I've had a small piece of scrap black walnut in the shop for a while. It was perfect to make a few simple bottle openers. Take a look. I can't seem to ever find a bottle opener when I want one. Sure, i could buy a few more but why not make them? I took a little slice of walnut and made a set of four so I could scatter them around the backyard and always have one close.
Here are the steps:
1. Pick the wood – The right wood should be hard enough to take some abuse, shy away from pine or similar soft woods.
2. Make the cuts – I cut the pieces wide enough to be able to shape later on the band saw, so rough cuts were about 1″x1.5″ and about 5″ long.
3. Sketch out the design – You could make the design more accurate, but I free-handed the cuts to make them organic then took them to the band saw. Tip: I use the cut-off from one side to sketch out the opposite side for symmetry.
4. Cut the pieces – At the band saw, I cut the pieces to shape. With such small pieces, be careful to keep hands from in front of the blade. Use push sticks whenever possible.
5. Sand smooth – After the openers are done at the band saw, they are smoothed out with a sander. This can be done by hand, but it will take a bit longer. Once they are smooth, it's time to drill.
6. Drill the holes – Drill the opening for the bottle with a Forsner bit, about halfway to make an opening for the bottle cap top.
7. Finish and add washers – The wood finish on my pieces is a simple beeswax polish, which adds a bit of character to the wood grain. after a quick polish, I added washers to the underside to finish off the openers.
Now all that's left is to open a cold one and enjoy having a few more openers within reach!