Introduction: University of Cincinnati CCM Pneumatic Projects Fall 2015 (Can Crusher)

This is my Final Project for "Pneumatics for the Theater" class, Fall 2015. I am a Lighting Design and Technology student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. My name is Brendan Watts, I will graduated with my BFA in Lighting Design and Technology in 2016.

This is a step by step instructable on how to build a pneumatic can crusher.

Step 1: Gather Materials

1/4" Plate steel

  • 3" x 3-1/2"
  • 2x 3" x 8-1/4"
  • 3" x 3"
  • 3-1/2" x 5-3/4"
  • 2-1/2" Diameter circle

3" x 3" Pneumatic Cylinder

5/3 Valve

Step 2: Drill Hole

Drill 1-1/2" Hole in 3"x3" Plate steel on center.

Step 3: Weld

Weld the 2 3" x 8-1/4" To the side of the 3"x3" plate.

Step 4: Continue Welding

Weld the 3" x 3-1/2" plate steel to the end of the can crusher

Weld the 3-1/2" x 5-3/4" Plate to the bottom. Make sure its butted up to the Plate with hole drilled in it.

Weld 3/4" Nut to center of 2-1/2" Circle (This is your crusher that threads on to the end of Pneumatic Ram)

Step 5: Install Pneumatic Cylinder

Insert Pneumatic cylinder collar through The Pre-Drilled hole. Install Nut to hold Cylinder in Place.

Step 6: Paint

Dissassmble And Paint

Reassemble once dry

Step 7: Plumb

Plumb the Air Lines, Along with the 5/3 Valve

Step 8: Crush Some Cans


Buck4One made it! (author)2017-03-22

Great little project. I was looking for something to crush the 10+ bags of can I've been keeping in my garage. It was also my first try at using a new welder, so you'll have to forgive me on the "bubble gum" welds. It works perfectly. I still need to clean it up and mount it on something. Thanks.

Danny abad (author)Buck4One2017-04-22

Hola estimado, puedes ayudarme en regalarme un diagrama de conexiones del proyecto? saludos, muchas gracias

Buck4One (author)Buck4One2017-03-22

I forgot to note that I left the forward "crushing" exhaust open for quick action. I put a restrictor on the return exhaust to slow it down. It keeps the thing from hammering and lowers the noise a little.

BeachsideHank (author)2015-12-11

This one looks like it's more fun:

MarkF30 (author)BeachsideHank2015-12-14

Now what if that mechanical crusher was hooked up to an exercise bike, so the faster you pedalled the faster the cans were crushed.

dough51342000 (author)2015-12-11

I made one. Would like to see your video but it don't work. Your valve is that exhaust out. I was trying to make the air self contained so you don't have to keep the compressor. Would like your input.

BrendanW7 (author)dough513420002015-12-13

I believe if you wanted it to be self contained you would want to exhaust to the opposite side of the cylinder. And you would want to use a different valve with only 2 stages. This would allow it to be always in one or the other direction. The only problem I see with being self contained. Is how would you charge the system initially with out an airline from compressor. Maybe you use a really small tank. Another issue I see with self contained. Is air leaks over time.

Hope that helps.

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