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Electric Can Crusher (45 per minute)
"It does the job of commercial units that cost $1,800 or more," says Clarence Vetsch, LaCrescent, Minn., who stopped by our FARM SHOW offices to show us the electric can crusher he designed and built. He says building one would be a good project for youth groups who could gather the cans from local restaurants and bars, crush them, and then sell them for recycling.
Vetsch got the idea when the manager of a local American Legion post complained about the problem of getting rid of cans. The machine he built is ideal for bars and restaurants. "They can put it under a counter and cut a hole through the floor so the crushed cans drop into a bin in the basement," he says.
The crusher uses a 1/4-hp Dayton split phase gear, motor that's got a built-in 42: 1 reduction gearbox. An offset crank arm attaches to the output shaft. It drives a push arm that's attached to the can-crushing cylinder which Vetsch made out of heavy 2 by 2-in. tubing with a cap over the crushing end. It moves back and forth in a channel made from two angle irons butted together. The crusher makes 45 strokes per min. Crushed cans drop out the bottom. Cans are placed onto a load ramp that can be made to any length. "It goes so fast you can hardly keep up with it," says Vetsch, noting that aluminum sells for 24 cents per lb. right now (about a penny a can) but has been as high as 60 cents per lb.
The gear motor cost $170. All other components were made from scrap. Vetsch says he'll build the crushers for $280 but notes that anyone is free to copy the idea. He also makes the "world's best" nutcracker featured in a previous issue (Vol. 10, No. 5).
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Clarence Vetsch, 722 2nd St., LaCrescent, Minn. 55947 (ph 507 895-4744).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #3