Growing food in old food cans

I've got access to some very large used catering size food oil cans. They are quite colourful and thought it would be fun to grow some veg in them. i've seen this done in South america. But I'm at a loss as how to remove the lids, as at present all they have are holes punched in the top to get out the oil. I'm sure my normal kitchen can opener would not cope with the thickness of the metal. Any suggestions?
--
Greenwif


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Greenwif wrote:

When I worked in the oil fields one summer, when we wanted to cut the top off an oil drum we went around the rim with a hammer and the jaw of a pipe wrench, using it like a chisel. Kind of like using an old-fashioned "P-38" can opener. But bigger. And with a hammer.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

probably a bit too destructive to the can i'm imagining the OP is talking about...
tin snips might be good enough. watch out for those sharp edges and metal splinters (might want to grind or file the edges).
or call around to local metal shops and see if they can do it for a few $.
if you want them to last as planters use a liner of some kind to keep the metal away from the dirt and also put them up off the ground so they don't rust from below.
songbird
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Greenwif wrote:

You may be surprised, give the can opener a go. The main problem is not so much the thickness of the metal but the depth of the rim at the top that the opener may not be able to clamp on to and still cut the lid. I assume you have the kind that cuts the lid, the kind that cuts the side of the can leave a very sharp edge as the folded rim is removed.
If that doesn't work you can use a can triangular punch all the way round the edge, this will leave a series of triangular tags of metal attached to the rim that will have sharp edges, once you get the lid out you can hammer these tags down flat on the inside and they shouldn't be too dangerous. Any kind of saw (jigsaw with a metal-cutting blade) or abrasive cutter will also leave a nasty sharp edge that you will have to deal with.
In desperation (who didn't pack the can opener?) I have opened cans with a knife but if you don't have the right kind of knife and sufficient control of it this is a risky procedure as you can get a nasty cut from the knife, the sharp edge of the can or both. If doing it use a knife with a short strong blade and hold the can in some way so you can control the knife with both hands. If you don't have strong hands don't try it. I would leave this as a last resort.
BTW what do mean by 'very large'? If less than 10 litres you may be largely wasting your time.
D
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I see this as the perfect excuse to buy an angle grinder and with a cutting disc it should make short work of the lid.
Something like this http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Buffalo-Tools-Angle-Grinder/5992215/product.html?cid 7675 or this http://www.tesco.com/direct/tesco-900w-angle-grinder/100-2320.prd
Me I would go to Bunnings or Masters any excuse to buy a cheap power tool.
Mike
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Bloke Down The Pub said:

I like the way you think! (I used to drive my boss a little crazy insisting on getting the proper tools for the job at hand.)
But I also agree with David:

--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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Greenwif wrote:

Offset aviation snips, either right or left cut would make short work of a can lid. Here's one example: http://www.tinnerstools.com/wimeofsncu.html there's dozens of brands available.
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada
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Greenwif wrote:

Beware of sparky options (someone suggested an angle grinder). Oil fumes igniting in a mostly-closed vessel can be more interesting than you want to be standing next to.
For 55 gallon/210 liter barrels a cold-chisel and a hammer work just fine - would also work fine (might grab a smaller chisel if you have several) if you're working with more like 20 liters. Sharpen the chisel first if need be.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
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