Hack A Soda Can Into Jewelry

If you’ve ever needed some aluminum for a project, you might have noticed you have easy access to aluminum cans. If you need a cylinder, fine. But what if you don’t? [ThescientistformerlyknownasNaegeli] shows how to create an attractive necklace from two soda cans, and we think the techniques might be usable for other cases where you might need aluminum. If you care more about the necklace, it looks good. You only have to add a 3D-printed clasp or, if you prefer, you can buy a clasp and use that. For the Hackaday crowd, you can also use the resulting structure as an aluminum cable shield, which might better suit you.

The post gives more details and points to other posts for even deeper dives into many of the steps. But the basic idea is you strip the ink from the outside of the can and then cut the can into a strip. The mechanism for that looks a lot like a machine to cut plastic bottles into strips, but that method isn’t feasible without special blades.

Reforming the strip is the apparent part, but it might not be obvious that you also have to set the aluminum in its new shape. That’s done with a 200C oven. There are a few minor details, like using tubing to protect around the clasp, that you can pick up from the original post.

We imagine you could cut things other than strips from the cans and then use the heat setting method to make other things. Cans are everywhere and in many sizes, so it seems like this should be a ready source of recycled project material.

Of course, you can also just use the cans. If you are willing to melt the cans, that opens up a whole new range of possibilities. The good news is all of these techniques work even if you spell it aluminium.

11 thoughts on “Hack A Soda Can Into Jewelry

  1. The other cool thing I accidentally find out that works pretty well is using a can opener to take the top off of aluminum cans. Mount it along the top seal, leaves a smooth edge that won’t cut your lip. I haven’t found a ton of use for it once it reaches this point, but it is sort of a nice, reusable/makeshift/cheap cup if you were out camping, etc. (And easier to refill that trying to get liquid and/or ice back down the standard opening.)

    1. There’s also these thermos things that you put a soda can into. They close onto the curve of the can on top with a threaded ring. If you take the top off of a soda can and put it in, you have an insulated cup with a disposable liner.

      Other than that, if it wasn’t for the paint on the outside and the plastic on the inside, a little metal cup like that could either be used to heat something in, or hold the fuel to be burned to heat something else.

      I do think a cup shaped piece of thin metal ought to have various random uses, but they’re just hard to think of until there’s a specific need.

    2. I learned a neat trick from guys at a local factory. You place a piece of wet sandpaper or emery cloth on a flat surface and invert your empty pop can and place it on the sandpaper. Grab the can like you’re going to take a drink and press down while making small circular motions. Eventually you’ll sand through the folded over lip and you can just grab the pull tab and pull the whole top right off the can. Take your sandpaper and just do a quick sanding around the edge to remove any burrs and rinse it out. You have a nice water cup or lightweight container to hold stuff.

    1. Looks beautiful from the photos,

      But if you got tangled and happen to pull on it, you got sharp blades around you neck? I suspect the magnetic lock is not the first thing to release when pulling?

      Idea: Maybe the inside needs to be filled with a string or silicone tubing? Habe both sides attached to attached to the end cap magnets. Make sure that the magnets open before anything else stretches too much

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