Bottle opener made from reclaimed mahogany and accented with zebra wood with a red tinted epoxy inlay of the University of Alabama “A” logo. The deer’s chin opens up the beer bottles. Cheers! Don’t worry — it is only going to stay outside during cookouts.
> Reclaimed mahogany baluster
> Zebrawood scrap pieces
> 1/4″ plywood scrap
> Wood glue, preferably in a ketchup bottle http://amzn.to/2kID2jI
> Acetone http://amzn.to/2xcRdEt
> Laser printer print-out
> 2-part epoxy http://amzn.to/2ilceDF
> Red dye for epoxy http://amzn.to/2xWcqBf
> Boiled linseed oil http://amzn.to/2jQvlr6
> Deer head bottle opener
> Miter saw http://amzn.to/2j614UM
> Table saw
> Screw clamps http://amzn.to/2k4EvjT
> Thickness planer http://amzn.to/2j4ISuI
> Wooden ruler http://amzn.to/2gdizmg
> Pull saw http://amzn.to/2qppywb
> Oscillating multi-tool http://amzn.to/2k4ujrn
> Router http://amzn.to/2xWzjED
> Rabeting router bit http://amzn.to/2pZ5Tmj
> Band saw http://amzn.to/2j4auNu
> Palm router http://amzn.to/2obmZeX
> 1/4″ straight cut bit http://amzn.to/2j4dCsW
> Chisel http://amzn.to/2iDRapV
> Propane torch
> Random orbital sander http://amzn.to/2jrwsJC
> Key hole router bit http://amzn.to/2xdWbRk
The build actually starts off with a few of the reclaimed mahogany deck balusters. It’s not often I get to work with mahogany! I cut the long lengths down into fourths at about 12″ for the height of the back panel.
I use my table saw to prepare these pieces to be glued together, I cut 2 opposite sides smooth and flat.
Then I apply way too much ketchup glue to one side of each of the pieces and then spread it out before sticking them together. I try to line up the grain as much as possible so that the pieces will hopefully blend into one another decently in the final piece.
I use some F-style screw clamps to hold the lamination together while it dries over night.
The next day, the whole piece gets run through the thickness planer after the glue squeeze out is scraped off. This smooths the top and bottom surface before I cut it down to size.
The slab is cut in half on the table saw with one piece being used as the main back piece and part of the other piece as the front of the box that will catch the bottle caps.
The miter saw is used to cut both of these pieces down to length and then I move it over to a 15 degree angle to cut and angle in both sides of the front of the box as well as matching cuts at the bottom of the main panel.
To connect the 2 mahogany pieces I decided to use some small pieces of zebra wood to add a little bit of contrast and a cool visual texture. I cut both sides to size on the table saw and then lower the blade to 3/8″ above the table and use my miter gauge to cut out a dado in each end that is just slightly wider than the thickness of the mahogany.
Because of the angle in the sides of the box, it was a tricky glue-up. Luckily I had saved the cut offs from the mahogany pieces to help with this step. I apply glue to all 4 of the joints and then use the wedges to create a flat surface to clamp on. This is then set to dry for a few hours.
I cut each of the sides about 1/8″ longer than they had to be so I could cut them flush, because the zebra wood is pretty dense and I knew sanding the end grain flush would be very difficult. I use my pull saw on all 4 corners to cut everything flush and then touch it up with my sander.
The oscillating multi-tool is used to do a little bit of detail sanding on the hard to reach faces inside the box.
I kind of need to close off the bottom of this now to keep the bottle caps from falling off, otherwise it might make a mess… I use a rabeting bit inside of the router table to cut a 1/4″ deep rabet inside the bottom perimeter of the box.
This recess is then filled with a 1/4″ piece of plywood. I usually will square off the corners from the router, but this wood was pretty hard and it’s only visible from the underside so I just left it as is and glued and clamped it in place.
The top of the piece didn’t look quite right just being square so I settled upon adding a little bit of a different shape to it and cutting a half circle in the top on the bandsaw.
Now this is a gift for an Alabama fan so a little bit of customization was needed. I print out the Alabama “A” on my laser printer and then use acetone to transfer the toner to the piece of wood (note this has to be printed as a mirror image to show up right on the wood).
Now I can use this as a pattern with a 1/4″ straight cut bit in my router and start to carve out the…… “A hole”?
After using the palm router to cut as close to the line as I could get (slow and steady), I fine tune the shape of the engraving with a chisel.
I mix up a batch of 2-part epoxy and add in some powdered red dye a little bit at a time until it’s dark enough to closely match the Alabama dark red color.
Bubbles are removed using a propane torch by lightly brushing it over the surface every 5 minutes or so as the bubbles rise to the surface until everything looks clear.
First with the belt sander, and then with the random orbital sander, I sand down the epoxy flush with the surface of the mahogany. This whole carving and filling process would have been a lot easier prior to assembly, but that’s what happens when you change design on the fly and decide to change the design on yourself.
With everything sanded through the grits, the finishing touch is adding a way to hang this thing on the wall. I flip the bottle opener over and clamp a piece of scrap on it to act as a fence for my palm router while I use a keyhole bit to cut out a notch.
After cleaning the sawdust off of the piece I apply some boiled linseed oil with a rag. I let that dry for a day and then apply a second coat and let it soak in. I find this gives a very classic and flat look.
Now we’re only missing one thing… a way to open up bottles! I surprised the friend with the wood part of the bottle opener because they had this metal piece with nothing to attach it to. We attach the deer head bottle opener to the wooden holder with a couple of screws.