Another Way To Recycle Those Empty Beverage Cans

Beautiful lamp made from recycled can

Do you ever sit around thinking of ways to repurpose things in your house? Well [BevCanTech] found a way to recycle some of his empty beverage cans by turning them into homemade wire.

Beautiful, decorative, and functional lamp made from soda can. Also showing the positive and negative voltage terminals.

The premise is simple. He cut 2 mm thick strips of wire from the beverage can along its circumference, creating a thin, long “wire” spool. He sanded the ends of each strip to crimp pieces of his homemade wire together. He found he could get about four meters from a standard-sized beverage can, probably roughly 12 oz, as he unraveled the can. He then used crimp connectors to connect his homemade wires to the battery terminals and also to the end of a flashlight. He used a red cap from another can as a pseudo light diffuser and lampshade, creating a pretty cool, almost lava lamp-like glow.

Maybe the meat of this project won’t be as filling as your Thanksgiving meal, but hopefully, it can serve as a bit of inspiration for your next freeform circuit design. Though you’ll probably want to smooth those sharp edges along your homemade wire.

14 thoughts on “Another Way To Recycle Those Empty Beverage Cans

    1. I’ve never seen Aluminum (Aluminium) house wiring in my country (Australia).

      I have noticed though that some Microwave Transformers (MOT) are Aluminum now. They’re highly inefficient and you can see a large wattage difference between mains consumption and microwave power.

        1. No sure. The language is different here.

          As a simple example. The outside power pole has a fuse for the load of the house and a flying wire (set) going to the house and this is called a lead in and I have always assumed it’s copper. It connects to a junction in the fascia board and it’s at this junction that the power companies maintenance responsibilities end even though their authority goes further. Then from this junction and through the ceiling to the power box is the mains supply (copper) lead. This is connected through sealed connectors to the power meters and then to the switches/breakers and the rest of the house. The reason it’s done this way is because we have an unbalances (MEN) Multiple Earth Neutral system where the neutral is connected to an earth stake at every household power box.

          Our HV transmission is star (balanced) and then covered to delta (unbalanced) for industrial 3 phase (415V) and single phase household power picks one of these phases. Different loads (that are not always predictable) will cause the neutral to be above 0 Volts and the MEN system re-balances that.

    1. You insulate wires by coating them in an insulator…
      I wish there was a way to say this that doesn’t sound insulting, but perhaps multi-step processes aren’t for everyone to DIY. There’s plenty of pre-made wire available that has taken care of all the different steps for you.

    2. Drink cans have a plastic inner coating, but the cut surface and out side face may be conductive where the design isn’t present. Applying a coat of spray lacquer is probably the fastest way, beyond running a length of selotape along the length, possibly the less messy way, and potentially cheaper per meter, accounting for waste. Drinks can manufacturers sometimes use different thicknesses of metal in their cans. It would be interesting to see what sort of currant carrying capability different widths are capable of, perhaps these could be used as predictable heating pad traces or fuses if properly characterized.

  1. A much better use for those cans is as screens/boxes for RF applications. Some can be easy to solder, so that the missing cap can be replaced by a piece of unetched pcb on which one can drill holes to fit the connectors.

  2. Well I don’t think that anyone is going to stop using premade copper wire because of this but there is value in it. It could be useful in a pinch to hack your way out of some problem. The wire is sorta coated because of the interior and exterior coating on the can. Just tested it. Quick pass of a lighter burns it off. Made mine with scissors not a contraption (just like the plastic bottles being string). So will it contribute to the pursuit of supercomputers? Nope. Maybe Macgyver the shit out of something in a pinch? Maybe.

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