Arbalist

Show me your Bottle Openers!

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Both openers are amazing Fatfudd.  What type of stock do you use for the chiles?

The chiles are various pieces of old pipe, usually just a thinner walled black pipe, but not too thin. If the pipe is too thin it just collapses. Mostly its just junk I pick up at garage sales. 

I've used conduit but you have to be careful burning off the zinc. 

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One more so Yves hockey equilibrium doesn't get all out of whack....

This one has a lot more general 'metalwork' than forging (and a lot of filing), but fun to make nonetheless.

CH1.jpg

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Black Frog,

 

I have a choice between :

  1. And the winner is ...
  2. This IS a winner,
  3. This will be a winner.

This is lovely. A lot of work. good, passionate work. I never thought you would take it that far. I am glad you did. Brings a smile in this never ending, bitter winter.  You do have the last word here.

 

By the way, CH 1 win on the road. Black Hawks ... well ... they got the Blues ...

 

Again congratulations on beautifull work.

 

Yves

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Here's an easy opener that is popular and sells well. You have to make sure the tail (opener) is a little wide and thick enough so it won't bend. I sometimes make them out of coil spring but that is a little more work. I polish them off and then heat them in the gas forge to get colors. Afterwards I apply rustoleum crystal clear enamel which preserves the colors and prevents rust from sloshed beer when you may have had one (or two) too many. I usually make these in groups of 6 so I can test them all in one evening.

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Made  a few of these the other day.  With the right curves in them they are almost like a worry stone,  just have to hold them and play with them.  And they can be added to a key ring or a leather lace as a necklace.

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One more just to show that even a normal forged opener can look 'fancy' with some effort in the finishing steps if you're so inclined.

Wire brushing, sanding, and polishing.

kk1.jpg

 

kk2.jpg

 

.

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OK, I thought it's about time I had a go at one of these bottle openers. Started with a piece of 19mm x 10mm bar. Made a ram's head for a handle and then forged the business end. Not the most elegant looking opener, but I tested it and it works perfectly. Fits the hand nicely too. It's a bit bulky; I think try #2 will be with lighter steel.

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Very nice, Ausfire.  I like how you used the ram's head to class up the opener.  Gives it that bit of panache.

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Thanks Vaughn .. I was happy with it for a first try.

I would like to know how Black Frog gets the lifter part so perfectly neat. The bit that goes under the lip if the bottle cap. I did mine by using the ball of a ball pein hammer, hit with a lead hammer. Is there another way?

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Frog did a tutorial on making his style of openers.  I agree that they're top-notch kit, and I haven't been able to replicate that look, or the quality of photography.  

 

Personally, I've been using a piece of half-inch round stock, but see that I need to go a bit larger for my punch.  Maybe 1" if I can find it.

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Aus-

Nice rams head!  I've not tried that yet, but will have to give it a go sometime soon.

 

As far as making the cap tab, I wasn't happy with my original tools for the cap tab, and kept making larger and larger diameter tools until I got to the one pictured below (on the right).

I've been using this one for all openers since, and all the ones I've shown pictures of here. 

Don't remember what flea market tool I made it from....  The hex is 7/8" dia (guesing?), then forged to a round taper and edged to finish on the sander. 

Not a complete ball shape, most of the bottom is fairly flat so that it doesn't get too deep too fast.

 

I usually start with this tool 2/3 on the metal, and 1/3 hanging off into the forged hole area.  This can depend on the thickness of your opener stock too.

By altering the angle of this cap tab tool (since the bottom is fairly flat), you can influence how much metal you displace forward if needed.

 

VT- funny you mention the "quality of photography"!  All done with my cell phone.  :) 

Ain't technology great?

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That is a nice ram's head Aus. One of the things I like about this style bottle opener is if it doesn't turn out handy a person can simply punch a couple screw holes, bend the opener end out about an inch worth, bend the finial out enough to clear and sell it as a counter edge or whatever mounted opener. This is why I leave pulling the clip till the last because the clip needs to be on the end rather than the handle side for a wall mounted opener.

 

Thanks for the tip on the clip puller Froggy, looks like you made yours from a garage sale punch, chisel, etc.

 

Those are always good things to pick up for cheap, I often have luck bundling a handfull for a buck or so. They're too common to spend more than a few cents on, $0.25 max for a big one. I pick up drifts, marlin spikes, pry bars, etc. for the same reason, they're good tough steel and handy for smitherly tools.

 

I probably should take a lash at making pretty openers, I only make ones that open bottles, not look anything so nice. Certainly nothing to take pics of and show the world!

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the help folks.

