This Instructable describes a simple way to make candle powered carousel out of a tin can.

The last “Crea” workshop at Leefschool Klavertje Vier had a Christmas theme. It was a workshop with a series of smaller projects. I was to do something with tin cans and candles. Wanting to give it a “masynmachien” twist I came up with this simple candle....
Cutting the “turbine” proved to hard for the children expected at the workshop (mainly 6 to 9 year olds) so I ended up doing a lot of the work in preparation. Keeping it simple was still important, as I had about 20 to make. The kids had still plenty to do making the base and decorating the sides with holes.

UPDATE: I did another workshop with a small group of four girls aged 10 to 13, and apart from sharpening the bearing tip, they managed to do it al by themselves (with guidance).

I included some do’s and don’ts in this Ible. A VERY important one is to keep a large enough gap between the top of the candles and the bottom edge of the can (at least 2.5 cm). When it is not large enough the candle wax can get overheated and start burning all over of the surface, not only at the wick (Yes, I learned from experience). At that stage you can no longer blow out the candle and you risk spilling burning liquid wax.

Of course, never leave candles burning unattended, especially in a self-made construction. Also be very careful with tools and the sharp edges cut in to the can and with hot surfaces. Obviously I can not accept any liability.

If you like this Ible, please give it your vote.

Step 1: Material and Tools

- A tin can at least 10 cm diameter. You also need it to have some height to have it hang in balance easily.
- A long nail or steel rod at least 4cm longer than the height of the can + the thickness of the base. With a 2cm thick base and a 12 cm high can I used a 6.5 x 180 mm nail.
- A base plate capable of carrying three theelight candles. I used an OSB triangle with 10cm sides. You should be able to make hole in it, tightly fitting the nail or rod. Casting the nail into a plaster base could be a good alternative, as it completely non flammable.
- 3 theelight candles. It works with 2 also, sometimes. 3 makes it more sure.

- A can opener.
- An old wood chisel about 3cm wide and a mallet (not shown) to use with it. Do not use your good chisel on metal (as that is what is done in this project).
- A Phillips screwdriver.
- A file (not shown) to make the tip of the nail or rod very sharp, as it has to serve as a bearing. Using a nail saves work, but it needs to be really sharp, so you will need a file. I used a power file (a small belt sanding machine), but then I had over 20 to do.
- To make the nail or rod fit in the base you will need drill bits of the same diameter as the rod and in case of a nail also of its head.
- Some more drill bits and a columnar drill to make the decorative holes.
- Safety glasses.
- Some sanding paper (not shown).
- Some scrap wood and screws to make a drilling support.
- A sturdy work surface, capable of sustaining a blow. I used cork flooring panel, but any scrap wood panel should do.
- Some measuring gear, a pencil and a permanent marker.

Optional auxiliaries:
- A long-neck candle lighter instead of matches (an ordinary lighter tends to burn your fingers when lighting candles).
- Some silicone glue.
- A tiny amount of grease on the bearing can improve the working. Any lubricant that is somewhat heat resistant should do.
- Solvent like nail polish remover and cloth (both not shown) to remove permanent marker drawings.
<p>I have a question for you. Have been wanting to try to make something out of cans for a while now, and I think you have just inspired a whole lot, but is there any way of getting rid of the sharp edges? Thanks a lot</p>
That is a though one.<br>For the holes, you can file down the burrs.<br>For the vanes, in theory you could bend over the edges and flatten them, but that would be quite hard.<br>In this project the sharp edges and burrs are all aiming inwards, so they do not pose a problem for normal use.
Nice work! And <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Spinning-Sparkling-Candle-Carousel/" rel="nofollow">great minds think alike</a>...!
Yes indeed, yours is more elaborate and very beautiful. <div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display: none;"> &nbsp;</div>
Congrats on making it as a finalist!
Thank you... And yours is sturdier! :-)
Sweet! I think I will make one and add it to the thermal section of my website hgttp://www.aboutsteam.com
Thanks!<br> <br> Interesting project, your site.<br> <br> If you are into steam, you might also like this <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Pop-pop-or-put-put-steamboat-made-easy-for-childre/" rel="nofollow">super simple steamboat</a>&nbsp;of mine. <div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display: none;"> &nbsp;</div>
Very very good <br>Thank you
Awesome! Truly awesome. Wish you were my teacher in grade school. I found a recipe for making Gel Fuel for my fake arse fireplace. Found a new use for it I think. I'll try it out and post a pic if I can. (blushing)
Thanks, I'm flattered.
Great Instructible! Love the effect. Maybe for an adult version, to make the pivot bearing with less friction, you could fix a needle to the nail tip instead using either wire to bind it on or epoxy resin glue.
Great idea. In theory a well sharpened nail point should give a similar contact surface as a needle. But in practice the ready made needle point will easily give the better solution.<br> <br> Loosing weight by making a lot of holes ore larger openings would also help lowering friction. See the one from <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Spinning-Sparkling-Candle-Carousel/" rel="nofollow">susanrm</a>. <div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display: none;"> &nbsp;</div>
Congrats on being featured in the newsletter! :-)
For those without access to many workshop tools, there's a trick for punching holes in the sides of cans without deforming the cylindrical shape.<br><br>Fill the can(s) with water. Freeze until solid. Punch the holes through the metal against the supporting block of ice. Thaw, then discard contents.
Thanks for the tip.<br><br>In some cases the expansion of the ice might damage the can. But as tin cans are pretty strong, it will probably work in most cases.
Good one. I am going to have to do this. Thanks for posting!
Love it! Nice use of materials and tools.<br>I may make one.
I think I know what I'm getting my Mom for Christmas!<br><br> Great 'ible!
Clever! These kind of lamps are pretty expensive in stores! Would it work with a lightbulb instead of candles?<br><br>Y.
It is worth a try. You need enough hot air though, with the primitive bearing and the rather heavy tin can used.
Loo, you can check out the <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/An-Orange-Lamp-works-1/" rel="nofollow">one from Mr. Sanchez</a>, with a lightbulb! <div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display: none;"> &nbsp;</div>
Nice ...that reminds me my <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/An-Orange-Lamp-works-1/" rel="nofollow">lamp</a>
Yours is very nice to. Great to see one with a with a lamp!

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Bio: Send me a message if you're interested in Technology or Science Workshops in Flanders, Brussels or the Southern of the Netherlands. I have over ... More »
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