The fixtiure I came up with utilizes materials from my vast "junk" collection. I KNEW this suff would come in handy some day!
The first step was to create two L-shaped parts that just fit around the can.
An old door hinge was added to allow insertion and removal of cans.
Then ears were glued and stapled on to allow one half of the holder to be fastened to a base that could then be clamped to the drill press table.
The last picture above shows how the setup actually works. Below are the first few cans with the tops having been drilled out using a 2" hole saw. If you do this, use GENTLE pressure on the drill. The cans are VERY thin, but as long as you use a soft touch and don't get in a hurry, the process goes quickly and worked well for me.
I did the tops of all 145 cans first.
Then I changed to a 1 1/2" hole saw in the drill press and used the same process to drill out the bottom of all 145 cans. I should only need 132 for this build, but I thought I'd allow room for error since I have worked with me for a long time now, and I know how I am.
Next, I will build the frame. I hope to get to that tomorrow and will keep you posted. Thanks for looking in. I welcome any comments or questions you may have.