Toy Car Wheels From Soda Cans




These wheels cost nothing, look good and are easy to make, so if you need some- flip to the next step and I'll show you how to make them.

Step 1:

I came up with this idea when thinking on how to utilize the waste parts of aluminium soda cans form my previous project. Remember, when I made those Kusudama Balls From Waste Materials? ...Well, I do!

Anyways, to make one wheel, you'll need two aluminium cans.

Step 2:

To separate the bottom part off the can - the thing that will be used - apply the knife, elevated above the surface of the table with a convenient spacer, to the edge of the can to inscribe circular line. Then push and twist the material to create a tear out along the named line and then propagate it further untill the desired part is separated fron the can.

Step 3:

When you have two bottom parts prepared, corrugate the edge of one of them using needle nose pliers or similar tool.

Step 4:

The corrugated part should now fit into the second bottom piece. You can apply some super glue alon the edge for grater strenght, but for most cases it would be unneccessary.

Push the parts together closing them and use any suitable tool to burnish the open edge down and around the curve.

Step 5:

To make tires, take some old bicycle inner tube and cut a section of it, mesuring the width from one rim to the other on opposite side.

Step 6:

Before pulling the rubber band onto the wheel, stretch it with your fingers first - it seams like helping.

Now, to put the band on might become a bit of a challange. Here's what worked best for me.

At first - pull the band on perprndicularly to the wheel (see the photo).

Step 7:

Then twist it around to position around the rim.

Align one edge of the rubber band with the rim on the side neatly.

Step 8:

Then, using a knife, cut the excess material off at the opposite side.

This way the tire part is finished. If you don't have an inner tube - you can wrap some electrical tape around the wheel to substitute it.

Step 9:

To find the center point for the axel use a sharpie or any other marking tool positioned on an elevated spacer.

Mark four lines in the middle of the ring, turning it 90 degree for each line. The resulting markings will give you an acceptable approximation for the hole to be made.

Since aluminium is a quite soft material, you can simply use an awl to puncture the hole in it.

Start from the "back" side - the one that will be facing onward in the finished product - and advance the awl until the wery point is visible on the opposite side.

Step 10:

Now, flip the wheel and work your way from the other side to widen the opening to the desired width. It will create some protruding bits, so it'll make sense to flatten those down the way you like.

Step 11:

To give the opening a finished look you can apply an metal eyelet to it.

Install it properly if you have the tools needed and the lenght of the stem allows. Or glue/solder them into place if it's more convenient thing for you to do.

The metal eyelet will also make the axel hole more durable to wearing out.

Step 12:

And at this point you can stop.

Step 13:

But its two days after me publishing the instructable and I came up with a little improvement. So here it is.

The idea here is to add a bit of dimensinality for the whells, and for it we'll need more cans. More preciselly - 1 more can per wheel. Also you'll need a circle cutter thing for a drill. I tried to do it with crown bits (hole saws) but it wasn't as efficient as a circle cutter. But here's a couple more methods:

But here's what I did. Firstly, I had found the center and poked the hole with an awl.Then I nserted a stem piece of a metal stud to protect the hole while using circle cutter (not crucial). By rotating the cutter with hand (do not recommend using a power drill) I inscribed a circle close to the rimm.

Step 14:

When the score line starts to go though the material, you can breach the piece off by pushing on it.

Step 15:

Sand the edges to remove burrs.

Step 16:

Now, as to attaching the piece to the wheel I'd recommend soldering or gluing it down with some epoxy. Since I have little to experience in both: soldering and using epoxy - I applied CA super glue, but I don't hold any high hopes toward it.

Adding a metal eyelet to the openings on both sides finishes the wheel.

Step 17:

And as to the soda cans that were used - they have some promises on producing motorcicle wheels. Maybe with some help of 0,33L cans, I don't have any of at the moment.

Step 18:

And this is it. Maybe, I'll make a whole car for my nephew, but this is all for now, thanks for your attention and have a nice wheels.

Also, if you like the stuff I'm making, consider supporting me financially. The quality of my content would definitelly have so benefit of new lighting, tools and materials. Any amount will help. At the moment, the Amazon gift card is most convenient way for me to receive the reward, and - the email you should use to send it to (nudge nudge wink wink).



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    17 Discussions


    3 months ago

    Круто! Скільки кг навантаження витримує колесо?

    1 reply
    Waldemar ShaAndriyM5

    Reply 3 months ago

    Уявлення не маю. Для іграшкової машини буде точно достатньоб але якщо спаяти чи на епоксидку, та ще й посилити вісь... я якось спробую, бо хочу використовувати ці колеса в майстерні - тоді й зроблю заміри.


    3 months ago on Introduction

    Very nice publish, creative idea of rubre tire! perfect for RC Car tunning! thanks pal!

    1 reply

    3 months ago

    So smart yet so simple solution. I think its one of the best 'ibles I have read. Great job mate.

    1 reply

    Tip 3 months ago

    Another is to make from old pill bottles.

    Heavy duty rubber bands make a fare tread and if you seal them they work as water wheels too.


    3 months ago

    Amazing idea! Great for lightweiath RC airplane wheels too!

    1 reply

    3 months ago

    EUREKA!! Wheels are expensive... knew there had to be a way for something homebuilt (better than cutting a circle of wood!=) and alas: here it is! Good pictures, very understandable instructions. Now gotta see what kind of cans we have here in Europe....

    1 reply
    Waldemar ShaErwinB19

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you very much! I suppose, you have the same kind of cans as I do, since I'm from Europe (although some may debate this statement...)


    3 months ago

    One of the coolest instructables I've come across yet!
    If I can ask, what size bike tube are you using for standard soda/beer cans?

    I've only got old road bike tubes handy, but I'd like to know what to beg for at my LBS...

    1 reply
    Waldemar ShaUkeDog

    Reply 3 months ago

    I have all kinds of tubes in my batch and the may differ a bit as to the width (circumference), but with different meassure of perseverance most of them will fit.
    I suppose I used something like this:


    3 months ago

    Using the bike tube for tires is sheer genius! Very clever project.

    1 reply
    Waldemar Shasconnors

    Reply 3 months ago

    I just have too much of free time at my hands. Thank you :)