It's time for something a little different here at Living the Frugal Life. Today I'm asking for help and advice from my readers. Just a little while ago, the google reader subscription to this blog passed 150 people. It's not much by many people's standards, but it's certainly a bigger audience than I ever expected this blog would have. It's also a large enough group of readers that I know there are plenty of things I could learn from my readers. I'm more than happy to share what I know and learn by way of my own mistakes. But I'm not above asking you for help either.
So. There's something I'd like your advice on. First, check out this funky house in Texas that features a full house curtain made out of the bottoms of aluminum cans. I want to know how to cut up an aluminum can in a time-and-effort-efficient manner that leaves me with a fairly uniform piece of metal. You see, I've had a small bee in my bonnet about trying to reproduce the house curtain ever since the good folks at Homegrown Evolution posted about the Beer Can House. Check out their post, by the way, because I think they have an even better picture of the curtain than the House's own website. We could sure use a full house curtain for summertime low energy cooling of our house. I'm willing to give it a try and see if it works for us. But I've stalled on an early production problem.
I tried several ways of cutting up aluminum cans to reproduce this feat of creative genius, but I'm not having much luck. I've already tried the box cutter blade in a closed book technique recommended at this site. It works, but it takes a fair bit of time and effort to accomplish. It would be manageable if I only needed to cut two cans. As a technique for cutting up thousands, it's a little too slow.
Another possibility that I've already rejected is filling each can with water, freezing it solid, and then using a saw to cut the can. Again - fine for a few cans, but far too time consuming for the numbers I would need. A hack saw on an empty can would work, I'm sure. But it would leave a very ragged and uneven edge that I'd rather avoid.
And yes, to all you clever canners out there, I have realized that used canning jar lids would be a good substitute. I'm willing to use canning lids as I use them up, but I don't go through all that many in a year. So they can supplement, but not replace the large numbers of aluminum cans needed for a house curtain project.
One of you out there must have a clever idea or some practical experience that I can apply to this problem. Help me out!