Making Tin Can Toys

by Edward Thatcher 1919

Candlestick Tray

Candle Socket Figure 31

After the ash tray and match box holder is success fully completed the next problem that should b taken up is the tray candlestick, a photograph which is shown on the opposite page. This problem presents some interesting and instructive forming and soldering operations and should be made before attempting to make the toy auto truck. Two trays should first be made up-one to used for the base of the candlestick and one for the drip cup. The edges of both trays should be turned over carefully.

Candle Socket

The next thing to be made is the candle socket which is also used to connect both trays. Cut a piece of tin 2 3/4 by 3 1/2 inches, set the dividers to 1/4 inch and scribe a line 1/4 inch ¬inside three edges of the piece as shown in Fig. 31, No. 1. Clip off the corners and fold down the strip marked A, flat against the tin. C and B should partially folded over but not closed up, Fig.31, No.2. These two flaps, C and B are to be locked together to form a locked seam as shown in No.3. If this seam or joint were merely lapped and soldered together the candle socket would melt apart 'f the candle should be allowed to burn down inside it.

Solder Candle Holder Figure 32

Place a small bar of iron in the vise jaws-this bar or pipe should be about 3/4 inch in diameter and is used as an anvil over which to round up the candle socket. Lay the piece of tin that is to be used for the candle socket over the anvil with the fold A upper most-bend the tin around the anvil with the h or with light mallet blows, taking care not to d up the flaps Band C as you round the piece over anvil. You will not be able to get the socket into a perfect cylindrical shape at first and until B and C are fitted together as shown in No.3. Simply round the piece up as best you can until flap B fits flap C. Then use a pair of flat-nosed pliers pinch B and C together as shown in No.4. When the two are fitted together locked the socket seams are fitted together or locked the socket should be again placed on the bar and the hammering continued until socket is cylindrical and the seam hammered together.

Examine a tin can-most of them have seams at the side. If carefully made, this socket should fit a common candle which is 7/8 of an inch in diameter Cutting a Hole in the Drip Cup - When candle socket is completed, a hole should be cut through the bottom of the drip cup. The socket is slipped through this hole until the bottom flange A rests against the bottom of the drip cut, see Fig. 32. A small chisel should be used the hole through the bottom of the drip cup. The drip cup is rested on a small block of wood which is held in the vise jaws, and the chisel used in the same manner as a punch, the end of the wooden block supporting the tin as the chisel cuts through it.. The cutting edge of the chisel should be about 1/8 inch wide and should be very sharp. Such a chisel may be purchased at most tool dealers or a 1/8-inch nail-set may be purchased and the end ground to a chisel point on a grindstone. A common steel nail may be used for a chisel if the point is filed off entirely and the end of the nail filed to a chisel point. The shank of the nail should be 1/8 inch in diameter.

Set the bottom edge of the candle socket in the center of the drip cup and trace a line around it with a sharp pencil or a steel scriber. Then place the drip cup on a block of wood and cut out the disk of tin inside the line, using a series of chisel cuts to follow the line. Take care not to cut the hole too large - it should just fit the candle socket as shown in the sectional drawing, Fig. 32. A half-round file may be used to file away any rough or jagged edges left by e chisel cutting.

Candlestick Handle Figure 33

Making the Handle

A handle should next be made from a piece of tin 1 1/2 by 8 inches. The handle should be made tapering and a dimensioned awing for this is shown in Fig. 33. When the tin is cut to the shape shown the dividers should be set to 3/16 inch and a line scribed 3/16 inch inside each side of the handle. The tin should be folded over on these lines so that the sides of the handle will be nicely rounded and made stronger. Directions for making a straight fold will be found on page 50 and need not be repeated here as the operation is very simple. The handle should be shaped as shown in Fig. 34. It may be shaped or formed up by placing it over round anvil and using a mallet in exactly the same way that the handle of the biscuit cutter was formed, see Fig. 35, except that the handle for the candlestick will have a better appearance if the folds are left on the outside, see Fig. 34. The ends of the handle should be bent over at right angles as shown in Fig. 34. The small end hooks over the drip cup and the large end hooks over the edge of the tray or bottom of the candlestick.

Rounding Candlestick Handle Figure 34 and 35

The different parts of the candlestick are now ready to be soldered together. The socket should be fitted into the drip cup and these two soldered together first. Apply the solder to the bottom of the drip cup and socket in the angle where the socket and the drip cup meet, as shown in Fig. 32. When the socket and the drip cup are soldered together they should be set in position in the center of the bottom tray and soldered in place. (The candlestick will have a much better appearance if the seams in the side of the drip cup, socket, and bottom tray are in line with each other when the candlestick is soldered together.) The handle is the last thing to put in place and it is soldered to the drip cup and to the bottom tray - which will complete the candlestick. Many pleasing varieties of this simple and practical candlestick may be made by changing the diameter and shape of the cans used for the trays and the length of the candle socket and the shape of the handle.