Picture of Hand Cranked Document Shredder
This hand cranked paper shredder is really satisfying. It's on a cool double-drawerslide disappearing bracket. It sounds like loading a machinegun when you pull it out. Once someone starts shredding you can't stop them til the scrap paper is all gone.

Much skillful photography, craftsmanship, video editing, etc by Fungusamungus
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Step 1: Plot summary up to this point...

Picture of Plot summary up to this point...
Someone took apart their electric shredder and left the parts in a pile.
"Bicycle powered shredder" thought I. First I would try it by hand just to get a feel for it.
I had a crank handle from an astronaut-torturing machine that happened to fit over the shredder's drive shaft.
There was a hole for a retaining pin in the driveshaft. I drilled the crank to match, pounded in the pin, and Voila! Hand-cranked shredder.
Then I clamped it to a table and everyone started shredding documents until we couldn't find any more paper.
It all happened so fast I didn't take pictures of the steps, but your junk shredder and your crank will most likely
be totally different. Try a handle from an old meat grinder or a crank from a bicycle.
Hand shredding is so satisfying and convenient I don't know if I'll make the pedal grinder.
If you do it let me know how it turns out.

Next came the process of fitting it under a table in just the perfect way. Continue...

Step 2: Saw off the Extra Stuff

Picture of Saw off the Extra Stuff
Fungus hacksaws off some legacy sheetmetal.
My granddad used to say: To carve a wooden bear take a piece of wood and cut off everything that doesn't look like part of a bear.

Step 3: Two Double Drawerslides

Picture of Two Double Drawerslides
After much harrumphing we decided to bolt two drawerslides face-to-face like this and weld one such assembly on each side of the shredder. That would get it to extend and retract as far as we needed.

Step 4: Setting up the Assembly

Picture of Setting up the Assembly
We put the whole thing together with clamps and blocks so we could weld it properly.
The slides needed to be level and parallel. Fungus mikes out our tolerances.
RoBear61311 months ago

Positively Medieval. The Marquis De Sade would be proud.

Just kidding. Brilliant, over my abilities, but brilliant.

And they say only Aliens could have built the Pyramids. Bah. Human Ingenuity is astounding.

Aerospaced7 years ago
Just what my Amish friends need to keep those documents safe!
... or what the domestic terrorist needs when he has to destroy evidence after the SWAT team have cut off electricity to the building and are getting ready to break down the door.
AJMansfield2 years ago
Two things I know of that shredded paper is good for: packing boxes (alternative to packing peanuts) and fire (burns EXTREMELY FAST and at EXTREMELY HIGH TEMPERATURES)
leehael8 years ago
Yeah? Approved by who?
as far as i know, we used the same technique in geometry class, but using compasses to find the center of a line.
pietzeekoe3 years ago
you could also use a pasta maker as a shredder
ewilhelm7 years ago
This project was mentioned here in the New York Times!
Derin ewilhelm5 years ago
It's your company.Be proud.
Best gadget I ever saw and it saves power too! Thanks fellas!
Thats pretty clever friend! Now I now what to do on my old shreddar machine. thanks!
that thar is goood tip for my drillin machine! thanks!
abend8 years ago
That guy is BAREFOOT in a metal shop? Man that's hardcore.
Derin abend7 years ago
what is hardcore?i mean what does hardcore mean
abend Derin7 years ago
It generally means "To the highest degree" or "very serious". In this case, I meant that this guy is so serious about getting things built that the danger of possibly stepping on something sharp doesn't bother him.
Derin abend6 years ago
oh ok
tcabeen8 years ago
:: checks freecycle and craigslist for broken shredders ::
Derin tcabeen7 years ago
checks gittigidiyor for broken shredders
ewilhelm8 years ago
The feel of the blades cutting paper when you hand crank this thing is really incredible and gratifying. It's hard to stop, like when you can't stop touching a fine silk tie.
and now I ask.... how does it feel hand cranking the said fine silk tie? :P
This thing wasn't installed before the last Formal Friday (like casual or Hawaiian shirt Friday, just the opposite) at Squid. When I get my tie stuck in it on Friday, I'll report back!
intoon ewilhelm8 years ago
I love Formal Friday!
Hey wait a second. Nobody's posted, "You talkin' to me?", yet.
You talkin' to me?
Hope you haven't any bedwetters at the shop. The shred bed would make a nasty papier mache piece.
votecoffee7 years ago
This is an awesome idea, motors burn out of paper shredders amazingly quick and I plan on modifying mine very soon having been inspired by your article. However, I do have to say that I'm disappointed that you only did a viola add the magic handle to the shredder and spent the rest of the how to making a mount for the thing. I think it would have been better had you spent more time on the handle mounting versus the slider deal. That said, awesome idea. It's one of the few instructables that I've read and said I'm doing that this weekend because it's so practical and I have a broken shredder : )
piper12347 years ago
xD hahah great you learned from the orangutans to use tools and feet :P
alxram7 years ago
Very useful tool, thanks for the awesome demo photos!
unidyne7 years ago
Quieter and faster than electric! I'm impressed! My only suggestion is to come up with something that can cross-cut to prevent anyone from simply taping the strips back together (which is how the folks at Enron got caught).
ListO8 years ago
I'm blown away! Wow! You could sell these for real money. One question: In step 15, does it require an automotive hydraulic jack, or could you use a smaller one to hold your head up?
cjuon ListO7 years ago
Sure could! In fact, I'd be happy to buy one if someone wants to make one for hire! Email me at cjuon @ Thanks!
Some people do! In Japan anyway, which makes this hand shredder extremely weird.

