Making Tin Can Toys

by Edward Thatcher 1919

Chapter 1


VARIOUS KINDS OF CANS AND BOXES-PREPARING CANS FOR THE WORK-CUTTING IN AND OPENING OUT CANS AND BOXES There are many shapes and sizes of tin cans and boxes as everyone knows; round, square, elliptical, tall, short, or flat. A surprising number of attractive shapes and sizes may be collected in a short time in any community. Housewives are only too glad to find some one to use them. Cans that are well rinsed with hot water as soon as the contents are removed are not at all objectionable to work with; but cans that have not been rinsed out, or that have been thrown out and exposed to the weather are very unpleasant objects, and be sides, a rusty can is very difficult to solder. It is a simple matter to rinse or scald out a can as soon as the contents are removed.

Tomato, corn, pea and condensed milk cans are the most plentiful. Coffee, tea, cocoa, jam, mackerel and sardine cans, olive and cooking oil cans, baking powder and spice cans are all useful for making the things described in this book and for many more besides. Biscuit boxes, tobacco boxes, cold cream, ointment, and the small adhesive tape boxes all contain possibilities. The screw tops of olive oil and cooking oil cans, and bottle caps should be collected for this work. Jelly glass lids, in fact, all shallow tin lids are useful. Syrup and molasses cans with separate lids, that push into place are worth saving, especially the lids. Certain containers of dry material are now largely made of pasteboard with tin; tops, lids and bottoms. The tin parts of these containers are often of an attractive shape. The large round gallon cans used by hotels and restaurants are particularly useful, and a sizable piece of tin may be obtained from the sides of the can and the bottom may be used for large candlestick saucers and many other things. Large square tin boxes used to contain 100 pounds of cocoa may be obtained from some restaurants. These are made of heavy tin and five large sheets may be cut from the bottom and sides. Considerably over $1 would have to be paid for the same amount of tin.