Introduction: Wooden Beer Koozie W/ Built-in Bottle Opener
In this Instructable I'll show you how I made this Wooden Beer Koozie with a built-in bottle opener. I made this koozie on the lathe, but you could also do most of the work on a decent drill press and shape the outside by hand.
Check out the Instructable and if you want detailed plans for the build you can head over to my DIY Wooden Beer Koozie post on my site.
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Step 1: Get Your Materials and Tools
Here is what you'll need for the build. The links below are affiliate links and help support my channel and let me build more projects.
- Woodturning Lathe
- Carbide Turning Tools
- Nova Midi Chuck
- Center Finder
- Jacobs Chuck
- Tailstock Live Center
- 1/16" Parting Tool
- Forstner Bits
- Drive Spur
Step 2: Peparing the Turning Blank
First I cut a 6"x6"x3" maple turning blank in half to two ~6"x3"x3" blanks. This gave me the largest cylinder from the blank to fit a 2-⅝” can.
I marked the center of the blank on both sides then used a compass to layout a 3" circle. After that I cut the corners off the blank to make rough turning easier then mounted the blank in the lathe using a drive spur in the headstock and a live center in the tailstock.
Step 3: Turning the Outside of the Koozie
Next I started by roughing the blank to a smooth cylinder with the square cutter. I found the easiest way is to start with a series of plunge cuts working your way across the blank, then as you get closer to a smooth surface switch over to left to right sweeps.
When I got down close to a cylinder I switched over to the square radius tool for a few finishing passes to clean up the surface.
Step 4: Hollowing the Koozie Out (try #1)
To hollow out the blank it needs to be mounted it in a chuck. So I cut a tenon on the end of the blank with the square tool and then under cut it into a dovetail to match the chuck. I took the blank off the lathe and installed the chuck on the headstock and put the dovetailed tenon into the chuck and locked it down.
I'll go through what I did on the first one then show you a better way on the second one I made. I started by using a 1/2" drill bit to drill a hole 4" deep. Then I came back and cleared out the waste with my round cutter. By the time I was done the walls were pretty thin, but the can fit...for now.
Step 5: Hollowing the Koozie Out (try #2)
The wood I was using was still "wet wood" so the next day I came back and the blank had shrunk substantially as it dried. I didn't prepare for this and figured out I needed to start with a larger blank.
So I switched over to a 3.5" square walnut blank and this time I cleared out the majority of the waste with a forstner bit. With a larger consistent starting point it was much easier to hollow out the blank. I used a combination of the round and square radiused tools to work the edges until I had the right fit for my can.
Step 6: Final Finishing of Koozie Outside Surface
I took a few more finishing passes on the outside of the blank and then trued of the lip of the koozie as it wasn't cut perfectly square.
With my shape ready I started sanding. I started with 120 grit and when I sanded the outside of the koozie I used a block of wood to get a nice straight surface. Then I worked my way up in grits by hand all the way to 600 grit.
Step 7: Cutting the Koozie to Size
Now it was time to cut the koozie to size. I marked a pencil line at 5" from the lip and used a detailer and parting tool to establish that line and cut away the wood down to where I had about a 3/4" piece holding the koozie on to the rest of the blank. Then I stopped the lathe and cut it all the way off with a pull saw.
Step 8: Prepping Koozie for the Bottle Opener Insert
I wanted the koozie to serve double duty, so I decided to mount this bottle opener insert into the bottom. The insert needs a couple recesses drilled into the wood to make it work and be flush mounted.
I flipped the koozie around and mounted it back in the chuck this time expanding the jaws into the mouth of the koozie. I used forstner bits again here and drilled a 2" wide recess to flush mount the insert. I also needed to bore a hole to give the bottle cap room to get into the opener.
After the holes were drilled I finish sanded the bottom of the koozie.
Step 9: Apply the Finish and Mount the Bottle Opener Insert
For the finish I'm using a water based wood turner's finish I've had a lot of success with. You can wipe it on in thin coats and it dries in about 30 minutes. I ended up putting on about 5 coats sanding with 1000 grit paper in between each one.
The last piece was to install the insert. It's stainless steel with 2 screws so there shouldn't be any issues with rusting from moisture.
Step 10: Salvaging the Maple Blank
And back to the maple piece from the beginning, I realized it was the perfect size for a bottle of IBR Root Beer so I finished that one too. Cans are a consistent size, but I found bottles are all over the place. So you'll need to custom fit your bottle koozie to your favorite brew.
That's it, you're done! You can watch the full video here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4PVCvHrXmA
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