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Shredding And Melting Soda Cans With A Paper Shredder - Simple DIY Recycling At Home

  • Published on Feb 17, 2021 veröffentlicht
  • Today I'll be shredding and melting some scrap aluminum cans in my backyard foundry. I wanted to see if using a paper shredder to shred aluminum cans was possible so I modified my paper shredder by cutting out a bigger hole in the top. This allowed me to easily fit an aluminum can in there and shred it like butter. I then melted down all the can shavings and recycled them into pure aluminum ingots. If you like this video, please give it a thumbs up and hit that Subscribe button for more.
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Comments • 240

  • ArtByAdrock
    ArtByAdrock  2 years ago +28

    Hey everyone! So a lot of people have requested that I do this so I finally did. Some said it would be better and faster and I would get more clean aluminum. Well, I think it was faster to melt overall, but I had more slag than usual and simply shredding all the cans took a while itself. I don’t think it saved me any time by doing it this way. Let me know your thoughts and what else you would like to see in the future. Stay healthy and safe and I’ll see you all next week!

    • BigB Studio
      BigB Studio 2 years ago +3

      It was cool but kinda pointless I think. The numbers tell the real story. Now do a melt of 75 cans no shed and compare the difference

    • BigB Studio
      BigB Studio 2 years ago +2

      I would have like to have seen the weight before and then the weight of the dross

    • MarksGoneWicked
      MarksGoneWicked 2 years ago +1

      I've seen so many of those shredders broken. The plastic fingers that clear between the shredders are garbage.

    • Mario Diforte
      Mario Diforte 2 years ago +1

      I'm curious how you can have more slag due to shredding. Could it be that maybe your ingot is more pure since slag is the impurities? Also how much gas do you think was used? This is a hobby I have been considering getting into and I'm curious what the gas costs would be.

    • ArtByAdrock
      ArtByAdrock  2 years ago

      About $3 in gas

  • Matt Yal
    Matt Yal 2 years ago +8

    I wouldn't have believed a paper shredder would be able to do aluminum cans so easily. Theres always something to learn watching your videos

  • BPollard86
    BPollard86 2 years ago +5

    Shredding them increases the surface area available to oxidize the aluminum. Getting the metal plunged down into the molten metal quicker reduces losses from oxidation. It may be beneficial to crush the cans first, but that comes with issues of getting them to fit in the opening of the crucible and can trap any moisture that may be left in the can. Cheers!

  • 6X6 RV
    6X6 RV 2 years ago +3

    Do a comparison between shredding vs crushed. I’d be interested in space taken before melting, and of course slag produced for a set number of cans. I have noticed that the beer cans provide the most Al per can though.

  • MC1173
    MC1173 2 years ago +4

    Cool idea. I never thought of using a shredder. Nice compact shreddings.

  • Johnny M Willis
    Johnny M Willis 2 years ago +1

    It's interesting to see how little aluminum there was after shredding the cans. And to think, it really didn't help with anything except to save space. Great video.

  • Sean Foltz
    Sean Foltz 2 years ago +1

    You should have done a side by side - fifty cans shredded, fifty cans whole.
    Weigh the tanks before and after to determine how much fuel used and then weigh the aluminum at the end.
    My thought is that the shredded aluminum is likely using less fuel but I'm betting you're correct about more slag due to the larger surface area allowing for more oxidation.
    You're likely saving time and effort too since I'm sure it's easier to dump 20 shredded cans in at a time than to feed them in one by one.
    As for time it takes to shred, for me it would actually be less since the wife isn't strong enough to crush a can flat by can crush one enough to feed it into the shredder and I would simply feed the cans through as they're being used, thus saving myself the space taken up by trash cans and bags full of crushed cans.

  • Rocky
    Rocky Year ago +6

    MAN! Changed my life. I welded up an aluminum frame and build a press using parts from an old hydraulic jack just to compress cans down enough to fit in my electric foundry. I had an unused 16 page shredder and did the modification (cut the lid open) and it just rips through cans. I walked passed that thing every day, even the days I was pressing hundreds of cans and never thought about using it to shred cans. Thank you!

  • BigBlack81
    BigBlack81 2 years ago +24

    I wanna see the BigstackD remix of this technique. With as much as that man can go through, I think he'd make some sweet work as well.

  • zube6996
    zube6996 Year ago +2

    I just want to say that it was very satisfying to watch the cans go through the shredder. I could watch that for hours.

