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Soup cans

 
pollinator
Posts: 261
Location: N. California
75
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I always want to call them tin cans, but I don't think they are tin any more, are they?  I'm trying to reuse as much as I can.  The glass and plastic things with lids are easy, lots of ways to reuse or reinvent those type containers.  Any great ideas for soup cans?  I have seen holes in them with candles, and that's cute, but I wouldn't use it that often.  I only need so many pencil holders.  I have a bunch of extra herb seedlings, if I put holes in the bottom could I grow herbs in them?  That might make a cute gift.  I'm open to ideas.  It's just garbage I'm keeping if I can't reuse it, and I don't need more garbage.  Thanks Jen
 
pollinator
Posts: 291
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on the hugelkultur berms, we plant many things that will take years to grow. so we get flatten a piece of tin into a rectangle and use something like a large nail to press words (indentations) into the tin describing what it was that was planted there. Of all the ways to label things, these labels don't rust nor fade in the sun nor get lost easily.
 
Posts: 41
Location: Vermont, USA (zone 4)
2
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I use them to hold pencils as you've suggested, but other uses have been pretty limited.  They rust through fairly quickly when used to grow plants in, or as scoops for sanding my driveway.  I once used the lid to a large industrial-sized can to paint a beautiful garden sign which lasted only a couple years before disintegrating.  (I have much better luck fashioning garden signs from sheet aluminum - aluminum is forever while tin cans are for the short term.)
 
pollinator
Posts: 175
Location: SW Ohio
33
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I think the cans are mostly steel, and may be coated with a thin layer of actual tin to make it resistant to corrosion/rust. While recycling is the least effective of the three Rs, when there's not a real use for the cans (IE, as consequence of not being resealable after being chewed up by a can opener) then returning them to the manufacturing stream via recycling does help reduce the need for mining raw materials from the earth.
You CAN use some cans to make a rocket stove. You could cook a can of beans on a rocket stove made of cans. You can.
Bad humor :D
I don't love using metal containers to start plants. You miss one watering session on a sunny day and your seedlings might all be dead. Or get rust in the soil. Poking holes in the metal will allow uncoated portions of the metal to come in contact with air and water, and cause rust. I thought about maybe using a fancy can opener that leaves a smooth edge to remove both the top and bottom of the cans (it would only work on the cans that have a lip on both the top and bottom) and then hammering the cans flat and using them as shingles. I think it would be very inferior to a roof made of a whole piece of metal, though.
 
master steward
Posts: 2941
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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When I was younger, my Mom made some really neat stuff out if cans.  The best I can remember is that the cans were cut in narrow strips.  One was a candle holder and the strips were rolled up to make 4 feet.  I looked for something like it though I didn't find anything like it.

Here some to give you ideas:





 
pollinator
Posts: 150
Location: Western Idaho
42
earthworks greening the desert ungarbage
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tin can floor I went through a tin can phase myself, still trying to think of a use for the rest of these I have collected.
 
gardener
Posts: 2729
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
239
forest garden trees urban
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I keep the big ones only.
I use them to make chimneys for rocket stoves and TLUD biochar stove.
I also use them as shelf supports:
IMG_20200326_014415.jpg
Shelf suports with built in storage.
Shelf suports with built in storage.
 
Aaron Tusmith
pollinator
Posts: 150
Location: Western Idaho
42
earthworks greening the desert ungarbage
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William, what is your method for attaching the cans together ?
 
William Bronson
gardener
Posts: 2729
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
239
forest garden trees urban
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Here are some photos of what I do  what I do.
I realize now that  I've used each of these more as forms for refractory cement  chimneys than chimneys on their own.
IMG_20200328_223947.jpg
Two cans bound together with a third can
Two cans bound together with a third can
IMG_20200328_223917.jpg
Two cans bound together with tabs made from cans
Two cans bound together with tabs made from cans
IMG_20200225_183848.jpg
Can used as a chimney on a tlud
Can used as a chimney on a tlud
IMG_20200225_183939.jpg
The inside of that same chimney.The hole is smaller in diameter than the can and self tapping screws hold the can to the lid.
The inside of that same chimney.The hole is smaller in diameter than the can and self tapping screws hold the can to the lid.
 
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