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Tin can siding

Luka's picture

he he he

Awright, awright, so I couldn't resist chuckling even before I started typing the post..

; )

Ok, halfway serious here...

Two points to get out of the way first... 1. I ain't rich. 2. I REALLY do not like to go with conventional. The more unconventional the better. Always.

That said... I will be finishing my "front room" this summer. Part of getting it dried in, and liveable is going to be the siding, of course.

I would like to side it with cedar, but I don't think that is going to happen. I have an old cedar stump that I considered trying to split out, but it turned out to be just too rotten.

So, I have been trying to think of some source of cheap, or preferably free siding... Started to think unconventionaly a couple of months ago. Came up with the idea of saving all the cans from food, cutting out both ends, cutting along the seam, flatten out... and viola', a shiny shake.

Clean and polish, then dip in a good metal sealer. Apply just like regular shingles. Very small lap showing, of course. But it should work, nonetheless. It's relatively free. (Gotta buy the food anyway.) And it would recycle the cans, rather than fill a landfill or a gulley.

If I did this, I would have to watch it carefully, to see if it would last. Probably plenty of maintenance. I am assuming that if I find it rusting quickly, I will have to paint it with a rust inhibiting paint very soon afterward.

I would also try to work in some kind of designs like that fish. My luck, it would turn into full-blown sculpture by the time I was well started. LOL I would, of course, try to make it look good. Artistic, if nothing else.

Aside from the fact that it is by-gawd tin cans, and the fact that it might rust quickly, what say you all ? Advice ? Jeers ?




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

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It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #1 of 81)

Interesting idea.


I think youmight be better off if you just let it rust or do something to expedite a quick, even coat of rust. 


Just be sure to refer to the rust as "patina".


I wonder if there is some sort of metal working tool that could be used to easily roll the cut can out perfectly flat?


Steelkilt Lives!

http://jhausch.blogspot.com 
Adventures in Home BuildingAn online journal covering the preparation and construction of our new home.

(post #92793, reply #2 of 81)

"I wonder if there is some sort of metal working tool that could be used to easily roll the cut can out perfectly flat?"


The back tire of my truck!


Years ago I saw an article in a photography mag about a guy who took pictures of flattened cans.


He was having an exhibition at the time.


Actually the pics were really good.


Art!


He almost got run over taking some of them.


get some kind of press so you can flatten em' efficiently.


don't bother with labels or removing the bottom.


Think ART!


Maybe youcan make the back cover of FHB!


Again!


:O


Mr T


Do not try this at home!


I am an Experienced Professional!

. .

(post #92793, reply #3 of 81)

Good Idea!


I think Luka said something about removing the top and bottom and then slitting the can open prior to rolling flat.  Never thought of what it might look like if you just flattened the can straight away . . .


Luke, another thought.  You might try experimenting with the different look of a regular can opener (which cuts the lid and leaves the rim of the lid on the can) and the newer style of opener (which cuts the can around the side, just below the lid).  The latter may make for easier-to-flatten-into-shakes cans.


Steelkilt Lives!

http://jhausch.blogspot.com 
Adventures in Home BuildingAn online journal covering the preparation and construction of our new home.

(post #92793, reply #13 of 81)


In my thinking, those ridges down the sides would be a good thing.

In the shorter cans, they would end up top and bottom on the wall. But in taller cans, I would hope they could be oriented verticaly. Deal is, they would add a lot of rigidity to something that would otherwise bend easily in the strong windstorms we get up here.

Flattening the whole can would make for nice stiff shakes, but as I explained to T, it would also make for awfully small shakes.



A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

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It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #12 of 81)

If I flattened the whole can, I would have thicker shingles, yes. But they would also be really small.

I don't remember ever being on the back cover.

That old trailer was only a model. And it wasn't mine.

; )




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #11 of 81)

Jim,

In my observation, it doesn't take much rust at all to get the whole can to disappearing quickly.

I do think that if I saw rusting problems, I would have to find a good tan colored rust preventive paint, and quick.

I was just going to stomp on them. LOL




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #4 of 81)

Buy lotsa heavy gloves. I've seen liscense plate shakes in Kentucky. Kinda folksy on the right building. I saw tarpaper put up with bottlecap washers too, but that was less successful from the appearance and durability standpoint. Used to be you could buy log slab sides cheaply, which makes a fine cheap siding. If you want wood shingles cheap, sometimes motorcycles come crated in hardwood crates, may be you could cut fishscales and diamonds and scallops from cratewood? Then there is the corrugated metal, which is nice if done correctly. My sister put it on their kitchen wall. My dad thought they lost their minds, but it is fire resistant, and the refrigerator magnets stick to it.

(post #92793, reply #5 of 81)

Jeff ,


good free siding: drive around to sites where vinyl is being put up and offer to take there scraps


then do a mish mash of different colors and lengths.


could be art!


