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Making the bottom and lid of the can

The round shape of the container is formed. The next task is to make the bottom and lid for the can. This takes a number of steps.

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1. Forming the rim or flange

The lower edge of the body is trimmed evenly using a clips. Then about 0.3 cm at the bottom of the lower edge is turned outwards at right angles. This forms a small projecting rim or flange needed to attach the bottom of the can to the body.

2. Forming the bottom of the can

The next step is to cut a disc of tin to form the bottom of the can. The tinsmith uses the body of the can to measure for the disc. He cuts a disc about 0.3 cm wider than the projecting rim of the body. He now attaches the disc-bottom to the body-of-the-can. First, he creates a right-angled edge on the disc. This is then tacked onto the projecting rim of body of the can. The tinsmith then firmly beats the down projecting rim or edge with a cutter (also known as a file). He then turns the edge upwards against the body of the can first using the scutcher and then the face of the hammer.

3. Making the lid of the can

Next the lid of the can is made. The first step is to make the rim of the lid. The tinsmith cuts a strip of tin, forms it into a circle and fits it into the top of the can so as to get the correct width. It is then marked and cut to allow an overlap of about c. 1.9 cm. and closed with a rivet. Using the clips, the tinsmith ‘ turns the lag’ on one edge of the rim. That is he turns about 0.3 cm of the rim outwards at right angles to form a projecting rim or flange, as he had done on the lower edge of the body to fit the bottom. He fits this rim into the top of the can.

4. 'Creasing the lid'

To form the lid of the can the tinsmith cuts a piece of tin about 2.5 cm greater in diameter than the bottom of the can. He then ‘creases the lid’ that is using a compass he makes two concentric circular scratches on the disc to act a as guide for putting on the knob or handgrip of the lid.

5. Crown of the lid and curved hand grip

The disc is cut radially and the edges overlapped slightly to form the lid into the shape of a slightly inverted cone – the crown of the lid. The seams are turned on radial edges and closed by interlocking their edges. The crown is now attached to the rim of the lid in the same way as the bottom of the can was attached to the body. The curved hand grip for the lid is then made from a strip of tin which is riveted to the crown on each end in line with concentric ‘crease’ marked earlier.

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