One of the things I try to do with all of my creations is to use objects and material that someone else no longer has use of. Railroad spikes are one of those things. They can be found alongside tracks all over the country, at the local swap meet, even on Ebay. In any event, they're very easy to procure. 

That makes them ideal for experimenting with and figuring out new things to do with them, repurposing them so that we can get more use out of them 

So I came up with this idea for making a bottle opener. It's pretty easy, not terribly demanding, and is a great way to familiarize yourself with some basic power tool skills. 

And if you're lucky enough to live near a Techshop, I highly recommend checking them out. I made this at Techshop. They have all the tools necessary to make this cool project. 

Step 1: Materials list

But in case you're not near a Techshop, here's what you'll need:

Eye protection/ear protection

Railroad spike


Center punch

Drill press 

C-clamps or vise clamps

A piece of scrap wood

Vertical metal-cutting bandsaw OR Hacksaw


Steel file

Drill bits - metal cutting

Drill bits - chamfering (optional)


Straight edge/ruler

Pedestal grinder
Thats Intense!
Do you think the railroad track near me will miss a spike ?
So long as you are careful, there are more spikes by a typical rail than you can carry. Just walk along the side of the rail (not between the rails!) and pick up any that are just laying around. I pick up all kinds, from relatively unscathed to the terribly disfigured. You'd be amazed at what you can do with these. I will have some new Instructables on that stuff very soon.
Why not keep going on this project? At TechShop, you can sandblast the surfaces clean, and then power coat it!
Well, to be honest, that is the plan. But I know some people dig on the rustic look. So long as you wipe down the steel after use (these railroad spikes are clocking in around 1025-1040 steel - quite mild) they will develop a rather nice patina. <br> <br>But yes, you're right. Sandblasting and powdercoating will be pretty sweet, too.
I am probably going to try that myself soon. But it literally takes about 15 minutes from start to finish to make this, so I doubt the mill will cut any time off. <br> <br>That being said, using a mill would make it mighty pretty. :)
I'm totally going to make this on a mill. it shall be the manliest bottle opener not made out of an animal!

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