Saturday, August 23, 2014

Animal-Proofing Seed Cans

My wife worked at Wild Birds Unlimited for quite a few years before our kids were born.  During that time, she got into the habit of keeping a backyard feeder for the birds, a habit that she hasn't yet gotten out of.  We all actually enjoy it now, and it's fun to watch them outside the window.

Unfortunately, though, birds are not the only things that like the seed she brings home.  A raccoon has recently been prowling our area, and the metal trash cans that we'd been storing the seed in got broken into, tipped over, and the contents devoured.

They were pretty basic trash cans, nothing fancy and no real latching mechanism other than the simple pressure that the lid exerts. came through with some basic toggle latches - a pack of four was priced a little over $7.00

Installing them was pretty easy.  I put the lid on the can, hooked the top of the latch to the lid, and marked out where the bottom of the attachment needed to go.

With the bottom marked, I could then pull up the top of the latch and mark the holes for my screws.

Some sheet metal screws, which I originally purchased for the ductwork in the basement, tapped through the can pretty easily. Please note: chicken bouillon container sold separately.

Once the latch is secured, the lid should attach firmly.

Doing it this way caused me some problems, though - I originally had planned to drill through and use a nut and bolt instead of the sheet metal screws, and using them left some rather sharp and dangerous-looking points on the inside of the bucket, just waiting for some unwary wrist.

I thought about cutting them off with my sawzall, but the kids were sleeping and I knew it would make a racket, so ... 

I know.  Kinda redneck, huh?  I'm a little bit ashamed of myself, but the molly bolts left over from fixing the train tracks actually worked nicely.  

And, the end result is a raccoon-proof seed can!  

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