Bill Fry of Lismore with his invention
Bill Fry of Lismore with his invention "The XXXX Camping Hammer" which won him and three friends a holiday to XXXX Island. Patrick Gorbunovs

This idea is pure Gold

BILL FRY said people laughed at him when he designed and built a camping tool that can bash tent pegs into hard ground and pull them out again.

But the organisers of a national XXXX design competition loved it so Bill and his mates will be off for an all-expenses-paid holiday to XXXX Island at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

Other things you can do with empty beer cans

Bill, of Lismore, works as a painter, sandblaster and powder coater and said he has always had a flair for inventing things.

A barbecue lover, he has also made a prototype of a device that puts marinade into meat.

Bill's camping tool uses a solid mass of aluminium, carefully fitted with a XXXX can as a hammer to hit in tent pegs. At the other end of a steel shaft is a hook and slide hammer that uses weight and momentum to pull pegs out again.

"All inventions have to address a problem and the problem I was addressing was that it can be really hard to get tent pegs out if the ground is hard and rocky," he said.

He has beaten up to 100 other inventors from all over Australia who had to come up with an invention with a camping-related use.

The fact it prominently displays a XXXX can probably didn't hurt either.

To show off the practical application of the invention, Bill and his workmate Josh set up a tent next to Lismore Lake one day and shot a video as part of the entry.

But when they head off to XXXX Island, they won't need to take their tents.

They will be staying in cabins with a boat, kayaks and other equipment provided.

"This is a holiday that money can't buy," Bill said.

"They say it's valued at $10,000 but the only way you can get there is to win one of their competitions."

An image of John Milkovisch's beer can house in the US from his website www.beercanhouse.org.
An image of John Milkovisch's beer can house in the US from his website www.beercanhouse.org.

Other things you can do with empty beer cans

  • Build a house. John Milkovisch used more than 50,000 empty beer cans to build his home in Houston.
  • Make a boat. Aussie blokes Brad Gillam, Rob Meharg and Chris Taylor used 8000 beer cans to build their boat. They sailed down the river from Ipswich to Brisbane and raised almost $60,000 for SIDS and Kids.
  • Create candle holders: Cut shapes into the can for the candlelight to shine through.
  • Get gardening: Use empty beer cans to grow seedlings.


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