  • TheMatron'sMilitia

    I found that a steel food can makes a good single use aluminum crucible and I do think this would make it easier to pack cans into that. I'm also just using charcoal and forced air to melt so I don't have as easy of a time adding things to the melt as i would with a nice gas foundry

  • The Next Six Minutes
    The Next Six Minutes 2 years ago +2

    The only thing I can think of that is different when shredding the cans is that more surface area is exposed to oxygen to create oxides and cover it with other impurities. It should only effect the dross yield only minutely so there must be an additional mechanism at work here to produce the greater amount of slag.

  • JJ CC
    JJ CC 2 years ago +2

    Might be useful for better storage before melting?
    Like, how much space did it take shredded vs non shredded? stock up on aluminum and then do a big pour.

  • Codie McKee
    Codie McKee Year ago

    That was seriously genius using a paper shredder like that!

  • Memes From Instagram
    Memes From Instagram 2 years ago +1

    Love to see things get melted 😍. Love your videos 👍.

  • J0HnF_UK
    J0HnF_UK 2 years ago +1

    You wouldn't think increasing the surface area of the cans as you shredded them would result in more slag. I guess the increased surface area means more oxidisation = more slag. To get a decent yield you'd have to use cans in their hundreds.

  • casey wood
    casey wood 2 years ago +2

    Dude, that is such a great idea using the shredder!! Kudos

  • Its A Gav Thing
    Its A Gav Thing 2 years ago +1

    Very interesting that you said there was more slag having shredded the cans. I've found crushing the cans and throwing them in minimise the slag. Will give it a try and compare.

  • Fred Richardson
    Fred Richardson 2 years ago

    Pretty interesting that you end up with more slag... any idea why? Really pretty cool how well your shredder works on those cans but yeah I can see how it ends up being a bit more of a pain then just crushing them...

  • Jeff Holmes
    Jeff Holmes 2 years ago +2

    What great idea, melting cans is a pain, love it

  • Brent Potter
    Brent Potter 2 years ago

    Awesome! I just ordered two of your pirate coin molds and they should be arriving today. After watching this video I'm going to stick to just crushing the cans and melting them! Thanks for all your content and thanks for the inspiration!

  • StakittyStak Stack
    StakittyStak Stack 2 years ago

    That’s a freaking great idea to shred lol I kept looking for industrial.

  • Tracy Bowling
    Tracy Bowling 2 years ago

    So this is all I had to do to have a shredder that shreds more than just paper? You are a GD genius!

  • Night Scrapper uk
    Night Scrapper uk 2 years ago +1

    Great video .I agree with what u said about not shredding the cans .just melt them whole 👍

  • edgotbait
    edgotbait 2 years ago

    Would like to see same amount of un shredded cans Vs shredded can and see which has more slag
    Ether way I love the shredder just because of the space savings Vs whole or flattened cans

  • Clint Doolittle
    Clint Doolittle 2 years ago +5

    ADAM always nice to see a good pop can melt that shredder worked awesome i really enjoy that part of it do more stuff you can shred 👍😎🇨🇦👍😎🇨🇦👍😎🇨🇦

  • Andrea Brown
    Andrea Brown 2 years ago +2

    I've literally been waiting all day for this video love it so cool

  • Josh Kyle
    Josh Kyle 2 years ago

    I really just need to see more cans shredded

  • TheMatron'sMilitia

    Have you ever tried adding white sand to molten aluminum to create a thermite reaction and get silicon aluminum alloy?

    THE SUS BOOMER ROBLOX 2 years ago +1

    Finally found the mold I was looking for it was on your website out of my current budget for it but I will be buying a few within 2 months

  • Kelly Lawler
    Kelly Lawler Year ago +1

    Hi there - I just did a melt and the toxin/smell was terrible - how did you manage that?

  • BoscoBob
    BoscoBob 2 years ago

    Could you try an experiment next time that you are melting cans? Before you skim the dross, cut way back on the oxygen going into the venturi for a few minutes to compare how much you get with a reduction flame. I am thinking that you might be able to convert some of the aluminum oxide to metallic aluminum.

    • Casey Riley
      Casey Riley Year ago +1

      Not to mention starving a little bit of oxygen through-ought the melt, by putting a steel sheet or something on top of the crucible might help to prevent oxidation in the first place

  • Jimi G
    Jimi G 2 years ago

    So, I'm curious. Do you think the additional slag from shredding them gave you a more pure aluminum ingot?

