Bottle Openers

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monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
Wine stoppers are a popular project for wood turners, but another option is to make bottle openers for use with old-fashioned crown-capped bottles. Yes, I know the 'manly' thing is to just twist off the cap, but it's much easier on the hands to use an opener.

I recently made the three openers shown in the image using inexpensive commercial bottle openers as the starting point.

The flat style openers typically come two in a package for under $3 - perhaps even less at 'dollar stores'. There is a can opener on the other end that I cut off with a hacksaw. The challenge is finding a way to securely mount a flat blade in a round turning. I opted to drill a 3/4" hole in the blank, and then turn a scrap of maple to make a short 3/4" dowel. Actually, I left the maple blank square on the ends, and rounded only the center portion, so that it would be easier and safer to cut it down the middle on a table saw. I chose a blade for the table saw that left a kerf about as wide as the thickness of the opener blade. Finally, I used some epoxy to glue the dowel halves to the blade to give it a round cross-section.

After turning and finishing the handle blank, I used some sandpaper to fine tune the round sections on the opener to fit snugly into the hole in the handle. I did find that the openers that I bought were very slightly (like 1/128") wider than my 3/4" drill bit, so I had to grind down the edges just a bit. Finally, glued the opener into the handle using epoxy.

The round opener started out as a commercial opener that I found in an old fashioned 'five and dime' for $4. The handle was about 3/8" wide, but flared slightly, so I had to grind off the fat end. It had a slightly oval cross section that I rounded by gluing some 1/16" strips of stock to the flat sides, and then sanding to a circular cross section that fit snugly in a 3/8" hole in the handle.

The handles were made from English elm, bubinga, and zebrawood. Because the zebrawood blank that I had was only 1" square, I was concerned about it being strong enough with a 3/4" hole, I opted to make a padauk 'ferrule' for the end to dress it up and increase the final diameter a bit.

I don't know if they would sell, but they make nice gifts and were fun to do.
 

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HamTurns

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Jul 25, 2012
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Madison, Wisconsin, USA
I like them too. I like your designs and use/reuse of what you can find to use.

I did somewhat the same thing last Christmas. I made enough for all the guys in our family.

I am a home-brewer, so the standard old crown cap is what's used and these come in handy for removing that.

As far as strength I've use 3/4" x 3/4" pen blanks with no troubles, both plastic and wood. I started out making them with a ferrule made from a 1/2" copper pipe, but I tried to break a few without the ferrule and couldn't, so I stopped putting them on.

I just finished up a set for all the groomsmen in my daughters wedding, sorry no pic of those, but the green casting is what I made them from. They turned out cool though, I cast them from Alumilite in the wedding colors.

Happy Turning
Tom
 

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Monty

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Mar 4, 2005
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Pearland, Texas, USA.
... Yes, I know the 'manly' thing is to just twist off the cap, but it's much easier on the hands to use an opener...

However, not all twist off,some still have to be pried off.
:good:eek:n the bottle openers.
I get my bottle openers from Lowe's. I buy their paint can openers for about $0.25 each. I just cut off the can opener end, drill the appropriate size hole and epoxy the bottle opener in the blank.
 

PaulDoug

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Joined
Mar 2, 2008
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3,488
Location
Benton City, WA.
... Yes, I know the 'manly' thing is to just twist off the cap, but it's much easier on the hands to use an opener...

However, not all twist off,some still have to be pried off.
:good:eek:n the bottle openers.
I get my bottle openers from Lowe's. I buy their paint can openers for about $0.25 each. I just cut off the can opener end, drill the appropriate size hole and epoxy the bottle opener in the blank.

Maybe you should leave the paint opener end on a few. I like to break for a beer once in awhile while painting. Most my painting look like it too!
 

OOPS

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Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
674
Location
Spokane, WA
These are really cool. I like the Bubinga style of opener the best, but all of them look outstanding. I am particularly drawn to the combination of zebrawood and padauk, which I never would have thought of personally, because they look so great together.

Thanks for posting.
 

sbwertz

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Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,455
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I used the paint can openers you get at the hardware store with a bottle opener on one end and a flat, slightly hooked pry bar on the other end for opening paint cans. I just cut off the pry bar end.
 
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