I remember seeing Jurassic Park for the first time as a kid and thinking, I’ve gotta get my hands on one of those secret shaving cream cans. Fast-forward 25 years and although I still don’t have one, I did manage to make my very own secret can with hidden compartment.
It doesn’t have any place to store dinosaur embryos and it’s not made from a can of shaving cream, but it will fool anyone into thinking it's an ordinary can of WD40. I used a WD40 can for a couple of reasons. First – the brand of shaving cream used in the movie isn’t available in Australia, and second – I wanted to use a can that was ubiquitous in any garage or home. You could use any type of can you want though – just make sure it’s made from tin as it’s more durable.
This is a relatively simple hack and works amazingly. Anyone who picked-up the can wouldn’t be able to tell that the bottom can be removed.
Let’s get on with it then.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
You will be able to find all of the parts in any hardware store
1. 50mm PVC Connector
2. 50mm PVC Adapter
3. 40mm PVC tub
4. 40mm Cap
5. 40mm Coupling
6. Can of WD40
1. Epoxy glue
2. Dremel (or something similar) with a cutting wheel. At a pinch you could use an angle grinder
3. Sander. I have a belt sander and it was very handy. You could do the sanding by hand if you wanted to or use files
Step 2: Empty the Can
The first thing that you will need to do is to empty the can
1. Come up with a way to hold the lid down on the can. I used a clamp to hold it down
2. Try and keep the can up straight when emptying it out
3. Make sure that the can is completely empty before the next step. You really don’t want any pressure left in the can when you cut into it.
Step 3: Cut the Base Off the Can
Next, it’s time to remove the bottom of the can. I have seen people use can openers for this but I found a small cutting wheel on a dremel does the job well.
1. Place the can somewhere where you can rotate it easily. I opened up the vice a little, placed a rag against the teeth and put the can on top of this.
2. With a dermal which has a cutting wheel, carefully cut around the bottom of the can. Try to make the cut as straight as possible. Don’t worry though if it is a bit wobbly, you can sand it down later to fix it up.
3. Remove the base and make sure you don’t cut yourself on the can!
Step 4: Sand the End of the Can
1. If you have a belt sander then this will be a lot easier. Place the can onto the sander and start to even out the cut that you made.
2. Keep turning the can, making sure that you sand evenly.
3. When it is straight, grab some 400 to 600 grit sandpaper and sand the edges to make sure it isn’t sharp.
Step 5: Sand the Base
Next thing to do is to sand the base of the can. You want to remove any pieces of the can around the edge.
1. With a bent sander (or file or just sandpaper) carefully remove the small pieces of metal around the base by slowly rotating at an angle on a belt sander
2. Keep checking your work and remove as much as possible of the cut metal. You want to have no can showing out of the top of the base.
3. Don’t worry if the inside of the bottom of the can gets roughed up a little. This is actually a good thing when it comes time to gluing
Step 6: Modding the PVC Connector and Adaptor
Modding the adapter and connector is pretty simple, you will just be trimming them down
1. Place the adapter into a vice with the female screw section facing inwards.
2. With a dremel, remove the coupling section (the part that doesn’t have thread inside)
3. Sand down and remove any burrs
4. Do the exact same for the Connector
5. For the adapter to fit inside the can, you will also need to remove the small plastic gussets running along the outside. Just sand these off until the adapter fits snuggly inside the can
Step 7: Gluing the Adapter
Time to glue the PVC couplings to the can.
1. Screw the connector and adapter together.
2. Next, add some epoxy glue around the adapter and push it into the bottom of the can. The reason why you need to screw the connector to the adapter is to work out how far inside the can the adapter has to be glued. When the base of the can is glued to the connector, it needs to sit flush with the can so it’s important to make sure the adapter is glued in the right spot.
3. Un-screw the connector 1 to 2 turns. Place the base of the can on a flat surface and push the can onto it so they sit flush. The adapter will slide up inside the can and be in the right place for when the glue dies.
4. Leave to dry.
Step 8: Gluing the Connector
Once the glue is dried on the adapter, you next need to glue the connector to the base of the can.
1. First thing to do is to add some epoxy around the bottom rim of the connector.
2. Next, screw the connector into the adapter inside the can. Remember how you loosened the can 1 or 2 turns, do this again.
3. Place the bottom of the can on a flat area and place the connector (which is inside the can) on top of it. You may have to adjust the connector until the bottom of the can is sitting flush
4. Leave to dry for a good hour or so.
5. Test to make sure that the bottom screws into the can and everything is working as it should. You may have to add some more epoxy around the connector and bottom of the can.
If you want you can just leave it as is and your done. I wanted to add a small tube inside mine to secure the goods inside.
Step 9: Adding a Tube to the Inside
1. Cut the 40mm coupling in half and sand flat the cut edge
2. Cut a piece of 40 PVC tube so it will fit inside the can and glue the 40mm coupling to one end
3. Next, you need to glue the tube to the bottom of the secret can. Add some epoxy to the bottom section of the tube (the bit with the coupling attached) and glue in the middle of the base of the can
4. Once dried, add a 40mm cap as a lid to the top of the tube
5. Screw the base into the can.
Runner Up in the
Creative Misuse Contest