Mr T


Do not try this at home!


I am an Experienced Professional!

. .

(post #92793, reply #15 of 81)

No thanks.

I may be trailer trash, but hey, even I got some small bit of taste.

; )



A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

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It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #14 of 81)

Heavy gloves and tetanus shot are a given.

; )

Mark, you have come up with some really good ideas. Things I had already considered, but had put away for one reason or another. Reading them, makes me think that I should consider again...

If I had a nice old huge bandsaw, I could cut my own log slabs. As thin as I wanted. And yes, that would make an excelent siding. Wouldn't matter how long it lasted, either, because it could be so easily replaced, and for free. (Man, I would give my left noogie for a real bandsaw ! And I have the room for one, now. Suppose I'll end up wasting a bunch of time and money, trying to build one myself. LOL)

You bring up another good point. I had considered using pallet boards as well. They seem to last forever, even when half buried, in the wet climate we have here.

Cut them off the pallet, and you have basic 18" and shorter boards. No nails to contend with, either. What is a shake, but a board ? I do think that if the same care is given to the pallet boards, as what is given to the shakes, it can look as good, and last as long...

There are pallets available that have pretty thin wood on them, as well. I'd just have to put time into finding those types, and would end up with basicaly the same thing as cedar siding, but of a different species.

Yes, fish scales and such could be incorporated. Maybe even easier than standard cedar siding.

Corrugated metal. That would work. I even have a bunch of old tin that came off the sides of a pole barn. But it is full of bends, tears, and holes. Some holes so big you could put your fist or even your head through. I could put it up, patch it, then paint it, but it would still look very ugly. This is the one spot on my property that draws attention and holds it the longest. I want to end up with something that is better than just passable. The corrugated would look just as bad.

Another idea is to just cut smaller, metal shingles from that stuff, instead of messing with the cans. If I do, I would be smartest, to buy or build a metal brake as well. I could actualy have a shingle system that not only looked standard, but worked that way as well. In my head, it could end up looking kind of like the copper roof in the "copper siding" thread here. But with tin instead of copper.




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #6 of 81)

Armor plated house. Cool. Patented no less. Market it to the "Mole Hunter's" neigbors.

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #92793, reply #16 of 81)

LOL

Good idea.



A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #7 of 81)

Shouldn't this be posted at redneckhomebuilding.com, instead of on FINE homebuiling's site ???.....................(-:

Ya know, I kinda like Mr. T's suggestion of using vinyl siding scraps. I know where there's a building where they used different colors of shingles to spell something on the roof. Maybe you could spell your name on the side of your building...........



Q: Why are blondes so easy to get into bed?
A: Who cares?

(post #92793, reply #17 of 81)

Oh yeah.

THAT'S not tacky at all.



A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #8 of 81)

Use beer cans instead if food cans, they are aluminum and won't rust.... Plus like the food you have to buy it any way.

We are the people our parents warned us about. J. Buffett

We are the people our parents warned us about. J. Buffett

(post #92793, reply #9 of 81)

Fess up, this is just an outer defensive shell for the Tinfoil Hat.....


Lots of houses built from old bottles out in the desert here in So Cal. Mortar and bottles and a lot of time to collect same.


Joe H

(post #92793, reply #10 of 81)

"Fess up, this is just an outer defensive shell for the Tinfoil Hat....."

Not a bad idea, if ya think about it. Then you'd only have to wear the tin foil hat when you're outside.........



Q: Why do drivers' education classes in redneck schools use the car only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays?
A: Because on Tuesday and Thursday, the sex education class uses it.

(post #92793, reply #20 of 81)

The trailer already has metal skin. To be honest. I'd rather have wooden siding on the front room. But I have to consider all the possibilites, because I simply can't afford to just go buy siding.

Those bottle houses are actualy the inspiration for the tin can thing, believe it or not !

I considered using just the can top and bottom, at first. It would really look like fish scales throughout. Bt that idea went out, because it would take a long time, and the things would be so small, that it would be very difficult to get a real protective 'seal'.




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #21 of 81)

P.S.

I have been saving up plastic bottles for a while now. Thinking that if I fill them with sand, I can build with them in place of bricks.

Problems there, are the fact that the plastic would, itself, prevent them from being locked in. And the sand "brick" would tend to get squished over time.

I have kept the bottles, though, because it occurred to me that I could cut the tops off, and pour cement in them, to make round bricks that I COULD build with, after removing the plastic.

Just another example of being determined and patient. I'll have to continue to save what I have, then when I get started, I'll have to just buy a bit of cement at a time, as I can afford it.

And hey, an example of thinking WAAAAY out of the box.... I even considered making a stainless steel form or some such, and melting the plastic bottles into it........ to form plastic shakes.

: )




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #22 of 81)

Now there's an idea.


