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HOW TO BUILD AN OYSTER CAN DISPLAY SHELF

Collecting antique oyster cans is a popular hobby for some enthusiasts. The cans come in various sizes and some are actually worth a lot of money. Do a search on EBay and you'll find quite a few for sale. It’s a unique niche and there are many self-proclaimed experts out there. I live along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and have friends that do collect them. Here is an idea I came up with for a display. The shelf is just the right size for a large oyster can. If the diameter of your can is less than 8", then it will work for you.

If you have some woodworking experience, this is not a difficult project. You will need a scroll saw or band saw, a drill, some wood glue, and standard 3/4" pine. Of course you can always use wood such as walnut, cherry, or oak. If you've got a router, choose a bit that you like for the edges. Router the underside of the shelf if you'd like, too. Sand everything and apply some stain and a coat of polyurethane. You can purchase a hanger at your local home improvement store.

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History of the Oyster Can:

From what I've researched, collecting of oyster cans can be traced back to 1902. A man died from eating tainted oysters in Atlantic City and the industry suffered a blow to its reputation. Many oyster suppliers made a valiant effort to sell their oysters and the result was a wide variety of marketing attempts. The oyster cans became elaborate with many colors, artwork, and slogans. It is these cans that are sought after by collectors.