Black Frog, I appreciate your detailed description; that punch on the right in your pic looks just what I'm looking for. I guess I was a bit lazy looking for something ready made like the ball of the hammer. I have got drum loads of that hexagon-shaped steel (old drill steels I think) and I will try and shape one like yours. I'm not sure about tempering it, but it should be OK if I strike it with a soft hammer. I have a lead hammer for that purpose.

The finish on your openers is outstanding. Lots of filing and sanding I imagine. Something to aspire to.

And Gerald, your bearded burnished bottle opener is amazing. This site is just so full of creative ideas.

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Aus,

I didn't bother with any hardening/temerping of my tab tool.  That's tough steel and I'm forging the tab openers at red-hot temps with it, so I didn't bother with anything special.

Just forged it to general taper and diameter from some hex tool bought at the flea market, then formed the radius edges on the sander. 

I haven't seen any deformation or change of my tab tool yet, and this is after using it to make well over 100+ openers since.....

 

Mentioning finishing work, that all depends on the opener and the desired results.

The pics in the tutorial thread have no filing or sanding to the opener, just forged to shape then oil finished for the black look, or wire brushed and flame temper colored.

The later ones in this thread that are chrome-like have sanding and polishing done to them.

Depends on who it might be for, or how much you wanna try and get for it.

 

With a grinder-mounted sanding flap wheel, and a buffing/polishing wheel, you can take a forged opener that looks great as is to one of the chrome-like ones in about 15-20 minutes.

You have to weigh putting in that extra finishing time vs. how much more you can get for the finished  product. That's if you're looking to sell it.

Or how much you want to impress the intended party if you're giving it as a gift.  While the standard forged ones are always impressive and appreciated as gifts, the shiny ones always make the biggest splash.

The "ooohs" and "wooowwws" are frequent and numerous when giving those as gifts, and for me the extra time is warranted.

 

Many times, giving ONE as a gift that gets shown and passed around can lead to numerous orders of paying customers.  :)

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Bob Punch, that's it thanks Gerald. I knew it had a proper name but I blank on things anymore. I know in other applications it'd be a clip so that's what I went with as a term. Nice wizard bottle opener.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I made these for the local watering hole and they loved them. Made them out of horseshoes and punched the name of the bar in. post-14895-0-34820700-1400524183_thumb.j

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Nice work, Q. The Blind Pig would be very happy with them. Good idea to use old horshoes. I'll try that and post a pic. Keep the pics coming folks. This thread is inspiring!

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Wow. The possibilities are endless. Jake, what size stock did you start with? Looks to be about 3/4 inch x 1/4 or 3/8.
And I hope you don't mind my asking, but what sort of price do you put on something like that? Not that I want to sell mine (they take me too long to make) but I'm just interested to know.

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It is 3/4"X1/4" I get about 20-25 each for them. Only economical way is when I pound them out on my Little Giant. Sometimes I will do it the long way when I'm doing a demo. The twisted one in the above picture was sold the Friday night before a Pirate Faire I was working at last weekend, so I made another one there. Didn't sell much overall.

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I thought I would try making an opener out of a railway dog spike. The head ends do look like a dog's head and I think polished up they would make attractive bottle openers.
However, I went to flatten out the end a little to make about 5/8 square into 3/4 wide, and the bar became fibrous and started to slit into layers. I'm assuming this is an indication that my spikes are wrought iron?? Pity because I have drum loads of them.
Has anyone managed to make openers out of these things successfully??

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I'm no expert by any means, but I have seen plenty of stuff made from real wi. I'm just not sure that they wouldn't have better uses. I've seen lots of posts from people looking for wi. (Most of us don't have a wi dousing hat like Thomas Powers). So, if they are real wi, you shouldn't have any trouble finding someone who would love to have whatever of it you didn't want.

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Ausfire, sounds like wrought iron, and sure to be worth a pretty penny if you have drums of small spikes you could trade.  Knifemakers especially like small bits of WI to make guards and pommels out of.

 

I'm guessing you didn't work it hot enough and kept hammering it down into the cool red stage.  WI likes to be worked at a yellow/white heat, hotter than you'd comfortably get modern steels.  Anything colder than that for major shape changing will cause it to split.

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Vaughn I think you may be right ... I got it pretty hot but I did keep on working it after the heat had gone off a bit. Those spikes are certainly not as forgiving as mild steel, or modern steel. They came from a disused railway that was built in 1900 so I guess they are wrought. I wish I could find a good use for them, because as I said, I have a lot...
And a lot of those heavt iron clips too ... Any use for them??
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Ausfire, your photo may be the personification of one of the Blacksmith's Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's scrap pile." :P

 

My dog raised his head to see what my cry of pain was, when I enlarged that pic.

 

 

 

 

Of course, I imagine we, as a group, could fill a season of 'Hoarders: Bins, Barns & Outbuildings'.  Hmmm, could be the next cult hit.

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