Introduction: Oilcan From Tuna

About: Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter, the one of us who soonest finds the strength to rise must help the other. - Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Having a spill- resistant container of cutting and threading oil handy while machining parts is a definite asset while working in the shop, and a tuna sandwich for lunch provided the solution.

Step 1:

After a satisfying lunch, I washed both the tuna can and lid before use. I marked out the lid center, which doesn’t have to be precisely located, and simply drove a punch through to make a starter hole for a taper reamer. I matched the hole for a tight fit of some 1/2” [12.7mm] copper tube, punched a small drip- recovery hole in the lid near the tube's hole and set the lid aside.

Taking up work on the tube, I center drilled a 1/4” [6mm] cross hole a short distance from the tube's end and then, using a flaring tool, created a bellmouth at the top end. The purpose of the cross hole is to allow oil into the tube chamber, and yet restrict it's free- flow in case of upset. After a sandpaper cleaning, I hacksawed the tube at the bottom of the cross hole, allowing it to be open ended. I broadened the cross hole bottom with diagonal cutters forming a nice arch where it meets the can's bottom.

Slipping the tube into the lid and mounting it on the can for position location, I then soldered the cleaned tube and lid junction together, with simple electronics type 60/40 rosin core and some acid flux using a 150 watt iron.

Afterwards, I cleaned the soldering area and can body with kerosene for final assembly and finishing.

Step 2:

To glue the lid back onto the tin, I mixed a portion of 5- minute epoxy and applied it to the top inside edge of the lid. I then used my drill press and a short scrap of 2” [51mm] PVC tube as a clamping fixture.

A coat of spray paint, and the project was complete

Step 3: Parting Thoughts

The drip hole allows for oil recovery during use of the brush, when drips are inevitable. Any collection on the lid eventually finds it's way back into the reservoir. I like the use of an artists brush, it seems to hold just the right amount for my needs without overfilling and waste. The can opener I use is the type that separates the lid at the outside edge, thus permitting recapping if desired, I don't think the type that punches down from the top would bode well for this design.

Inspiration for this project comes from a professor emeritus of YouTube land, mrpete222, aka tubalcain:

MACHINE SHOP TIPS #135 Making a Spillproof Oilcan for the Atlas Lathe

Don't have one of those nifty can openers that cut from the side of the lid?

No problem, this video shows a workaround: