Adam Savage Takes the Aluminum Foil Ball Challenge!

Adam Savage Takes the Aluminum Foil Ball Challenge!

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While in the middle of a One Day Build project that leaves him with an excess of aluminum foil, Adam tries his hand at the tin foil ball challenge: creating a shiny solid sphere of aluminum using just a roll of standard foil wrap. It takes literally hours of manual hammering and polishing to get a satisfying result, and at the end of the process Adam attempts to cut this ball in half to see its cross-section.

Shot by Adam Savage and edited by Norman Chan
Music by Jinglepunks

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Tested is:
Adam Savage
Norman Chan
Joey Fameli
Ryan Kiser
Josh Self
Jen Schachter
Kishore Hari
Sean Charlesworth
Jeremy Williams
Kayte Sabicer
Bill Doran
Ariel Waldman
Darrell Maloney
Kristen Lomasney

Intro bumper by Abe Dieckman

Thanks for watching!

#adamsavage #onedaybuilds #tinfoilball

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29 Responses

  1. Adam Savage’s Tested says:

    Tested Premium/Patron Exclusive: Watch Adam work on this build in REAL time:
    Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like watching exclusive videos:

    • Slinky511nx7 says:

      12:30 that’s what she said

    • Slinky511nx7 says:

      Should have done it shiny side up

    • Jesus has given you all. Repent or die. says:

      Repent to Jesus Christ
      “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”
      ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    • Joseph DESTAUBIN says:

      Put a roller tape on either side of it and a a board and then a clamp and then a narrow 1″ roll of tape on the bottom and bob’s your Uncle, you’ve got 2 handles and a base.

    • Deadbeat Gamers says:

      @Reed Bowman
      Well, that is the best idea so far. Mine would have destroyed it completely

  2. Verlisify says:

    Adam trying to cut the ball is a series of the least safe things I have seen him do

    • Gavin Hindman says:

      @Lil Glitch I don’t think you could cleave it and retain the integrity of the inner layers, which is what he was wanting to see – it would more squish than cut.

    • Jacob Wicks says:

      Beyond being incredibly dangerous it’s setting a bad example for viewers. Maybe he should flash a severed hand icon on the screen whenever he does something unbelievably unsafe. It would stop people from believing they are seeing proper shop safety

    • Robert Pendzick says:

      @Lil Glitch But this is layered aluminum, not melted and cast. So the crystal structure that would occur in cast aluminum is not present. Doubt that the hitting cause the layers to meld. One way to know without a destructive test would be to test the density of the foil ball compared to the density of a similar mass of cast aluminum. Bet the volume of the ball is much higher then the volume of the same mass of cast aluminum.

    • Final Consensus says:

      @2000jago lmao, like you could ever get him to work for you regardless 😆

    • JameslikesTurtles says:

      @samaruton think that’s the best idea I’ve seen. Best way to cut a round object is to make it square then remove the excess material.

  3. N Bolin says:

    Thought 1 was to drill a hole into the ball and insert a threaded rod “handle” to keep it from spinning into the saw.
    Thought 2 was to cast it into a resin cube and cut it all in half.
    Thought 3 was a large hole saw or forestner bit to reveal the layers.

    • jim T says:

      Put it in a flat bottom box. fill with water, freeze, cut

    • JustLookingThankYou says:

      Make a cube instead. It would be much easier to handle.

      I made a pair of small ones maybe twenty years ago, one spherical, one cubic. They were only about 1-1/2” thick, but surprisingly dense. While eating my lunch each day, I would add the wrapper. When they got to about 3”, I started compressing and shaping them. I still have them around here somewhere.

    • Chris Johannes says:

      @qvatch A simple box of wood made from scraps with arcs cut on each side should work. Cut a slot in the jig for the blade to enter. Clamps could be used to increase pressure through the jig onto the sphere (if needed). The inside of the jig could also be lined with an abrasive or temporary adhesive. I don’t think you need to fully encapsulate it with a 3D spherical mold/cast.

    • qvatch says:

      I was thinking casting too, but maybe something softer like plaster, or even a paper mache shell that is all squared off. Make good use of that out-of-sphericalness.

    • A1Skeptic says:

      I also think casting it in a resin cube is the best way to be able to cleanly cut it in half.


    😂😂😂 I had to buy a roll that looked like that but it was stainless foil used for heat treating and tempering steel (sometimes in an oxygen free environment). I think the role was like $600 or more…… and I came in one day and my dad was pulling off multiple yards of it to double and triple up for cooking on the grill. I literally about shit myself 😂😂😂 it’s not like I would ever use it all anyway but he was probably using $100 worth of foil

  5. andemaiar says:

    I think halfway through making the initial ball Adam switched from shiny-side-out to dull-side-out? Which is a shame because it could have been so much more shiny! This was still a pleasure to watch.

  6. DrSnap23 says:

    “How do you make a sphere ?”
    2018 Adam : gets super specific apparatus for precise operation of the lathe from a dusty box

  7. Still It says:

    In today’s episode of how Adam almost lost his fingers. . . Haha.

    It for real this is awesome. Always wanted to try this. May have to give it a go with my kids now. Cheers.

  8. Wild_Lee Coyote says:

    Some interesting facts about aluminum foil: it is made from only large ingot of pure aluminum. It is hot rolled down to about 2cm thick slab of aluminum that is then rolled into a thick sheet. It is then called rolled tinnier and thinner. The last roll it actually too thin for the rollers to keep the foil from tearing easily, so it is doubled up. To keep the foil from sticking to the rollers and itself they use Kerosene. This is what gives the foil the shiny and dull side. The shiny side is caused by the polished rollers of the press, the dull side is from the aluminum pressed against itself since it was doubled up. One ingot will produce a 12 kilometer long piece of foil before it is trimmed and packaged to send to Savages the world over. Here is a link to a how it’s made video on the process.

  9. Derek Broestler says:

    This went from being one of the more relaxing videos Adam has done, the the most anxiety inducing videos Adam has ever done, the SECOND he starts trying to cut the ball in half… and safety wise, I’ve done some REAL sketchy stuff in my shop…

  10. Josh Tintner says:

    When in doubt break out every saw, cutting tool and doodad to get the job done. I must admit I laughed pretty good watching you take on one of the most challenging objects to cut… a ball. Love the video and dedication to getting to an end result.

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