Waste As a Resource: Standing Folder




Introduction: Waste As a Resource: Standing Folder

This instructable will guide you through the process of making a standing folder out of waste material including bottle caps and aluminum cans. These steps can be repeated to make multiple folders, as they can be attached to one another side to side through the magnet buttons.


Materials Needed (All of the materials will be for 1 standing folder. If you wish to make multiple, just multiply it by that amount):

Lots of 6mm MDF (for laser cutting)

Roughly 80 bottle caps of your choosing (all in similar height if possible)

16 screws

3 pairs of magnet buttons

1 cut and flattened aluminum can

Tools Needed:

Laser cutter

Press drill machine

Heat press

Scroll saw

Disc sander

20mm forstner bit

10mm drill

Drill matching screw size


PVA glue

G clamps and corner clamps

Two large flat metal sheets

Bucket of water large enough to fit said two large flat metal sheets

Step 1: Laser Cutting

Download the attached dxf file and laser cut it onto 6mm thick MDF

Step 2: Laying

Lay one metal sheet on top of the heat press and lay out roughly 35~40 bottle caps in a similar pattern as shown

Step 3: Flattening

Place the second sheet of metal on top of the bottle caps and close the heat press. Set the timer to 3 minutes

Step 4: Quenching

After 3 minutes, use the glove and move the two metal sheets into the bucket of cold water. This process is called the quench method, and it gives the flattened bottle caps a nice smooth texture.

Step 5: Repeating

Repeat steps 2-4 one more time

Step 6: Drilling

Make a 3mm deep hole using a 20mm forstners bit on the markings, then drill a hole through the center of these 3mm holes with a 10mm drill. Only do this for one of the folder sides.

*need pictures of 20mm forstners and 10mm drill

Step 7: Magnet Inserting

On all three of the indented holes, place in the thicker part of the magnet buttons and secure it in place. (ignore the flattened bottlecaps and second layer of wood)


Step 8: Drilling 2

Using the same 20mm forstner bit, this time make a very light indent on the markings (less then 0.5mm). Then, drill through the center of these indents with the 10mm drill.

Step 9: Magnet Inserting 2

Insert the flat part of the magnet buttons into the three indents. Again, no hammer.

Step 10: Marking

Put one flattened sheet between two of the cut out side pieces and mark out an outline as shown in the image

Step 11: Trimming

Using a scroll saw, cut the plastic sheets along the markings and sand the rough edges using the disc sander

Step 12: Clamping

Put the sheet back in between the two side pieces and clamp it down using G clamps. Make markings as shown in the image

*need picture of the 6 markings on wood

Step 13: Drilling 3

Using the electronic drill, make holes all the way through the 3 layers on the markings. You should end up with 6 holes on each piece.

*need picture of electronic drill doing work

Step 14: Screwing (!?)

Using the screwdriver, attach 1.75cm long screws through all 6 of the holes drilled. Be sure to drill from the opposite side of where the magnets are.

Step 15: Sanding

Using the side of a belt sander, sand off the excess amounts of the nails sticking out. (picture of what it should look like)

Step 16: Repeating 2: Electric Boogaloo

Repeat steps 10~15 one more time, for the opposite folder sides.

Step 17: Marking 2

Lay the laser-cut rectangular frame on a piece of flattened aluminum can and trace the outline

Step 18: Scissoring

Using a pair of scissors, cut along the rectangular marking

Step 19: Drilling

Sandwich the cut out piece of aluminum between the two rectangular frames and drill through all three pieces on the four corners as shown

Step 20: Screwing

Using the same screws as before, screw through the three pieces and sand off the sticking out screws.

Step 21: Glueing

Using PVA glue, attach the two long rectangular pieces as shown in the image. Be sure that the longer piece is attached on top of the shorter piece. Corner clamp it in place and leave for a day.

Step 22: Final Glueing

Once the base is glued nice and secure, apply glue on the side panels and the front panel and attach it onto the base as shown in the image. Using a thin nail gun, secure all of the pieces in place until they dry

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    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    Nice job on this! I love the way the melted caps turned out :D