Garbage bags have always struck me as one of the sneakiest scams in modern life. Here is a product, that, by design, goes well beyond planned obsolescence -- it exists only to be thrown away! And yet people pay good money for garbage bags, only to fill them up and toss them out. In my house growing up, we used paper grocery bags, with a folded-up newspaper lining the bottom to prevent wet from seeping through.
From my college dorm room on, I've used plastic grocery bags for trash. I get them free, and, being small, they encourage frequent emptying of the trash, eliminating odors, fruit flies, and other assorted nastiness. Recently, I got to thinking about trashcans, another strange phenomenon. I had long used them, but for what? They are only another layer of container around the bag.
The UnTrashCan is a modern, stripped-down solution to all these waste problems. A simple frame holds a dozen bags; when one is filled up, it is pulled up and out, conveniently leaving a new, empty bag behind. The UnTrashCan serves as a storage solution for all those balled-up grocery bags, a striking piece of visual beauty for home and kitchen, and a neat resolution of all the thorny metaphysical problems posed by both garbage bags and garbage cans.
It took about two hours to make out of all-recycled wood, and is treated with a non-toxic, sustainable boiled linseed oil finish. All the pieces are small enough to be made out of scraps, and the design is easily modifiable to your particular materials. It could be built with just a drill and a circular saw in a pinch, but I used various shop tools for a better fit and finish.
Other examples might be found here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-plastic-bag-holder/ and here: http://makeprojects.com/Project/Collapsible-Trash-Bag-Frame/372/1.
You will need these materials:
Approx. 4' of 2" x 6" or similar
Approx. 18" of 2" x 8"
Approx. 2' of 1-1/2" square material
Approx. 8" of 3/4" dowel or similar
Approx. 6" of 3/8" dowel or similar
12 3" drywall screws
Finish of your choice
You will need these tools:
Step 1: Feet and Legs
First, run your 1-1/2" square piece of stock through the table saw to put a 10o bevel on it, which will provide the angle of the legs. The same effect could be achieved with a circular saw or a jig saw, just make sure your workpiece is clamped down firmly. This piece will be the "feet" that run at a "T" to the legs and rest on the ground.
Next, cut the feet into two 12" sections. Cut two sections of 2" x 6" to 24". Turn the chop saw to 10o, and cut two opposing miters into the 2" x 8". The shorter side of the piece should be about 14-1/4", which will determine how far apart the legs sit and the tension of the stretched bag.
It should be noted that the legs in mine are not a true 2" x 6"s; they are some old shop scrap that are a little less than 5" wide. They fit the shopping bag handles pretty well, though a little loose. You might want to rip down the 2" x 6" some, or just carve away a little at the top ends witha jigsaw.
Step 2: Pegs
Little pegs at the top of each leg keep the bags from slipping down to the feet.
Measure 1-1/2" down each side and sink a 1" hole with a 3/4" bit. Glue in a 2" peg.
Step 3: Assembly
Mark a centerline on the legs and the feet. Line them up, then glue and screw them together, through the bottom of the feet. Countersink the screws so the feet will eventually sit flat on the floor.
Strike another centerline up the inside and outside of each leg. The top of the crosspiece (the 2" x 8") should hit the leg somewhere around 11" up the inside of the leg. Mark 11", then use your square to wrap that mark around to the outside. Measure 7" down from that and make another mark. Evenly space three pilot holes in that 7", using a 1/8" bit for the screws and a 3/8" bit to countersink them.
Clamp one leg to a table so it is standing up. Spread glue on the crosspiece, hold it on your marks with one hand and screw it in place with the other hand. Repeat for the other side. Make sure the crosspiece doesn't get twisted, as that will make the thing rock on its feet.
Plug the 3/8" holes with piece of dowel.
Sand and apply your choice of finish. I hand-rubbed in one coat of boiled linseed oil -- cheap, easy, and non-toxic -- and finished with some paste wax. Make sure you put some kind of coat on the thing, as drips of food and liquid will stain the wood and mess it up.
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