    • joel383
      joel383 2 years ago

      Probably. The problem is surface area. Shredding them, then compressing. Starting with a molten pool to plunge the cans under works better too.

  • Nathaniel Outdoor Adventures

    A great try. And interesting info. Thank you for sharing

  • Cole Russell
    Cole Russell 6 months ago +1

    Electric furnaces are far better for aluminum, takes a bit to warm up, but you get more yield out of it. Also can cheaply remelt the slag because there still is good metal in the first batch of slag.

  • James Freeman
    James Freeman 2 years ago

    What is the size of your two smaller molds? They appear to make 1/2 pound aluminum ingots, which is the size I'm looking for.

  • Bu2Spike
    Bu2Spike 2 years ago +1

    You answered my question with this video, nicely done bro.

  • Abdelkader Abdulla

    Very neat ! Keep it up mate

  • TechneMoira
    TechneMoira 2 years ago

    Honestly, shredding the cans with a paper shredder is a great idea :) Thanks for trying it anyway

  • top choppers
    top choppers 2 years ago

    All I want to say is that slag is not always just slag tho It does take much greater volumes there are still recoverable amounts of any metal in slag I'd love to see a slag melt video I keep and remelt all slag untill it literally turns to dust, it's two things for me, for one I enjoy melting, for recovery of the metals and two, . Yeah, I see dollar signs lol I dont keep any thing I sell it all either for scrap or I stockpile it to sell later, I love the channel buddy definitely keep up the awesome content, you and bigstacked are have the best melting vids on youtube later for now

  • madwilliamflint
    madwilliamflint 9 months ago

    Your yield is really going to go up if you used a flux like borax. It'll rip a lot of that aluminum out of the slag.
    Thing I found with crushing cans is that they're just so damned unwieldy to get in the furnace as it's going. I've considered a funnel of some kind so I could just start shredding cans and pouring it in to the furnace, rather than fiddling around with it a can at a time. Maybe with an augur of some kind...hmm...

  • David Bates
    David Bates 2 years ago

    Would like to see someone try to do a small old time 2 man tree saw. I am having so much trouble filling in all the cutting teeth with rings at the end to slip some dowell wood in. Always blocks up before filling in everything.

  • ncvidman
    ncvidman 2 years ago

    The one advantage to the shredder would be to shred the cans as they become available to save on storage space.

  • zartan
    zartan 2 years ago

    Love that paper shredder idea

  • TheHeadOfAGoat
    TheHeadOfAGoat Year ago +4

    So my question is, how much fuel did it take for the process, and can you sell the ingots for more than just the cans and where?

  • John B
    John B 2 years ago +18

    Every day I look at my shredder in disappointment. I showed this video to the shredder and tried to encourage it to perform at higher level. I guess I'll just have to get a puppy if I want things shredded.

      CDG PRODUCTIONS 2 years ago +3

      Your a funny man bro, I can tell. 😂

    • Red Madness
      Red Madness 2 years ago

      Man, before puppies are trained, they are destructive adorable little menaces. But then they usually grow up awesome.

    • Schlomo Shekelstein
      Schlomo Shekelstein 2 years ago

      oil them and lube the gears. use wd-40 for extra fun

  • M H
    M H 2 years ago

    Great vid. Would it be a waste of time to re-melt the slag? Also what to do with the slag. Thx for the vid

  • Colleen Buvala
    Colleen Buvala 2 years ago

    Now you can make something epic with that aluminum! 😜

  • John Lee Richards
    John Lee Richards 2 years ago +1

    Hey MR. Adrock I think we might have had this conversation before, But I think you're going to need some bigger shelves soon mate 😁. keep up the good work and Stay safe See you on the next episode. 👍 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  • oddjobstoo
    oddjobstoo 2 years ago

    I can see how at a minimum it would be beneficial from a storage perspective. Cans certainly take.up a lot of room

    DANIMAL MAX AS IS! Year ago +2

    Thanks for all the info and process for melting you left that one important component... what is the make and model of the paper shredder?

  • Grijze Kijker
    Grijze Kijker 2 years ago

    After shredding you should dangle in a magnet, cause many cans are mixed metals.

  • Ja M
    Ja M 2 years ago

    Such great ideas, about shredding cans

  • Adrienne Fraschetta
    Adrienne Fraschetta 2 years ago

    Would love to see you do a full sized skull out of copper.

  • Vintage1944Gaming
    Vintage1944Gaming 2 years ago

    Where do you get the your molds from? or do you make them?