Note: I've never heard of this guy before and the fact that he's living in Japan (where I've lived for a year and a half) and blogging about a hand shredder kinda blows my mind.
A.C.E.7 years ago
iv got n elictric paper shredder and when i get a new one (the one i heve sucks) i will make an instructable on how to turn it into an electric knive sharpener
that's pretty slick
jdog18 years ago
NO SHOES!!! I`m telling "Health & Saftey"
Using a sprocket and a chain hook that up to a hand crank printer then you can get rid of S.M.O.G. "Scientific Manipulation of Garbage" or prints that you don't like.
graphak8 years ago
now this is just what ive been needing.. with privacy concerns these days, i think shredders should be as common as a toaster in people's homes. I just cant justify spending 30 at Walmart for something that will break soon, and can only handle one sheet of paper at a time. This reminds me of my mother's hand cranked tortilla/noodle maker ..the noodle attachment might shred paper. Great idea, and when i get more room in my apartment, I definitely plan on making a bicycle powered version...I will keep you posted when I do. Thanks for the nice idea.
graphak graphak8 years ago
by the way, ive tried viewing your youtube movie hoping to see it in action, but the movie was about 0.00001 seconds long. I saw the first image, and thats it. Not sure if its because Im on a mac or not.
zachninme8 years ago
It appeared to be fast. I would say 1 turn = 2 inches. And 10 turns = 1 sec.
Therefore, 1 second = 20 in.

Not bad, faster than electric.
Culito8 years ago
I like the floor-jack roll-around creeper. Perfect for jacking your head into the proper position with a few quick pumps. Make sure to let 'er down easy!
Myself Culito8 years ago
The pizza box is clearly the most important part of the setup. If you find a place that oils the pan with olive oil, the latent aromatics in the box can make a big difference in the work ethic of the jack-supported helper. Nice welding helmet, too. (:
Very nice - shame you used a strip-cut shredder though. A cross-cut would provide greater security and provide a satisfying rainfall of paper as you shredded.
TimAnderson (author)  eviloverlord8 years ago
True, but not as good for sleeping on. I think we'll need one or two of each.
jeffroward8 years ago
filthy astronauts.
Neato frito!
trebuchet038 years ago
for the win.... awesome :D