Hard Drivin Pizza Cutter




Introduction: Hard Drivin Pizza Cutter

For months I fostered a growing anxt as I looked for creative options for two items that I knew had potential: Unusable paintbrushes and hard drive disks. One morning as I lay in bed it dawned on me. My paintbrush handles and old hard drives could be employed again - they could cut pizza together!

Step 1: Salvage a Brush Handle, a Hard Drive Disk, and Some Steel

Hard drives are fairly easy to recover. I put a star bit on a screwdriver and a dead hard drive in front of my seven year old son and watched him go to work. Don't forget to recover the super powerful magnets!

The paintbrush head removes easily enough with needle nose pliers.

The piece of steel shown is cut to size with a hacksaw from a 3/4" wide and 1/8 " thick rod I bought at a hardware store. I used a 4" length.

Step 2: Measure and Chisel a Seat for the Steel Bridge

Idealy, the width of your steel bridge and your chisel will be the same. Mine are each 3/4". Determine how much room you'll need for two bolts to comfortably secure the steel bridge. If you haven't chiseled a groove before, just mark out your parameters and make numerous parallel grooves from the top to the bottom of the groove. Now you can chisel out the first layer of your groove. Repeat till you get to the desired depth.

Step 3: Bore and Bend the Steel

Mark your drill targets with chalk or a bright wax pencil. I purchased a bit for drilling steel but it's not necessary. The two things that'll help get through are a sharp bit (see other instructables on sharpening bits) and some water applied while drilling. Fit the bored bridge in its seat, mark the holes on the handle and drill holes through the paintbrush.

Bending the steel takes heat and pressure. After measuring where you want your "S bend" to start and stop to give clearance for the disk, you'll want to clamp your steel in a vice to heat with a torch. I can't tell you empirically when to lay off the heat and add pressure. Using the weight of my body, I grabbed a thick file by the ends and pushed perpendicular against the top of the steel. Repeat further down in the opposite direction to get an "S bend".

Temporarily secure to handle with bolts and nuts to check fit.

Step 4: Sharpen Disk and Affix Spindle/platter

I thought that sharpening the disk (technically a platter) would be easily honed with my Dremel and an abrasive disk. No dice. The material doesn't respond well. It did however sharpen with a basic file as I braced it in the vice with wood clamps to protect the mirror finish.

Finally, the most difficult part was drilling into the spindle after drilling the final holes in the bridge. It's not a straightforward process as I ended up securing the bolts with JB Weld apoxy after not getting adequate holes.

Finally I affixed the platter to the spindle with apoxy.

Step 5: Eat Pizza!

First, cut pizza with a data dazzling pizza cutter. Gently lift pizza . . .

Step 6:

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    6 years ago on Introduction

    from outter-most layer to inner-most layer, the composition of a 3.5"
    hard drive platter is as follows...5 micron thick layer of cobalt, the
    magnetic data substrate. 20 micron thick layer of 90% nickel & 10%
    phosphorus, making the nickel non-magnetic (This layer is present
    because nickel takes a very high polish and cobalt (the outter-most
    layer) does not adhere well to the inner-most layer. The inner-most
    layer is comprised of 96% Aluminum & 4%Magnesium; Aluminum is cheap
    and lightweight, and magnesium strengthens aluminum.

    I would NOT slice my pizza with this one. I'd hang it on the wall as it is a really cool project!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the depth of insight vin. Knowing the materials shines some light on what I experienced during the project.

    I appreciate the concern but I can live with the risk. I'll never push it hard enough to shatter it and the trace elements that might migrate to my pizza would need to be in massive quantifies to affect a person.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    oh and don't use a 2.5 inch harddisk platter, they are made of glass and ceramics coated with nickel so these shatter when bending so there's a risk you get showered with razorsharp shards!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It looks like a great pizza cutter. That's awesome that you were able to recycle a paint brush handle and a hard drive disc to make it. Thanks for sharing!