impromptu jig with scrap plywood. I placed each piece against the jig, and then used a single clamp to lock it in place. I powered the hole saw with my old Milwaukee ½” drill. This was the first power tool I received as a gift when I bought my first house. I can’t say I use it often, but when I do, I’m reminded what a nice drill it is.
|The old Milwaukee is a workhorse.|
The hole saws left a bit of burning on the inside edge of the can holes, so I next took the can retaining pieces over to the oscillating spindle sander and cleaned up the inside of each hole. Unfortunately, I lost hold of one (1) of the pieces while doing this, and managed to break the fence lock-down nut on the sander. Shame on me for leaving it in place.
|The jig held two faces of the parts. A single clamp locked them in.|
The clamp in the background hold the jig to the bench.
|Be carefull of spinning can retaining pieces.|
Now that all the pieces were completely cut to size and shape, I took out my trim router and put an ⅛” roundover on all the outside edges and the can holes and handle. ⅛” isn’t much, but I find it’s just right for easing a hard edge without making it too soft (especially in ½” material).
In order assembly the tin can caddies, I used 4mm Dominos to joint the bottom and can retaining pieces to the handle. Since the Dominos penetrated in more than ¼”, I ofsett them relative to each other so that the Dominos of each can retaining piece wouldn’t hit the opposite one in the handle.
|A simple 1/8" roundover makes the edges much friendlier to touch.|
|Setting the Domino against a fence is an easy way for accurate joinery.|
For glue-up, I simply used parallel clamps. I left the Dominos to keep the parts square. They did a pretty good job of this. All of the tin can caddies look square to the eye and are certainly close enough when put against an actual square.
|Lots of parts and lots of Dominos.|
For the finish, I wanted to try something new (to me). I use boiled linseed oil. While I’ve heard many things about how heating your BLO allows it to penetrate better, I simply followed the instructions on the can and cut it 2 to 1 with mineral spirits. I then applied it heavily with a rag, and kept applying to keep it wet for 15 minutes. Then I wiped it off and let the tin can caddies dry. I’m still on the fence about how I feel about BLO as a finish, but for this project it was certainly a success. The tin can caddies have a nice warm tone to them.
|The Dominos were all it took to keep the pieces square.|
|The BLO sample is to the left (almost faded out by the flash).|
With the caddies done, it’s now up to my wife to decorate some cans and give them to her crafting friends.
|The finished Tin Can Caddies.|
An Alternative To Tin Can Carts: Part I