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  • Can Crusher

    I am thinking of building an aluminum can crusher. I have a gear box and electric motor for the power supply, and am thinking of some kind of ram that would slide back and forth on rails. Has anyone ever tried this, or have any ideas that may help? I have several hundred pounds of cans that I am looking to crush. Thanks guys!
    Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)
    The Next Loud Noise You Hear Is Me!

  • #2
    HI ARBO............SEVERAL HUNDRED POUNDS WORTH........WELL THINK BIG MORE THAN ONE CAN AT A TIME......BIG MOTOR, BIG PUMP, BIG RAM, AND A BIG SQUARE BOX TO DUMP 100 OR SO INTO EACH TIME TO GET A NICE FLAT STACK OR SQUARE STACK. KINDA DEPENDS ON HOW INGENIOUS YOU ARE......... MAYBE STOP AT A RECYCLING PLANT AND TAKE A LOOK AND SEE WHAT THEY HAVE..............REMEMBER TIM ........THE TOOL MAN....... NEED MORE POWER HOHOHO.......WELL BE SAFE YOU GOT THE PICTURE NOW RIGHT........ROCK.......... [email protected]

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    • #3
      Rock...Can Crusher

      Rock:
      I wonder if there is a way to modify a log splitter to use as a can crusher.
      Maybe an attachment to a log splitter might work?
      Tim

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      • #4
        YES...... IN THEORY IT LOOKS LIKE IT WOULD WORK....... INSTEAD OF A HORIZONTAL LOG SPLITTER THEY SELL ONE THAT IS HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL........WITH THE CORRECT SIZE RAM MODIFICATION TO THE PLATE IT SHOULD CRUSH CANS IN A CONTAINER QUITE WELL I WOULD THINK......... HOWEVER CONSIDER THIS I HAD A BUILT IN CAN CRUSHER ONCE IN MY KITCHEN CABINET'S.......KENMORE AND IT SCREWED DOWN THE RAM.... THE CANS IN THE BOTTOM GOT CRUSHED WELL..... HOWEVER AS IT FILLED UP AND THE RAM HAD LESS POWER IT CRUSHED LESS AND LESS......... SOME MODIFICATIONS TO THE PUMP ON THE LOG SPLITTER MIGHT BE IN ORDER..........IF POSSABLE..................ANY ONE ELSE WITH THOUGHTS NOW IS THE TIME TO CHIME IN.........................ROCK
        [COLOR=blue]

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        • #5
          HarborFrieght or NorthernTool have pneumatic actuated jacks with enough stroke to squash the can. They have a spring return also.

          How about a air bellows that trucks use, I see them on the back axle of their trailers, a valve actuator would control it from your compressor. This should close and open very quickly.
          It's not an optical illusion...it just looks like one

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          • #6
            YES...... IN THEORY IT LOOKS LIKE IT WOULD WORK....... INSTEAD OF A HORIZONTAL LOG SPLITTER THEY SELL ONE THAT IS HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL........WITH THE CORRECT SIZE RAM MODIFICATION TO THE PLATE IT SHOULD CRUSH CANS IN A CONTAINER QUITE WELL I WOULD THINK......... HOWEVER CONSIDER THIS I HAD A BUILT IN CAN CRUSHER ONCE IN MY KITCHEN CABINET'S.......KENMORE AND IT SCREWED DOWN THE RAM.... THE CANS IN THE BOTTOM GOT CRUSHED WELL..... HOWEVER AS IT FILLED UP AND THE RAM HAD LESS POWER IT CRUSHED LESS AND LESS......... SOME MODIFICATIONS TO THE PUMP ON THE LOG SPLITTER MIGHT BE IN ORDER..........IF POSSABLE..................ANY ONE ELSE WITH THOUGHTS NOW IS THE TIME TO CHIME IN.........................ROCK
            [COLOR=blue]

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            • #7
              Arbo:

              Sorry to be so late. I just finished a can crusher a few weeks ago for a volunteer fire department. It averages a little more than 13 cans per minute. If you're interested, I can give you some more details. Or have you already built something?

              Mike

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              • #8
                Crusher

                Please send me some specs. I would be intrested in what you have.

                Thanks,

                Arbo
                Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)
                The Next Loud Noise You Hear Is Me!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mike in KC
                  Arbo:

                  Sorry to be so late. I just finished a can crusher a few weeks ago for a volunteer fire department. It averages a little more than 13 cans per minute. If you're interested, I can give you some more details. Or have you already built something?

                  Mike
                  Hey Mike I Would like to get those details from you aswell if you do not mind??

