Introduction: Broken Bat Bottle Carrier and Pop Top
This is another instructable that starts with a broken baseball bat. What is destined for the firewood pile can be reused for another sporting event. Of course, you can use a new bat, but . .
Broken baseball bat
½” Baltic Birch or other plywood
¼” Baltic Birch or other plywood
½” dowel pieces
Scrap piece of wood . . . needs to be square
Table saw/chop saw/band saw/jig saw (Don’t need them all, just whichever one you have).
½ Drill bit
2”, 1 5/8”, 1 1/8” Forstner Bits
Nail gun or hammer and finishing nails
Hot glue gun
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Step 1: Inspect the Bat/Cut Down the Bat.
Inspect the bat to determine where it is broken. You are going to break it down in a section of the handle and a section of the barrel. You will need approximately 10 inches of the handle (from the end) and about an 8 inch section of the barrel (preferably the end).
Cut down the bat parts into the the respective sections. Bigger can be trimmed down. . . so bigger is better.. Put them to the side for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Cut Down the Plywood.
These are not big pieces, so you may be able to use scrap. If not, you can grab pre-cut 24x24 at you local hardware store
Cut down the ½ in plywood as follows.
1 - 5 ½ by 9 ¾ (base)
2- 5 ½ by 13.
These will need to be tapered. See the photograph for the measurements (sides)
Cut down the ¼” plywood as follows
4 – 1 ½” by 9 ¾” – (slats)
Step 3: Build the Bottle Carrier Base
Attach the two tapered sides to the base. I generally glue them and use a couple of finishing nails in each side. You basically have the bottom to the carrier and the supporting sides.
Attach two slats on the open sides of the carrier. I glue them and use a finishing nail in each side. Space the slats 1 ½ inches apart from each other. If needed, use a square to make sure that the carrier is squared up. . . or use the Pythagorean theorem (send an-email to your high school math teacher and let them know you finally used it). You now have a handle-less carrier.
Step 4: Add the Baseball Bat Handle
Find the handle part of the broken bat that you cut down 15 minutes ago. Measure the distance between sides of the carrier and mark on the baseball bat handle. Cut the handle to fit.
Noting the size of the knob of the baseball handle, mark what looks like a good center for where the handle will be installed. Measure and mark on both sides. See photo (looks off-ful, but it is actually square). Drill a ½’ hole in each side.
Take the baseball bat handle and mark the center of each end with a sharpie. Then take the handle and dry fit it. Line up the sharpie marks in the center of the drilled holes. Clamp the sides so that the bat handle stays in place. Through the existing holes in the sides, drill ½” into each end of the bat handle.
Take a 2-inch length of the ½” dowel cover with glue and tap into the holes. Trim off the excess dowel. You now have your carrier.
Step 5: Bottle Opener
Find the barrel end of the bat. There are two options that I consider when doing a bottle opener, they are nothing new. . . I am sure you can find similar styles in another instructable. The critical elements here is that we need to square of what is otherwise a round object. Both examples require cutting down the barrel end of the bat. Once you have a flat side, you can work off of that side and this becomes easier. As you can see by the pics, one uses an insert that you can buy from your local woodshop, the other utilizes a nail to assist in opening. In the following steps, Plan A will be for the insert, Plan B is for the one with the nail.
Step 6: Cut the Bottle Opener
Find a square piece of scrap (“4 x 12”) and hot glue the barrel piece perpendicular (as best as you can guess . . . we will square up as we go) to the scrap piece. Don’t be afraid to use the glue. You want to make sure that it holds the piece well. You will be surprised to see how easily it can be peeled off after you make the cut. Don’t rush. NOTE: If the barrel has some writing or an autograph that you would like to preserve, then glue the barrel in a manner that the writing side is on the opposite side of the cut.
Place the bat at the end of the scrap piece so that about 1 inch of the barrel hangs off the scrap piece. You could do this as well on a table saw. You are going to make one cut, so you can have a fairly meaty cut. Go slow. If you have writing on the barrel that you want to keep, make sure that it is opposite the blade side.
Place the bat at the end of the scrap piece so that about 1 inch of the barrel hangs off the scrap piece. You could do this as well on a table saw. You are going to make three cuts, so you only take about ½”. Go slow. Rotate the piece, glue as you did before and make two more cuts. You will be left with three rough sides and only side that remains rounded. If you have writing on the barrel that you want to keep, make sure that you don’t cut off that side. You want to be left with about 1 3/4 of width to the wood.
Step 7: Drill the Bottle Opener
Both openers will be drilled with forstner bits.
Smooth the cut side with the belt sander. Mark a location on the smooth face (towards the end of the barrel end to locate the insert. Place the barrel in a vise smooth side up. About 2 1/2 inches from the larger end of the barrel section, use the 2” forstner bit and drill a hole about 1/8” deep; just enough to accommodate the insert. Then use the 1 1/8” forstner bit to drill approximately ¾” in deep. Rough fit the insert as you go. Set the insert, drill two pilot holes and insert screws that are supplied with the insert. The opener is done.
PLAN B Smooth the cut sides with the belt sander. Mark a location on the smooth face opposite the uncut side 2 inches from the end on center. Place the barrel in a vise smooth side up. Use the 1 3/8 forstner bit and drill a hole about 3/4” deep.
Step 8: Add Nail/Trim Cut
The remainder of the instructable is for the PLAN B opener.
Using your bandsaw or table saw, take an angle cut off the tip of the barrel to open the end of the previously drilled hole. I would aim for a 50 degree angle, but it depends on the look you are going for. You could even square off the end so long as you left enough material to allow for the access of the cap to be pried off.
About ¼” from the back side of the hole you just cut, drill a pilot hole
for a nail. The size of the hole will dependent upon the nail that you use. Drill through so that you have holes on either side. Remember that you are working with a baseball bat that has already been cracked or broken, so too small of a hole may crack the bat when you drive the nail. I have a fairly robust used concrete nail, so I made a fairly sizeable hole.
Drive the nail through the side holes. Again, don’t force to hard or you will crack the wood. Drill a larger hole and secure with epoxy if necessary. However, if you take the time, you should not have a problem.
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