Bottle openers might cost a dime per dozen, but why toss in change at all? You can make a bottle opener out of anything, and this year’s men are opting for the good, old-fashioned nail-and-board approach. Ditch the overpriced sandals, the lighter ends, the rings and the counter-scraping tactics. It’s time to make a bottle opener built to last—crafted from your own hands.
The wooden bottle opener isn’t difficult to work, and it’s easy on the eyes. Whether you’re looking for a rudimentary tool or a flashy modernist look, you’ve got a few options available.
At its core, the wooden bottle opener is a nail on a stick. Sure, it might seem simple—but it’s entirely useful for uncapping bottle caps without the “fling factor” experienced with retail bottle openers. Once you hold the handle, ply the cap and tilt, the bottle cap will be expertly lifted. While a lot of wooden bottle opener versions exist, we'll be sticking with the basic version. If you're looking for something a little more industrial, check out this DIY wrench bottle opener.
Again, you have a few options available. First, however, you should settle on a wood type. Most choose Walnut, as it’s durable, handy and clean-looking. Walnut doesn’t splinter, and it’ll give you the leverage you need without snapping after a single use.
You’ll need a three-inch common-head nail, too. The common-head bit is important, as it offers the perfect depth for catching the bottlecap’s side. Pick up two eight-millimeter magnets, too, as they’ll be used to stick your bottle opener to the fridge.
As for the tools, pick up (or borrow) the following:
If you’re using a hard wood, you’ll need to be careful when shaping it. The bottle opener’s dimensions may be flexible, but they can become useless if cut too thin. In general, keep your bottle opener’s shape close to these dimensions: Five inches long by one inch wide, and three-fourths of an inch deep.
While shaping the wood with the jigsaw or coping saw, cover the wood’s length in masking tape. Hard woods can splinter during cutting, so you’ll need to protect your new bottle opener as you’re cutting it. Sketch an outline, of course, to aid your cutting journey. Remember: If you can’t get your hands on a jigsaw, a coping saw should get the job done—although it’ll require a little more time.
Next, you’ll need to sand your newly-shaped piece of wood. Sandpaper, here, will do just fine. Make sure you round all edges, as the wood’s “handle” will need to be splinter-free to protect your palm.
If you have a Dremel and a sanding drum, gently use it to sand the wood. Sandpaper is, however, at the heart of this project. Don’t go out and spend big bucks to make a bottle opener. Some things are worth the hands-on practical effort.
Now, you’ll create one 5/16-inch holes on the bottle opener’s back end. Either harvest small refrigerator magnets or purchase two eight-millimeter magnets from the hardware store. Use the drill carefully when creating the magnet hole, and don’t drill very deep. Once the hole has been drilled, carefully press some glue into it. Then, place one magnet.
The other magnet will be placed on the bottle opener’s “head.” This magnet will be used to catch bottle caps. Drill a hole of the same depth, place the glue and place the magnet. If possible, position the hole close to the face’s topmost area.
To finish off your bottle opener, you’ll need to drill a single 5/32-inch hole on the wood’s front-most face. A drill and driver should accomplish this, but a drill press—if you have one—is a splendid alternative.
Before inserting the nail, bend it downward at its pointed end—about one-third of the way up. You’ll want to do this before inserting the nail into the hole, as doing it after can result in split wood. Like the magnets, insert a dab of glue into the hole before pushing the nail into place.
If you think you’ll have leverage issues, consider placing two nails at the end.
Your DIY wooden bottle opener is done! As you ply off bottle caps, they should be directly positioned atop the tool’s front-most magnet. Remember to detach any magnetized bottle caps before reuse.