  • Lotsa Scotch
    Lotsa Scotch 2 years ago

    great stuff nice to see other methods

  • Kyle Cissell
    Kyle Cissell 2 years ago

    😅 that paper shredder needs a medal

  • Jon Runyan
    Jon Runyan Year ago

    Aluminum slag (dross) is made of aluminum oxide due to combination with the air. It’s a by product of the act of smelting. I’m wondering if shreds introduces more air, thus more slag.
    Maybe run a test with highly compacted aluminum in a crucible vs. shred in a crucible to see which forms more slag.

  • FLIP !
    FLIP ! 2 years ago

    I can’t think of any reason you would end up with more slag logistical. It doesn’t make sense to me. Did you try and go back and re-melt the slag to see if you got any more pure aluminum out of it? That’s what I would’ve tried. Other than that great video. Cheers.

  • Edie Sedgwick
    Edie Sedgwick 2 years ago +1

    It looks like the slag had less aluminum in it than when the cans aren't shredded. Maybe, there'd be even less slag if you shoved the added metal below the surface to keep it from oxidizing before it melts.

  • stephen perry
    stephen perry 2 years ago

    I wonder if it’s more worth it to melt down and collect the aluminum or to just recycle it for the bottle fee

  • That guy
    That guy 5 months ago

    Try shredding, and then pressing it into a round shape that fits the crucible using an old juice can as a form and a bottle jack maybe.
    The shredder needs a feed chute...

  • Keith Reynolds
    Keith Reynolds 3 months ago

    I like the idea of taking up less space while collecting enough cans but maybe more Slag is a deal breaker.

  • Charity Brown
    Charity Brown 2 years ago


  • Alex Hatfield
    Alex Hatfield 2 years ago

    You have to test the hypothesis. You did the experiment and got the result. Cool! Good to hear the voice behind the art too.

  • James Eggerth
    James Eggerth 2 years ago

    That is what I thought that shredding the cans you had more slag. But it did make some nice ingots ;-)

  • Richard Mclean
    Richard Mclean 2 years ago +2

    Great video!

  • allen Henry
    allen Henry 2 years ago

    Cool melt! Didn'tt know you can run a can threw a shredder. I thought it jam it up.

  • Connor Morrison
    Connor Morrison 2 years ago

    Well you should've turn shredded cans into a huge clean ingot and clean it off, and remelt the ingots you used with shredded cans to melt

  • Jackie The Vampire
    Jackie The Vampire 2 years ago +1

    Damn, 2.8k views in 4 hours. That’s so cool!

  • Timothy Matthews
    Timothy Matthews 2 years ago +3

    Always astounded by the amount kf slag/dross from cans. Thx bruv slainté

  • Raden ayu Masito
    Raden ayu Masito Year ago

    What are the kilns and molten aluminum containers made of? Is it stone or iron, I'm from Indonesia 🙏

  • chris mcgough
    chris mcgough 6 months ago

    Where did you [and BigStakD] get those custom stainless/chrome furnace covers? Did D.F. send them to you?
    Also- I'm hoping that my fam follows my xmas list: cause I have a few molds from your store that I want.... (star wars, super heroes)..

  • CP trikester
    CP trikester 2 years ago

    Thank, great vid.
    I messed around with shredding & got to the same conclusion. 😀
    Watching how the cans "poof" has entertainment value.
    Mmm, 🤔

  • Corey Howard
    Corey Howard Year ago

    Awesome video. How did you cut the plastic? That is some hard awkward plastic to cut. Trying to cut mine open bigger like yours. Thanks.

    • ArtByAdrock
      ArtByAdrock  Year ago

      I used a rotary tool and cutting bit.

  • Morten Henningsen
    Morten Henningsen 2 years ago

    I wonder if u can use that machine to shredd copper wire,(to make it smaller ånd easier to stack in boxes if you are not melting it.),or if it only tangels upp ånd makes a mess. Would be Interesting to se if it shredds the wire with isolation/plastic on it ås å different way to strip the cabels

  • Richard Maunder
    Richard Maunder 2 years ago

    I saw a video last week where someone shredded the cans tens times before melting them I thought this was just a waste of time and money. Thank you for the video and thumbs up.

  • Martin Jones
    Martin Jones 2 years ago +1

    Where did you get your custom forge from? An amazing as usual.

