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How to Build a DIY Bottle Opener

Posted By Ethan On November 3, 2011 @ 7:00 am In Project Guides,Woodworking | 22 Comments

Sunday I spent some time with family at my brothers house, and I always tend to migrate toward the kitchen at these types of events. Maybe it was all the delicious food- who knows? Anyway, I found a unique bottle opener on their refrigerator, and I was struck by the simple, yet functional, design. It didn’t look very hard to make so that’s how I spent my morning. Now that I’ve “tested” the bottle opener, I’ll share how you can make one too.

Make Your Own Bottle Opener

I chose a hard wood for this project so that it’ll withstand a lot of use. I had some spare walnut bullnose from installing my hardwood floors and decided this would be a great application.

This is just a first-pass, and I didn’t measure anything. If you’re following along, the dimensions should be roughly 5″ long by 1-1/2″ wide. I’m using 3/4″ floorboards and that makes for a good depth. I wrapped everything in masking tape to give it a little protection from tear out.

I sketched the curve of the handle and used a coping saw to cut along the line.

Next I sanded everything using that cordless Milwaukee grinder [1] that I wrote about two days ago.

Jocie wasn’t too pleased when I harvested a couple 1/2″ diameter magnets from our fridge.

I clamped my workpiece down and setup my shop vac before drilling holes for the magnets. For 1/2″ diameter magnets, I used a 31/64″ drill bit to keep everything snug.

The magnet on the face of the bottle opener is for catching the bottle cap so I positioned it pretty close to the top. The second magnet allows you to keep the opener on the fridge and I placed that a little lower. I put a dap of hot glue behind each magnet, and it’s doing the trick.

For the nail, I chose a 3″ with a common nail head. This is important because the underside of the nail head is what pulls the bottle cap off.

You can see how it compares to a more convex underside.

I drilled a hole for the nail using a 5/32″ drill bit, and added a dab of hot glue before pushing it in place.

I didn’t want to bend the nail with a hammer. Instead, I used a clamp to slowly bend the nail to a right angle.

When I tested out my prototype, everything worked perfectly.

There are a few things I’ll do differently next time:

  • Use a drill press to be more precise
  • Drive the nail a little deeper to leave less overhang
  • Get both magnets flush with the surface of the wood
  • Use a more powerful magnet to hold it to the fridge
  • Smooth out the edges

Even with my complaints, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. This is a great first attempt especially without measuring anything. Now I’m off to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

The original design for this bottle opener is attributed to Brendan Ravenhill [2] from AREAWARE. You can see product details and even purchase one here [3]. You might notice that my handle is opposite the one at the link. That was an accident but I think it’s actually better.


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URLs in this post:

[1] cordless Milwaukee grinder: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/milwaukee-cordless-grinder-review-2680-20/

[2] Brendan Ravenhill: http://www.areaware.com/about.asp?dAboutID=26

[3] here: http://www.areaware.com/proddetail.asp?prod=brbow&CatID=0&subCatID=0

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