                  Thanks

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                  Shop Mechanic for Brinks Coin

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                  • #10
                    Arbo:

                    The general specs are that the machine runs continuously. There are no controls other than the ON/OFF switch. It is about 3’ long and 6” wide except that it wider down at the drive section. It crushes cans lengthwise – that is it pushes the top down toward the bottom. It crushes the cans down to about ¾” thick and can cycle through about 13 cans per minute. You just start the thing up and drop a can into a trough about every 5 seconds. There is an opening in the end so the crushed cans fall through the opening automatically. This lets the crushed cans be collected in a box or a trashcan lined with a plastic bag. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures or make any drawings. Except for a gear reducer and some flat bar that I bought, I made the thing entirely out of leftovers and scrapped parts. I’ll describe the drive section. I hope I don’t confuse you.

                    The crusher works along the lines of what you had in mind. It uses a ½ hp 1725 rpm electric motor. The motor drives a 40:1 gear reducer box. I bought the gear box from Burden’s Surplus Center in Lincoln, NE for $50. The gear box is mounted so that the output shaft is vertical and pointing up. The output shaft has a 14 tooth #40 sprocket attached. The sprocket drives a #40 chain which drives a 48 tooth sprocket. The big sprocket is mounted on a ¾” vertical shaft. The vertical shaft turns on two, four-bolt flange bearings. The bearings are mounted on either side of a piece of 2” x 4” x 1/8” rectangle tubing. The tubing is the main frame for everything – the motor and gear box hang off of the tubing. I welded a 2” x 3/16” flat bar onto the hub of the big sprocket. This is the crank arm. Before welding, I drilled a hole in the flat bar 4” from where the center of the hub would be. This means that as the big sprocket rotates, the hole in the crank arm travels in an 8” circle. This gives the machine an 8” stroke which is enough to crush 16 oz. adult beverage cans.

                    I made a connecting bar out of a piece of 1-1/2” x 3/16” bar. The connecting bar has one hole in each end. The holes are 12” apart. One end of the connecting bar attaches to the crank arm with a bolt. The other end of the connecting bar attaches to the ram. The ram is a length of ¾” solid rod. I welded two pieces of ¾” x 1/8” bar onto one end of the ram to make a clevis or fork. The connecting bar just fits between the two forks of the clevis and a bolt acts like a pin to attach the bar to the ram. The ram slides nicely inside a piece of 1” x 0.120 DOM tubing 2” in length. The DOM acts like a linear bearing.

                    I hope I haven’t been too confusing. The drive section works like a car motor. The big sprocket and the crank arm are like the crankshaft. The connecting bar is like the connecting rod. And the ram and DOM bearing are like the piston moving inside the cylinder. Sort of. The crank arm turns in a circle and the connecting bar converts this into a back and forth motion. If you wish, I can describe the crushing mechanism which is much simpler!

                    Mike

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                    • #11
                      Crusher

                      This sounds very similar to what I had in mind. I have a gear reducing box that I rescued from the dumpster years ago. It has no markings on it, but I do know that turning the one shaft 18 revolutions, makes the other one turn one revolution. 18:1? Do you think this would give enough torque with a 1/2 or 1/3 HP motor?
                      Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)
                      The Next Loud Noise You Hear Is Me!

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                      • #12
                        Can Crusher

                        Arbo:

                        Just a guess, but if the output shaft diameter is 5/8" or more, it should be adequate for the torque. However, with only an 18:1 reduction, the crusher will cycle too fast. Perhaps you can use a belt and pulley arrangement between your motor and the gear box. This should be pretty easy to get another 2.2:1 reduction in the cycle speed. This will also give your motor some torque multiplication. The gear box I used is only rated at 0.24 hp input, but this is a continuous rating. Except at the end of the crushing stroke, the whole assembly just loafs along. The controlling factor is the gearbox output torque limit, which is 235 in-lb on the one I bought. Another advantage of a belt and pulley between the motor and gear box is that alignment is not so critical. I had to mess around with shims to directly couple my motor and gearbox with a Lovejoy spider coupling. The vibration at first was pretty bad.

                        I'm always concerned about machinery whipping around at high speed. I really like having 10 fingers!

                        Mike

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                        • #13
                          just a thought, I had seen a can crusher in an old farm journal that basically was two truck tires placed tread to tread in a single file fashion with a motor behind one to turn it. You simply placed a can in the top at the crease of the two tires and it was squashed and deposited on the floor (box) underneath the tire set up. there is the danger of getting a finger caught, (because the tires would constantly be spinning) however if you do not fill the tires to a rock hard pressure, I think it would be less dangerous and the pressure between the two tires would not be that great (only enough to crush cans-maybe a couple of pounds between the two). You could vary the speed with belts, pulleys, etc. It would not have to turn the tires very fast to accomplish what you are trying to do.

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                          • #14
                            Can crusher

                            Mark:

                            The two tires idea sounds interesting. My concern is like yours – getting a finger or hand caught. If the tires are large and you can rig some kind of feed chute to guide the cans, it may be fairly safe. I think one trick would be to keep the cans from shooting out a bit sideways. Unless the can crushes pretty uniformly, it may wiggle toward the thicker side and pop out. Maybe some guides would keep the cans going straight.

                            Mike

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