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A Beer Balancing Act

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Project by Jonathan posted 07-05-2011 05:42 PM 2798 views 14 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this for a friend, who is a Bud Light fan. I actually had him give me bottle caps, partly because I don’t drink Bud Light, but also because he’d have a tiny connection to the project. This could obviously be made to suit anybody’s favorite beer, although the screw off caps work well, as they are flat, compared to the pop off caps that become creased once removed.

I made a wine balancer of a similar design (minus the bottle caps of course) some months ago, but have yet to apply a finish to that one and thus haven’t posted it. Larry’s BBQ Boards inspired me to add the beer caps. I did do it a bit differently though, as I didn’t completely sink the caps into the balancer because I wanted a bit of relief in order to lend depth to the piece. I used a forstner bit on the drill press to drill the bottle cap holes. I figured this would help hide the sharp edges of the caps, yet still allow them to protrude above the maple.

I basically used the same starting measurements as a wine balancer, but had to play with the angle in order to get the fulcrum point right. I ended up with a 33-degree angle, although I suspect anywhere in the 30-33-degree angle would work. I think 31-degrees would be better for a Bud Light bottle, but I didn’t have one at the time and was using a different bottle that I thought was similar in shape/size/dimensions. I used the same angle on all 4-sides to keep everything even.

I ended up glueing small squares of white oak onto the backs of the bottle caps in order to be able to securely attach the caps to the maple. There is the little plastic seal around the underside of the cap, so I cut the oak squares to about 15/32”-square in order to sit inside that plastic ring. The oak anchors protrude past the caps ever so slightly, in order to provide an unobstructed glue-up.

I applied 6-coats of lacquer, then glued the caps in place, before applying the last 2-coats of lacquer. I applied the wax about 2-days after the lacquer.

Wood: curly maple, red oak on back of bottle caps
Finish: Transtint Dark Vintage Maple dye (diluted solution in distilled water), 8-coats Deft rattle can semi-gloss lacquer, 2-coats Renaissance Wax (I ended up removing a little bit more of the dye than I initially intended to, so the curl didn’t pop quite as much as I would’ve liked, but it was my first time doing that so it was experimental. I also wiped on a little dewaxed shellac on the inside of the hole to help seal the wood.
Glue: CA glue to attach oak backers to caps, then CA glue to anchor the caps into the recesses.
Sanding: 120-150-220-320-400-600, 000 synthetic steel wool before the last 2-coats of lacquer (I would’ve used 0000 synthetic steel wool, but didn’t have any).

(Sorry these aren’t the best pictures. I used my phone to take them, as the camera battery was dead.)

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."





9 comments so far

View Cozmo35's profile

Cozmo35

2199 posts in 1790 days


#1 posted 07-05-2011 06:23 PM

Bud Light the breakfast of Champions! LOL. Great job.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Diggerjacks's profile

Diggerjacks

1787 posts in 1893 days


#2 posted 07-05-2011 07:07 PM

Hello Jonathan

A good idea

And a good job

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View degoose's profile

degoose

7052 posts in 2109 days


#3 posted 07-05-2011 09:33 PM

It just so happens I too have some Bud Lite caps… I had not thought of using a beer bottle to balance .. not a bad idea though… more of a talking point amongst non wine drinkers…
Glad to give some inspiration… you taken a simple idea and run with it… like it a lot..
Also like the relief… making the caps proud of the timber…another great adaptation…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View jack1's profile

jack1

1953 posts in 2781 days


#4 posted 07-05-2011 11:10 PM

;0) my favorite beer…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View FloridaArt's profile

FloridaArt

727 posts in 2052 days


#5 posted 07-06-2011 02:32 AM

Nicely done. I need to make some of these.

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3317 posts in 2689 days


#6 posted 07-06-2011 03:12 AM

What a great twist on the balancer. I have been pushing around a Coca-Cola one for a bit and this one gives me some ideas. Thanks for posting.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1805 days


#7 posted 07-06-2011 06:38 AM

Thank you for the kind words everyone. I was happy without the way it turned out, and my friend was very pleased with it.

I personally liked the angles on the sides as it gives the piece a bit more surface area to balance on, without looking as wide and blocky as something squared-off.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1805 days


#8 posted 07-06-2011 04:04 PM

(Edit: Sorry, the above should read, “I was happy with the way it turned out, and my friend was very pleased with it.)

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View mikethetermite's profile

mikethetermite

473 posts in 2020 days


#9 posted 07-25-2011 10:32 PM

That looks great and not a bad idea. What was the size of the block you started with?

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

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