Science Models
Science Fair Projects

Published on Sep 16, 2023

The Nutcracker


The objective: My project was to create a Nutcracker that is cheap, portable, easy to use and is effective by using at least 2 simple machines. I used a screw, wheel, axle and a lever.

Need a quick nut or fruit smash? How about a portable and effective simple machine smasher? Well, we introduce to you the "The Nutcracker"! This machine is a one of a kind! Making crushing easy and fun! Reach and Retrieve and Relax! In "The Nutcracker", I will incorporate three simple machines. We will have a wheel and axle, a lever and a screw. The wheel and axle will actually be a crank. The lever will be one also. Finally, there will be a screw. So, this is how it works. The screw will have a lever/wheel on it , and when you turn the crank, it will move, and......VOILA! I hope you learn a lot about simple and compound machines from my website. Enjoy!

Simple Machines

A simple machine is a mechanism that is used to change the direction of force. The idea of a simple machine was invented by the Greek philosopher Archimedes around the 3rd century B.C. He invented the Lever, Pulley and Screw. Later on other Greek philosophers identified the 5 simple machines (but not the inclined plane). Later on during the Renaissance, scientists found the mechanical advantage of the inclined plane. My project is made up of 3 different simple machines. That is what makes up my compound machine.

Wheel and Axle

The wheel and axle consists of a wheel fixed to a shaft that lets the wheel go freely around or a wheel that is fixed to an axle that turn together. the wheel and axle can also be used as a version of the lever with the load applied to the perimeter withe the fulcrum being the axle and the force applied on the opposite side.


A screw is a mechanism that converts rotational motion to linear motion, It is one of the six classical simple machines. The most common form consists of a shaft with grooves or ridges around the outside, it is acutually an inclined plane that is wrapped around a rod. When you turn a screw the direction of your force is changed and increased. The closer the threads are, the less force you need to apply. People often use screws to hold two pieces together.

When you turn a screw into a surface the threads wind their way into the surface and the material under the surface. I can use screws to attach things together and eventually crush.


The lever is a movable bar that pivots on a fulcrum attached to a fixed point. The lever operates by applying forces at different distances from the fulcrum or pivot.
The ideal lever does not have friction in the hinge/fulcrum or bending in the beam.


Gravitation, or gravity, is a natural phenomenon by which all physical bodies attract each other.

It is most commonly recognized and experienced as it is gravity that gives weight to objects, and causes physical objects to fall toward the earth when dropped from a height.
Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces of nature. the gravity will effect the screw’s force on the object and the remains direction witch will make it worse working against gravity and very slight friction.


friction is the force that resists two objects moving against each other. You will find friction everywhere that objects come into contact with each other. The force acts in the opposite direction to the way an object wants to slide.

If you run down the sidewalk and stop quickly, you can stop because of the friction between your shoes and the cement. What happens if you run down the sidewalk and you try to stop on a puddle?

Friction is still there, but the liquid makes surfaces smoother and has less friction. Less friction means it is harder to stop. Low friction happens to cars when it rains. That's one of the reasons why there are many accidents.


The nutcracker is an ingenious invention that cracks nut shells, but not always. the normal nut cracker these days has almost no machanical advantage and also sometimes crushes the insides, so i decided, hey! why cant i make a nutcracker that is portable, easy to use, effective, with 2/3 simple machines and also with a mechanical advantage so I think I'm up to the challenge


• PVC or other pipes

• steel screw

• metal rod

• liquid cement

• PVC edge cup

• duct tape

• PVC edge screw cup

• Nut to fit steel screw


1.Hold PVC pipe in place and cut the body to size wanted

2.Take liquid cement and spread on edges

3.put cups on Body

4.wait a day

5.take metal screw in place and cut to size of body

6.file one of the edges of the screw to be the top

7.take metal rod and cut to desired handle size

8.drill in sizes until the rod fits through

9.duct tape around the handle or rod

10.screw the handle and screw in the top screw cup

11.add nut to the end of screw



While I was making my machine I noticed that the hardest part was to cut through the steel screw. Also I had a very fun time when I put the tape and final touches on. also I realized that I had made the perfect design for my nutcracker. I also realized that it had many, many, MANY uses! These are some of my good things. I also ran into a couple of problems when putting on the cup. It was the wrong size. Also it was hard to file the metal flat. but it worked!!! So all in all I think that I couldn't have made It better.


I had success in creating a cost effective portable nutcracker. I were successful using all of my materials. At my house I assembled my compound machine with assistance my dad. In the assembling process the best part of my project was cutting through the steel. In the end I got out my camera, and finally it was finished! And my hypothesis was right and all of my hard work paid off.


Wikipedia contributors. "Inclined plane." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Wikipedia contributors. "Screw (simple machine)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Wikipedia contributors. "Wedge." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Wikipedia contributors. "Lever." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. on 2014/2/6) (accessed on 2014/3/3) (accessed on 2014/2/23)

Science Fair Project done By Michelle Kelley