These are very fun to make and sell. It’s great seeing someone’s eyes when they really realize what they have. Everyone loves magnets!
These are commonly referred to as magnetic bottle openers, but I also like to call them “cap catchers”, because that’s what they do. By the time you’re done with this it will stick to anything metal – be it the side of a fridge or the tailgate on your truck. Great for camping, tailgating, or whatever. It will also catch those pesky caps when you pop open a refreshing bottle of beer or pop.
So let’s get going.
- Wood – any kind of 1″ by will do. Pine is a good one as it’s lighter, but I’ve also made it out of denser material like Purpleheart. You don’t want it to be too heavy or the magnets can’t hold it
- Rare Earth Magnets – I usually go with the N48, 1/2″ x 1/16″. A typical opener will take 18 of these.
- Iron Bottle Opener – you can find these online, or Hobby Lobby is a good place.
- A couple screws
- Stain or Boiled Linseed Oil – if I’m using pine, it’s going to get some stain. If I use another wood, I’ll use boiled linseed oil to finish it, to let the natural wood pop
- Sander and Sandpaper – You can sand by hand, but an orbital sander is really good for these. I usually only use 150 and 240 grit for these
- 1/2″ forstner bit
- Drill Press
- Table Saw
- Medium CA Glue
- To start with, pick your piece of wood. Then we need to use the table saw to rip it down to 9″ x 4″. These measurements don’t need to be 100%, but that’s about the ratio you want.
- After this I put my 1/2″ forstner bit into the drill press and mount my wood. I ultimately created a template (see below), but essentially you want to drill a set of 3 holes (2 in the top corners and one in the bottom middle) about 1/4″ deep. We’ll be stacking 3 of the magnets into the hole. You’ll want them close to the surface, but not extruding out of it, as it can scratch the metal surfaces.
- Drill 3 more holes in a triangle shape about halfway down the wood in the center. Try to get the spacing close to what you see in the picture. These are the ones that will actually make the caps stick from the front. This one’s a little trickier and you’ll have to play with your depth to find what works for you. Essentially, you want to go almost all the way thru the entire piece, but don’t go all the way thru. Watch out for the center piece of the bit since it extends out a little bit. What you’re going for here is to have it as close to the front of the wood as you can without going thru, so the metal caps can stick.
- The next step is to sand with the 150 grit as well as you can. This is a great way to great rid of any divets or imperfections in the wood. I like using my orbital sander for this. This is also a good time to round the edges (I have a router and route mine, but that’s certainly not required).
- I then sand with the 240 grit, just to get a good smooth finish.
- (Not necessarily required): Use a compressor or canned air to blow the dust out of the holes.
- I then like to take a wet cloth and wiped down every surface of the wood. This will raise the grain of the wood. After it dries, do a quick pass with the 240 grit to sand the fibers back down. This will ensure a super smooth finish. (Blow out the holes again.)
- Now that you’re done prepping the wood you can finally start gluing in the magnets!
- Very carefully use the medium CA glue and fill in one of the holes so that you’re covering the bottom of the hole. Place 3 magnets in the hole (placing the “sticky surface” facing toward the back for the back side, and toward the front for the front side). Use a pencil eraser to push them as tight in the hole as you can.
- Do each hole one at a time. Be careful as these are very strong magnets and if you give them any freedom they will jump toward the magnets in the hole you just placed.
- Note that if you need to remove the magnets you must do so very quickly, before the CA sets. Something that works well for me is to place a piece of paper over the hole and then use a stack of magnets on the top of the paper to pull them out.
- Place 3 magnets in every hole and then let the glue set for a while.
- If you were careful with the glue you should be done with that part, but if some escaped the hole you might need to lightly sand/clean the surface one more time with the 240.
- Once all the glue is all done and you’ve resanded (if you needed to), the next step is finishing.
- If you’re using pine, you can put a coat of stain on, and then spray with poly.
- If you’re using a denser wood (like the purpleheart shown here), then I use Boiled Linseed Oil and wipe on a coat. I use a cloth to make sure to get every inch of surface and then let it dry for a few hours. Then I will come back and do another coat.
- Once you’re all dry, the last step is screw in your opener. I like to do mine in the center of the top and down an inch or 2. You just want to make sure to not put screws in where your magnets are.
- Then you’re done!
Want to see more? We carry a variety of these in our store: Magnetic Cast Iron Bottle Openers