Bar Flies - Cork Figures




Introduction: Bar Flies - Cork Figures

About: I'm cheap and like to use what I have on hand and I really enjoy taking things apart to salvage parts. Rather than be a precise engineering type of person, I'm more of an enthusiastic tinkerer. Making things i…

This is my entry for the Manly Crafts Contest. Like many men I like to drink beer. I happen to enjoy Belgian beers that come in large bottles sealed with corks. Being a pack rat I feel the need to hold onto to this detritus and find a use for it. My original idea was to make a chess set out of beer corks, caps, etc. But a whole set was going to take awhile (since I'm not an alcoholic) and making all those pawns was going to be monotonous. I had an idea to make fly figures out of the corks. Here is how I did it.

I apologize for some of the poor quality of the photos. My smart phone doesn't always focus as well as I'd like.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

The materials for a single bar fly are listed below. I made two because drinking alone is unhealthy.

  • 1 cork
  • 2 cork cages
  • 2 bottle caps
  • 2 faux jewels
  • 2 straight pins
  • 1 small flanged Phillips head screw
  • 1 spring with a widely flared end
The tools needed:

  • Needle nose pliers with wire cutter
  • Hand micro drill with assorted bits
  • Small Phillips screw driver (I used size 0)
  • 2 small clamps
  • Utility knife
  • Glue (I used shoe goo)
  • Old gift cards or some other disposable glue manipulation devce
  • Scissors

Step 2: Gather the Fly Legs

I decided to make the fly legs out of the braided supports of the cork cage that secures the cork in the bottle. To do this I popped the cork cap free from the upper ring of the cage using my fingers. Using my needle nose pliers with wire cutter I severed the upper ring four times to free the upper end of the braided support (toss these short remnants in the recycle bin). Then I severed the lower ring with the wire cutter and worked the lower loops of the support off the wire. These lower loops will be the feet of the fly.

Step 3: Attach the Legs

To attache the legs use a small manual drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the legs to drill three holes in each side of the cork. The middle hole should be drilled straight into the side of the cork. The end holes should be at angles to the ends of the cork. This gives the legs a more natural stance in my opinion. Then dip the base of the legs in your glue and insert in the holes. I performed the gross bending of the legs prior to insertion and then did some tweaking once the glue dried. Once the glue has dried use your utility knife and scissors to remove any excess glue that has leaked out around the base of the legs.

Step 4: Add Your Senses

In this step we'll add the eyes and antenna so our bar fly can find his drink. Take your two faux jewels and turn face down. Trim a strip of an old gift card to spread glue on the back of the jewels. Press them to the upper side of the end of the cork you've chosen as the fly's head. With that done dip the pointy end of your straight pin in the glue and stick into the cork over the eyes. When the glue is dry use your utility knife and scissors to remove excess glue.

Step 5: Winging Away

For the wings bend the the left over wire from step two into loops with a tail sticking out. Smear glue into each cap and place the wire loops in the glue. Secure with a clamp until dry.

Use a small drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the wire to make wing mounting holes in the top/back of the fly.

When the wing glue is dry trim the wing wire to a short length, dip it in glue and push into the holes in the back.

Step 6: Get Nosy

Now we need to give the fly a proboscis so it can drink. Take your spring with a flared end and insert a flanged screw into the narrow end. Use a small drill bit slightly smaller in diameter than the screw threads to drill a hole below and between the eyes. Then install the spring by screwing the screw into the cork. With that you're bar fly is complete. Repeat these steps to make your own swarm.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't have jewels for the eyes. So I improvised :D


    9 years ago on Introduction

    All you need is an eye screw and you have some unique christmas ornaments. Great Idea!!!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I honestly can't remember. Most of my springs were salvaged from household appliances and the occasional piece of lab equipment. I think they may have been motor brush springs.


    9 years ago

    q what brand drink are those bottle caps?


    Reply 9 years ago

    The plain blue caps are from Delirium Tremens from the Huygue Brewery in Belgium. The ones with the red V are from Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania.