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Turned Resin Bottle Openers

I'm not a very cool uncle or father for that matter. I'm nerdy and have Parkinson's and I am not knowledgeable about sports, but I can make things. I have 2 children and 3 nieces and 5 nephews. I thought it would be fun to make something unique for each of the kids in the family as they are starting out in adult life. What could be more useful as an adult than a bottle opener.

They all start the same... a chunk of cherry burl embedded in a block of epoxy resin. The wood needs to be baked in an oven at 250 degrees for about 24 hrs to remove the moisture. (Resin hates moisture.) I add dye to the resin and metallic flake to make it sparkle. I cast the wood and resin in a mold and place that in a pressure pot which forces all the air bubbles out of the resin. Here's what the finished blanks look like.

Molded cherry and resin blanks
Molded cherry and resin blanks

I turn the blanks on a lathe. The turning makes quite a mess. The shape of the bottle opener is a complete mystery when I start. I just let it happen. I bore a hole in the end and use a thread cutting tap to make the threads for the hardware. The real challenge is removing the the "bite marks" made by the lathe end. I've mastered this, but it's complicated and boring... so I'll spare you the details.

Here are the first two I made for my kids...

Two finished bottle openers
Two finished bottle openers

Here's the latest batch...

4 more finished openers
4 more finished openers

I only have 2 nephews and 1 niece left. Now I need to figure out what to make them when they get married!


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