This is a guest post by Ethan Hagan from One Project Closer.
You can make a bottle opener out of just about anything. I’ve seen lighters, rings, shell casings, hats, sandals, and I’m sure you can add to the list. All those openers probably work just fine. However, making your own bottle opener is a fun project, and a handmade one is sure to impress your family and friends every time. In this guide, I’ll show you how to make an elegant bottle opener similar to ones that I’ve seen pictured online.
The mechanics of this opener are nothing new. In fact, I’ve seen some pretty rudimentary ones that follow the same basic design of this nail and stick combo.
Rustic, yes. But nothing to write home about.
But no one is going to be impressed by a stick with a nail through it. Instead, I’ll show you how to make a nicer model from a small piece of wood and a nail. It will even catch your bottle cap as you remove it and stick to your fridge for easy access when you need it.
Materials & Tools Needed
- Small block of hard wood (I chose Walnut)
- 3″ common-head nail
- (2) 8mm diameter magnets
- Jigsaw (or a coping saw)
- Dremel with sanding drum (or just regular sandpaper)
- 5/16″ and 5/32″ drill bits
- Glue gun
How to Make Your Own Bottle Opener
I chose a hard wood for this project because that’s what I had lying around (spare Walnut from installing hardwood floors). I expect this opener to get a lot of use, and Walnut should hold up well. The only downside is that hardwoods are tougher to cut and drill, and you have to be careful not to scorch the wood.
The dimensions are flexible. However, I’d suggest keeping it close to what I’ve laid out here. My bottle opener is 5″ long by 1″ wide and 3/4″ deep. I wrapped everything in masking tape to protect from tear out when making cuts, and to sketch an outline.
To cut out the shape, I used a miter saw, table saw, and jigsaw. Many of you may not have those tools handy. A coping saw will get the job done too, albeit much slower.
Next I sanded each side using a combination of a cordless grinder with sanding pad and a Dremel with a sanding drum. I also rounded all the edges just enough to make it more comfortable to hold.
I purchased some small, inexpensive magnets, but you can harvest refrigerator magnets in a pinch. My magnets are listed at 8mm in diameter, which translates into 5/16″.
Carefully, I drilled holes on the front and back of the bottle opener. 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 is to store the opener on the fridge, and I placed that a little lower.
I also drilled a 5/32″ hole on the top for the nail. A drill press would have been ideal for this step; however, I used a drill/driver and still had good results.
To secure the magnets, I put a dab of hot glue behind each.
For the nail, I chose a 3″ common nail, and you can see in the picture how the nail head is flat on both sides (as opposed to a more convex underside).
I didn’t want to bend the nail with a hammer so instead I used a clamp and a vise to slowly bend the nail into a right angle.
Just like with the magnets, I added a dab of hot glue before pushing the nail in place.
That’s it! This is a great bottle opener and a fun project. I’ve already made three and given away two as presents. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Below are the plans for the opener in PDF format. Thanks to Robert Heffern for providing them.
Bottle Opener – Measurements
Bottle Opener – Final w/Color
Ethan Hagan is the primary editor at One Project Closer. Ethan spends most of his days shadowing real contractors on actual job sites and most of his nights writing about the experience. If learning and interacting with pro contractors sounds like something you’d enjoy, sign up for OPC email updates.