Tuesday, August 23, 2011

soda can tin work

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More Drink Can Tinwork - Star-Shaped Box
Free Downloadable Templates
If you want to try this for yourself, I've created two PDF templates: this one has base and lid patterns to fit metal taken from a 330ml can - and this one is for use with a tall 440ml can. - they ideally need to be printed on A4 paper.
See page 3 for more details on how to use these templates - because this one is a bit more complex, they're laid out in two colours - the red lines need embossing from the front face of the metal.

More Metalwork

If this project interested you, you might also like Lost Wax Casting
This project makes use of very thin sheet metal that is likely to have sharp, jagged edges and is prone to springing back. Great care should be taken to avoid injury.
This project probably isn't suitable for children - and certainly not without supervision.

More tinwork fun with drink cans. This time for a star-shaped box with a convex profile - the design is still a bit half-baked, but I'm putting it online in case anyone wants to experiment with it.
prototype star-shaped box This is my prototype, which turned out quite well - it's interesting how the geometry of the internal corners on the star shape make the points pull back, lending a convex profile to the lid.
It's a bit more fiddly to draw out and assemble than any of the previous designs, partly because of the folding during assembly and partly just because it has such a lot of corners. It's not impossible though - the thin aluminium is quite flexible and forgiving.

raw materials Up to now, I've been scrubbing off the paint from the metal before making the boxes, or at least constructing them so that it's hidden on the inside.
But some cans have designs that are quite attractive - so let's see if we can exploit it in the finished design.

marking out So I marked out the net of the box - same techniques as for the hexagonal one - hold the template over the sheet of metal and just press through the nodes, then take away the paper and join up the dots.
I used a 330ml can here and I managed to get both the base and lid onto the metal from a single can.

assembly I kept the embossed design quite simple.
I used a 330ml can here and I managed to get both the base and lid onto the metal from a single can.
Folding it up was pretty much the same as for the simpler designs - the sides have to be kept pretty much straight until (and so that) the edge tabs can be folded over, then they can be pushed inwards to form the internal corners of the star afterward.

marking out Here are the assembled boxes - the ink from the embossing/outlining process doesn't really suit the painted side of the metal, so I washed it off with soapy water.
The two halves of the box need a little tweaking and bending to adjust them to fit each other properly,

marking out The painted design on the box obscured the embossing, so I rubbed the paint off the high spots with some abrasive paper - bringing out the embossed lines quite nicely.
So here's the fiished box - I think a collection of these, made from different coloured cans, and strung on thin wire or gold thread, would not look out of place as Christmas tree ornaments - sure, it's fairly obvious that they're recycled, but that sort of thing seems to be quite fashionable at the moment.

Here's a video detailing the techniques and methods. This video documents the construction of a square box, but the procedure is the same for other shapes. A downloadable template for the star boxes is available if you want to try this for yourself - see the side column for details.

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