I’ve been playing a LOT of Fallout 4. Yes, I’ve got the Shishkabob from the Forged and Grognak the Barbarian’s axe and costume. I’ve digested dozens of bottles of Nuka Cherry and now I need to bring a little bit of that fun back into the real world…
Step 1: Raise your agility score first!
I started with a couple scraps of hard maple. They need to be at least 3″ square, but a bit over is fine. Find center on the pieces by drawing two straight lines from opposing corners. Where they meet is your center line.
Now for holding these on the lathe I’ll be using a chuck with a set of pin jaws. These are expanded into a hole and create ample force needed to hold the blank while turning. I used a 35mm forstner bit at the drill press and drilled down about 1/4″ or so. Any bit in the range of 1″ – 1 1/2″ should be more than large enough for most pin jaws.
Step 2: Pick the workbench perk!
After turning the blank into round with a roughing gouge, I switched over to a round nose scraper.
I gave the piece a steep angle to the sides until my eye thought it looked like a bottle cap. I avoid too much measuring at the lathe, and prefer to just turn till it feels right.
The maple I used was 1″ thick material. This seemed a bit on the heavy side after turning ( I think 3/4 or even 5/8 would have made a better choice) so I removed about 1/4″ off the top and called it good.
It’s a pretty simple turning, and it was already beginning to look like a bottle cap. Now just sand it smooth (about 220) and lets move on to shaping.
Step 3: How’s your melee rating?
My lathe has an index feature. It simply means that it will lock the head stock in 12 evenly spaced points around the diameter of the spindle.
360°/12 point = 30° between points.
Since I only have a twelve point indexer on my lathe, the spacing on the bottle cap crimps is a bit large, but I think it still gives a good indication of the look I was going for.
I also struggled a bit getting the shape the way I wanted it. With a few more of these under my belt, I think I’d get it closer. Regardless, I more than happy with the shape I got.
Step 4: Science lvl 1
The next step is to drill a recess for the bottle opener lever. In this case, I am using a steel washer secured with a wood screw. I buy my woodscrews from TradeFix Direct who offer slotted head or twin thread options, this means I can pick the best screw for the job! Keep it simple! I then drilled out a 7/8 hole that overlaps the larger hole. I then pre-drilled a pilot hole and secured the flat washer with a #8 wood screw, making sure it is all flush with the back of the opener.
At this point you have a fully functional bottle opener in the shape of a bottle cap. Now… what can we do to step it up just a hair?
Step 5: Add another point to luck!
I first saw this image transfer method on Steve Ramsey’s YouTube channel. I’m not sure who came up with it originally.
I took a Nuka-Cola image I liked from the Internet and used GIMP to reverse the image and scale it to a 2” square.I then used some wax paper from my kitchen supplies. I just roughly cut it to letter size and sent it right though the inkjet printer.
The trick here is that wax paper will not absorb the ink so it will just sit on the surface of the paper till you transfer it.
Simply press it onto the raw wood and use some pressure to transfer the image. The lighter the wood and more uniform the grain the better this works. Maple is near perfect for this technique, but it should work to some degree on most woods.
After that use some spray lacquer to seal in the image. I used wipe on poly, and it worked, but I cannot recommend it as it was a bit fussy.