This project has been on my mind since last October when I saw a tin man hanging in a tree at the Garden of Eden. Someone in my house considers it a hair brained idea. Wonder who?
The one part that I thought that I could not obtain was the large can for the body. Then I was helping with a meal at church where several industrial size cans of vegetables were opened, and voila, I had what I needed. If it’s available, a larger can might be better.
This is my finished product. The size of cans I used:
Spacer can on top of head to hold up funnel: 8 ounce (tomato sauce)
Head: 29 ounce (fruit)
Body: 6 lbs. 10 ounce (vegetables)
Upper arm: 21 ounce (pie filling)
Lower arm: 15 ounce ((fruit)
Upper leg: 28 ounce (beans) Lower leg: 15 ounce (fruit) Feet: 3.75 ounce (Sardines) We don’t eat sardines, but they are good food for Crape Myrtles.
The metal funnel was ordered from Amazon. I searched for the lowest price on several sites. This one was just over $7 with free shipping.
Cotton rope (probably 1/2″) to hang tin man.
Tools: drill used for holes in cans, 17 gauge galvanized wire to tie cans together, wire cutters and needle nose pliers to reach into cans and bend wire, small washers to keep wire in place.
Also, need tin snips to cut nose. We used part of an old hose to fit over a tree branch to keep the rope from fraying.
Now I will attempt to explain the construction.
First, drill holes in cans. Sometimes I had to do some back tracking because my plan didn’t work. For instance, in this body can, the wire seen here was to hang both legs. That didn’t work out. An individual wire was better for each leg. So another hole had to be drilled on each side in the groove beside where the wire pictured goes into the can.
Put facial features on. Drill holes needed for eyes, nose, and mouth. I used metal buttons for the eyes and a pop top can lid for the nose. Cut the lid in a somewhat triangular shape with tin snips and bend with the needle nose pliers.
Just twist the wires together on the inside of the can to hold each feature in place.
For the mouth I used some old insulated copper wire. That was just bent flat on the inside.
Another piece of wire was used to hold bottom of nose in place.
After finishing the face can, rope was threaded down into the funnel. After slipping on a washer, tie a knot in the rope. I then hooked a wire into the washer and bent it and twisted it.
That wire was long enough to go through the hole in the spacer can and be tied off in the head can.
Then another wire went across the top of the head can and into holes and pulled through.
At first, I used the bottom part of artificial flowers instead of washers. Either one will work. This shows the head can with the long wires that will go into the body and tied off.
Next prepare arms that will be attached to body. Note the two holes on top of the arms. The wire will come up and over and back into can.
This drawing also shows how the arms are constructed. It is better to start with the bottom can first and go up through the top of the arm and put the wire back down into that can. Then attach the hand with a lid that fits inside that bottom can.
I tried going from top to bottom first, but it was impossible to tie off the wire in the smaller can at the bottom.
The legs are made the same way as the arms.
Attach feet on both sides of the bottom can. Holes were drilled into bottom of shoes so that rain water will drain out.
We hung the tin man in a Hackberry because it was at the back of the yard away from bedroom windows. If it rattles a lot, then it wouldn’t disturb anyone’s sleep. It won’t matter if some smaller branches are broken. Hackberries are considered trash trees by some people, but I think it is a great shade tree.
Finally, we attached a rope from the body to another branch to keep it steady and always facing the same direction.
If anyone decides to make a tin man, it is easier to have another person help at some stages of putting it together, like holding assembled pieces still as others are added.
Hope this is not confusing but helpful.
“Common sense is a flower that doesn’t grow in every everyone’s yard.” unknown