Introduction: Bicycle in a Can
We use these 20 litre (5 gallon) oil cans to collect and recycle scrap metal at our bicycle repair workshop. As well as being recyclable, the steel that ends up in these cans is often too sharp and dangerous to put with regular waste in a rubbish (garbage) bag. Once full, the cans weigh around 15kg (33lbs), a bit more than the weight of a typical steel bicycle, so I like to think of it as a bicycle in a can.
You can find these cans at many restaurants. Alternatively, try to source 20 litre paint tins, which have a removable lid and a strong handle.
Step 1: Cut a Hole in the Top
Use an angle grinder to cut a hole in the top of the can. It's difficult to cut smoothly around the round edge. Don't plunge the disc too deep into the cuts - just make small, shallow cuts. It's not necessary to cut the piece out completely. Leave it hinged at the sides and simply fold it back under. CAUTION: The cuts will leave jagged razor sharp edges, so be careful.
Step 2: File and Tape the Jagged Edges
Use a file to smooth out the cuts as best you can. They will still be quite jagged, so use tape to cover the edges. Most wide tapes will work. The tape won't stick well to the oily surfaces, but it seems to hang on just well enough.
Step 3: Punch a Drain Hole in the Bottom of the Can
Use a hammer and chisel/flathead screwdriver to punch a hole or two in the bottom of the can, in order to release any water that may get in.
Step 4: Fill the Can With Small Scrap Metal
Fill the can with small scrap metal and take it to the recyclers.