It may look like a just a stream of water, but loaded with enough pressure, industrial waterjets are powerful enough to cut through an inch of steel.
Or, if you’re looking for some fun, slicing through everyday things like shoes or a laptop.
Business Insider talked to the creator of a new YouTube channel called “Cut in Half.” This person didn’t want to be identified since they are using the tool at work – albeit after-hours – but they did walk us through what it’s like to turn highly-pressurized water into something that can slice a baseball cleanly in half.
Waterjets are typically used for industrial applications, like carving a wrench out of metal or shaping aircraft wings. But after stumbling onto a subreddit filled with pictures of things beautifully sliced open, Cut in Half’s creator decided to have some fun using water to slice through everyday objects.
He started with the only thing handy on him: his shoes. “I’d never seen anyone do it before,” he says.
The soft cloth was easy to slice through, so he went to Goodwill and picked up some random nonsense, like a power strip. The Omax Abrasive waterjet uses 60,000 pounds per square inch of water to cut through most anything.
After realizing how much fun he was having, he decided to start uploading one video a week to Cut in Half. “I really like doing it and it’s super fun to watch people on the internet get totally upset or totally excited watching it,” he said. When he cut through a pistol, for example, people were like “how dare you,” he says.
Each video does take a lot of editing. The waterjet takes a lot longer than it looks to cut through each object, so each video is sped up to make it much shorter. A bowling ball took 20 minutes to cut through.
There have also been some lessons along the way. Once he forgot to clamp down some golf balls when he was firing them with the waterjet, and they flew off the table when the water hit. It was after-hours, though, so no one got hurt. The matching golf club was revealed to be mostly hollow inside.
So far, he’s been selective about what he cuts into to make sure it goes all the way through. Most of the items he’s chosen are either suggestions from fans or things he’s found on the streets of San Francisco. All of them have pretty cool — although largely hollow — interiors.
While he normally uses the machine for CNC cutting for his day job, he’s found that people enjoy watching water cut through anything, since it’s not something they get to do every day. Tech objects, like computers or speakers, are definitely fan favorites. Someone has even offered to send him an iPhone to be sliced through. “It’s always satisfying to cut steel like butter,” he says.