    • ArtByAdrock
      ArtByAdrock  2 years ago +2

      Devil-forge is one of my sponsors so they made it personally for me

    • Martin Jones
      Martin Jones 2 years ago

      I'm from liverpool an about to buy a 20kg forge an wanted it to be special like yours ha ha never mind

  • Tater
    Tater 2 years ago +6

    The slag is my favorite. Especially on aluminum its like a 2,000 degree slimy substance.😂

    • appleapple55
      appleapple55 Year ago

      Do you know what you do with slag? is it put into the garbage when it cools down or is it recyclable or something?

    • Tater
      Tater Year ago

      @appleapple55 Lets it cool down, stores it, and remelts it later. What ever slag comes out of that melt is thrown out.

  • Jen's Life
    Jen's Life Year ago

    I wonder if I can still sell the cans if they are shredded? That would save so much space.

  • IamIUareU
    IamIUareU 2 years ago

    small peaces have way more surface area than whole can has... heat makes the aluminium oxidize quit fast, so even if the aluminium oxide formed is 4nm, all adds up and you get more slag than if you use whole cans... also impurities in the aluminium or some alloys of aluminium make thicker oxide layer. that's my logic tho, might not be true...

  • William Preston
    William Preston 2 years ago

    Couldn't help but notice the tabs were gone. The kids used to collect them for school. Do you have special plans for them? Supposedly pure T 1 so they are much more valuable than a contaminated can

  • Korlash Gaming
    Korlash Gaming 2 years ago

    leave it to Adrock to shred and melt, i love it man i kinda want one now! =)

  • Tim Allen
    Tim Allen Year ago

    Most cans are only 70% alum. so a lot of slag seems normal (so I've been told).

  • Keith Russ
    Keith Russ Year ago

    seventy five cans is about two and a half pounds (the twelve oz anyway) if you had a way to cut them in half after crushing them to relieve the steam pressure it might be the best option a 4x4 with some gravity will get them about as thin as cheaply possible unless you got some good heavy cast iron and some very understanding neighbors

  • Chris Fryer
    Chris Fryer 2 years ago

    would compressing the cans further produce less slag, and more product?

  • joe marriott
    joe marriott Year ago

    Hello quick question aluminium cans value is £50 a ton if you melt it down will it become clean aluminum witch the value is about £650 pounds is that right thanks

  • Jack Burton
    Jack Burton 2 years ago

    03:28 I heard they make warships from Aluminum. Wonder how that's going to work out in the next war.

  • narancs5
    narancs5 7 days ago

    The return rate is shocking. A can is cca 15 gramms and your average return was somewhere between 6-7 gramms.

  • Chuck Norris
    Chuck Norris 2 years ago

    You should make the crucifix knife from Johnny Mnemonic that Dolph Lundgren used.

  • Skulls N Bones Creations

    i dont think the fact of shredding them or not affect the amount of slag. The cans are made from the same amount of materials and shrediing dont add or extract anything, its just a smaller form of the same stuff. What will affect it but tend to be forgotten it the left over liquids in the cans. those left overs create slag as well and since then are most likely stuck to the inner layer, shredding it dont take em off either. at least from whay i 'can' see ;)

  • Warlord 62
    Warlord 62 2 years ago

    Seems like shredding em is messier than just adding them solid

  • Dangerpuddle
    Dangerpuddle 2 years ago +3

    I apparently bought the wrong paper shredder. Mine barely shreds my mail!

    • Dangerpuddle
      Dangerpuddle 2 years ago

      Paul Dubya good to know! I'll likely replace this one next year and will look at Fellowed then.

  • Bob Davenport
    Bob Davenport 2 years ago

    I do the same with small wire to separate the copper

  • Bryan Duke
    Bryan Duke Year ago

    Here is a idea shred make a mold to place in crucible but with steel. Put shred in until full the compact till mold is full rinse and repeat.

  • Vince Dibona
    Vince Dibona 2 years ago

    My shredder bogs down if I put more than two sheets of paper in it at a time. 😞

  • Dustin Huber
    Dustin Huber Year ago

    Wondering if melting more cans faster would save on propane usage, just added more labor to shred them first??

  • StarBlazerM31
    StarBlazerM31 2 years ago +2

    Me watching you pick up the pain flakes by hand: D8>

  • Nathan Lewis
    Nathan Lewis 2 years ago

    I collected a few pounds of plain unpainted aluminum pull tabs. I don't think there would be any slag, or very little from just plain pull tabs.

  • Georgios Rinakakis
    Georgios Rinakakis 2 years ago

    The slug is aluminium oxide or colors and other impurities added in the cans?