Prior to making ice cream in an old-fashioned hand-crank freezer, make sure the cream can, lid and dasher are clean and cold. For a 4-quart freezer, you need about 15 pounds of finely crushed ice and either 4 cups of table salt or 6 cups of rock salt to make refrigerant.
To make ice cream, place the dasher in the can ensuring it rests on the bottom. Pour the ice cream mixture into the can up to the fill line. Put the lid on the cream can, and set it into the bucket. Turn the dasher to make sure it rotates freely, and then attach the cranking mechanism. Depending on the freezer model, firmly snap the latches shut or tighten thumb screws to hold the mechanism in place.
Begin turning the crank slowly to the right. Add 3 inches of finely crushed ice and a heaping 1/2 cup of rock salt. Continue layering the ice and salt until the bucket is half full, and then pour 1 cup of cold water over the ice. Layer more ice and salt to fill the bucket to the top of the cream can, and pour in another cup of cold water. As you continue cranking, keep adding more ice and salt to keep the level up; it should take about 20 minutes for soft-set ice cream to form.