Bricks out of colored concrete using the bottles as forms, many different colors.


then standard motar in the joints.


 


Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, Professionals built the Titanic.

(post #92793, reply #18 of 81)

I don't drink.

But the point is a good one. Same effort, and the result would last longer with less effort.

BTW: aluminum DOES rust. It's the same thing as rust on tin. Oxide. Oxidation. It's just called corrosion, instead of rust. And it's white instead of red.




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #19 of 81)

 where you at again?


I think your idea could look either really cool, or really sh!tty if you half aszed it, but I doubt that will be the case.


I'd look for that bandsaw and go with the wood myself, bet you can find one used for pretty cheap.


Might want to paint both sides of the cans after you flatten and before you install with some sort of 2 part epoxy paint to fend off the rust as long as possible


....and no drywall screws for install..... ;)


Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, Professionals built the Titanic.

(post #92793, reply #24 of 81)

I'm in the great northwet.

Exactly my thought. I do not want sh#tty. I want this to look as good as I can make it look for free or cheap. I do believe that even tin cans can be made to look good.

I have looked for bandsaws. Seriously. Long and hard. Came across some, but could never afford them.

I want a really big one. Cheap is never cheap enough, though. I have been hoping to run across one that is broken and old. I can fix anything. And I can manufacture parts if need be. But the saw has to be free. When you live on 300 a month, even 50 dollars can seem like a fortune. (300 is not a typo) And I have never seen a bandsaw of the larger size, go for less than 300. No matter what the shape. Sorry, but I simply cannot spend a whole month's money on a single tool.

That would be my preference as well. I know I can make that look more than just nice. Then there's the added benefit of being able to cut more wood for other uses. Metal as well.

Painting with an epoxy paint would make the whole project moot. It would cost more than if I just went out and bought cedar shakes.

If I went with the tin cans, yes, I fully intended to use small, cheap drywall screws...

; )




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #33 of 81)

Luka


I like the idea of the cans, don't lower yourself to using that damn vinyl siding.


Also the idea of the cut logs would be good, you don't need a band saw, do it with a chain saw, use your imagination for gods sake.


I can see it now, we'll be seeing you on one of those HGTV shows about weird homes.


What ever you do, do it with some class, no sense cobbling something together.


Doug


PS, I can start saving cans for you if you need.

(post #92793, reply #36 of 81)

Instead of cat food cans (aren't cats food anyway?), get to a restaurant, maybe more so one that does a veggie buffet, and get the big, about 1 gallon tin cans that the beans and stuff come in.  More coverage faster.  Or go out at night and collect hubcabs.


 

(post #92793, reply #37 of 81)

How 'bout plastic 5gal pails? 


Cut bottom out, slit down one side (Like the cans) and soften them up in a makeshift oven (old 55gal drum laid on it's side over a fire?).  You could melt them onto a piece of corrigated steel, expanded metal, or other items to give the new "sheet good" some texture.  You'll have to watch them REAL close to make sure they don't turn to goo though.


 

 

(post #92793, reply #38 of 81)

Now that is something that I had not thought about.

I like that idea.

In my experience, those buckets begin to get brittle after about 4 years out in the sun. But I have never seen one that would leak, even then. I don't think brittle would be a problem. It's not like I'll be bouncing a basketball off the side of my house. Only two of these walls will ever get any direct sunlight, and even those two only get it a very few months out of the year.

Now, if I took my smooth tin, cut it to shapes, sanded them rough, then melted the slabs of bucket to them, to make the sort of shake you describe.... Hmmmm

I would not do it with an oven. I would do it with a burn pit. Build a good fire. Put a rack far enough above the fire not to have direct flamage hitting it. Then lay the piece of metal on the rack, and lay the plastic on top. Leave it until the plastic melts to the metal. Trim any excess, and you got a laminated shake.

Hey, I could get excited about this one.

The alternative, still, is to skip the plastic, and as I said before, build or buy a metal brake, then cut the tin and fold it into real, interlocking shingles. I think I've already got enough tin...

The plastic though, would lend it a bit more weather resistance, as well as thickness, and 'texture'.

This part of the job is still plenty far enough off that I have time to think about this for a while.




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #39 of 81)

Yes, the bigger cans are a good idea.

I suppose I could start making the rounds of the local restaurants, asking for their old cans.



A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...

(post #92793, reply #40 of 81)

How about coil stock. Comes already coated, either smooth or grained.

Slice to size and nail it up with aluminum nails.

Might be some of those siding guys in your area who throw out the end of the roll or have odds and ends hanging around. You should be able to make a miniature brake to form that stuff to hang right.

(post #92793, reply #41 of 81)

Another excelent idea.

I suppose whatever I happen to run across enough of, first, will win.

: )




A good heart embiggins even the smallest person.


Quittin' Time

.

It's a small world. Until you have to walk home...