Introduction: Bearing From Aluminum Beverage Cans

Bearings are what make the world go around. This project makes a simple bearing form a couple off empty aluminium beverage cans.

A couple of uses for the bearing are as a turnstyle - useful when painting small objects and to rotate visually deceptive artwork.


2 Aluminum beverage cans

Silver foil

1/4-inch bolt and nut

Step 1: Cut Two Cans Bottoms

Cut the base off two aluminium beverage cans. Trim along the edges to make smooth with a pair of scissors.

Step 2: Making Ball Bearings

To make the ball bearing, screw up some aluminium foil into a small ball. Compress the ball with your fingers. After making 10 balls, round and compressed some more by placing them under a piece of plywood and moving the ply around, while applying some downward pressure.

Step 3: Complete the Ball Bearings

Place 10 completed aluminium balls in one of the bases. Turn the other beverage can end upside down and place on top. Turn it around to ensure it pivots freely.

Step 4: Find the Centre

Find the center by sliding a pen placed on a suitably sized book across the outside of the base. Do this four ways to create a small square. Mark a couple of diagonals across the square to locate the center.

Step 5: Attach a Bolt

Drill a center hole, then enlarge it to be a 1/4 inch hole.

Fit a suitably sized 1/4 inch bolt into the hole to secure the 2 sides of the bearing together.

Step 6: Uses: Turning Artwork

So, what can the bearing be used for? I used it to turn some eye-catching artwork around 180 degrees.

Step 7: Turnstyle for Painting Objects

Another use is as a turnstyle for painting small objects, this allow the object to be rotated as it's been painted.