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Powered Can Crusher
"We've crushed at least 10,000 cans with no problems at all," says Bill Swets, Fort Collins, Colo., about his unique can crusher that uses a pair of studded snow tires to flatten aluminum cans.
Swets is an innovative inventor and tinkerer who runs an on-farm museum consisting of more than 100 animal sculptures - mostly dinosauers - made out of scrap equipment, as well as an on-farm railroad, numerous pieces of antique equipment, and other attractions. Thousands of visitors flock to the farm each year and he provides refreshments from a pop machine. He needed a way to get rid of the cans left behind.
One tire mounts on a car rear axle that's powered by a 1/2-hp. electric motor driving the pinion. The other tire turns freely, mounted on a front spindle, and is adjust-able against the powered tire. The two 15-in. tires, which are inflated to about 20 lbs., run up against each other, crushing the cans down to about 1/4 in. thick.
"It'll smash cans as fast as you can feed them in - about 120 cans a minute. At first I tried regular car tires but they weren't aggressive enough and wouldn't always pull the cans down through. So I switched to studded snow tires and they get the job done. Also, the rpm's of the tires is critical. At first I had it running too slow and it wouldn't work. The right speed is 80 to 100 rpm's. I've got a 14-in. pulley on the pinion and a 2-in. pulley on the motor. I also tried a 1/4 hp. electric motor but that didn't have enough power," says Swets.
He puts a 5-gal. pail under the tires to catch the cans as they're crushed. A protective guard rail across the top of the tires keeps arms and hands out of the tires.
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Swets, 4801 E. Harmony Road, Fort Collins, Colo. 80525 (ph 303 484-9509).

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #1