Make Your Own Reciprocating Walnut Nutcracker With This Guide

Never again crack nuts using your bare hands thanks to this awesome gadget.
Christopher McFadden

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If you are a big fan of eating nuts but are getting bored of actually having to crack the shells, then this great project might be right up your street. Using some simple parts, and a little ingenuity, you too can make your own simple-to-use, yet efficient walnut cracking machine. 

Read on to find out how. 

diy walnut cracker complete
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

  • Wood
  • Table saw
  • Belt sander
  • Scrap metal rods
  • 60 rpm 12 V DC motor and cogs/gears
  • Ball bearings
  • Miniature lathe

Step 1: Prepare the base for the machine

The first step is to take your scrap wood and cut it to shape as shown in the video. Where needed transfer your cut pieces of wood to your belt sander to sand all the cut surfaces. 

diy walnut cracker wood base
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

With that done, design the shapes of the other pieces you need to CNC using a computer-aided design software package o your choice. Once done, upload the design and cut out the parts needed using your CNC machine in plastic. 

Watch the video or more details on this step. 

diy walnut cracker cnc parts
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

Step 2: Build the main mechanism

With that done, take a piece of a length of scrap metal rod and place it in your lathe. Machine the rod into a flat-headed pin shape as shown in the video. This will form the crushing head of the nut vice once the machine is complete. 

With that done, grab the other parts needed for the mechanical action of the walnut cracker. This will include things like cogs, bolts, ball bearings, a motor, etc. 

diy walnut cracker mech bits
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

Assemble the motor and assorted mechanical parts to the CNC machined plastic parts. Fully secure all the parts needed to make the mechanical assembly for the device. 

diy walnut cracker mech parts
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

Once all assembled, test the action of the assembly by wiring up the machine with a battery. Adjust as needed. 

Step 3: Make the main piston assembly

Next, take the shaped wooden base and mount the previously assembled parts to it as shown in the video. The motor assembly, for example, should be mounted on the shorted leg of the L-shaped base. 

diy walnut cracker base fix
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

Machine the other parts needed to make the reciprocating piston assembly, assemble, connect to the main motor assembly, and mount to the base as shown. 

diy walnut cracker piston
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

Step 4: Complete the machine 

Next, either use an existing 3D model or design your own using a CAD program, a plastic cube to act as the other half of the nutcracker. Insert a large bolt into the block and affix it to the main base as shown in the video.

diy walnut cracker ice jaw
Source: Mr Innovative/YouTube

Once complete and installed, your DIY walnut cracking is now complete. Now all you need to do is find some walnuts, wire up the machine, and crack those shells to access the nutty goodness within.

If you enjoyed this fun little build, then you might enjoy making some more handy tools. How about, for example, creating your own power hammer for those more stubborn nuts

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