Buying metal sheet can be an expensive business. Everyday millions upon millions of metal resources are thrown away and in the case of aluminium cans they are generally recycled.
However, thin aluminium sheets are very useful and we do not collect and use this resource enough.
This Instructable will help you understand how you can easily and safely process metal cans to produce quality and repeatable sheets.
WARNING: cut metal sheet can have very sharp edges. We recommend that you wear gloves, take your time and do not process cans with young children around.
Step 1: Collect Empty Drinks Cans and Drain and Wash Them Out
You need drinks cans to complete this instructable. They can be found in many places cafes, outside shops, recycling banks and of course you own supply from your icy beverages.
When collecting cans you need to ensure that the cans are in good conditions. Ensure that it is not dented, scratched or pierced.
You will need to drain the contents and briefly wash the cans out.
Step 2: Using Sharp Scissors Pierce Can
So this step is the most important. You want to cut into the can as efficiently as possible to ensure that the top cut is as clean and straight as possible. My recommendation is to cut a centimeter into the can just before the rim bends over. Use your scissors and nip the end together so that it goes through the can. It may take a couple of attempts to get this right but practice makes the final result almost perfect.
Step 3: Cut Can Through Piercing and Remove Top
Slide a scissor arm slightly into the opening and then cut around the top of the can as if you were cutting paper. Take your time and use steady movements.
Step 4: Pierce and Remove Bottom of Can
Now that the top has come off cut down the side of the can to the bottom rim. From the bottom of this cut angle your scissors so that you can use the same technique as the top to remove the bottom.
Step 5: Stack Reclaimed Aluminium Sheet for Later Use
You will now have a sheet of aluminium that you can store and reuse at a later date. You can see from our photos that we collect and process our cans on a regular basis.
We plan on making dragon scales with our metal sheets and covering a sculpture that we have planned. The lightweight sheets will flutter in the wind. Please check back in the future for an Instructable on our dragon.