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Beer Swap 2019

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Project by RichBolduc posted 08-23-2019 01:51 PM 406 views 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So as I sat there drinking my Red Breast trying to figure out what the hell to make for the swap this year… I looked up and saw the hops wall art I received in last years swap from Tom Regnier. It then dawned on my that I should figure out how to cast hops for a bottle opener handle. I had coworkers at AWW and Stainless Bottle Stoppers were there and sent them back with some prototypes of new ones they’re releasing (one is released as of this post).

Casting hops had some unique challenges… Mainly drying them enough. I tried a few methods, but found that the one that seemed to work best for me was to put them in the toaster over for 3 or so hours at about 150. Trial and error for this was about a pound and a half of hops and 5 2×2x6 blanks of Alumilite. You’d be surprised how many hops it takes to fill a mold when they start compressing. I still have a 2×2x3 blank I may make a stand-up opener with.

I had one that I was happy with, but it exploded while buffing it out (the buffer threw it into a wall). So I had to scramble to get the one I sent out done. The new handle was turned down and got 5 or 6 coats of thick CA. I then sanded it to 4000 grit, and put some friction polish on it. I didn’t want to take another chance on the buffing wheel

I also did a cup with a stainless steel liner. I thought it was Sapele but after turning it i’m not sure. The cup was stabilized and the bottom blew out when cutting it off the lathe… -_- Grant was nice enough to not show that picture. Accidents happen though when trying to turn an 1/8” thick hollow form.

This is the one that never made it :(

Rich





22 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4117 posts in 1063 days


#1 posted 08-23-2019 02:01 PM

Nicely done, Rich, and way to up your casting game! The turned cup is great, too.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

1083 posts in 597 days


#2 posted 08-23-2019 02:06 PM


Nicely done, Rich, and way to up your casting game! The turned cup is great, too.

- Dave Polaschek

Thanks Dave… Now its time to step up my stabilizing game…. Just need to get some fittings and plum up my new stabilizing station…. Still contemplating moving my casting inside too

Rich

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3877 posts in 1868 days


#3 posted 08-23-2019 02:35 PM

Definitely one of the more unusual items in the swap. Really cool.

EDIT: I just had a random thought…I wonder if you could simply put the hops into the vacuum chamber for a while to dry them out?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

4030 posts in 2458 days


#4 posted 08-23-2019 02:38 PM

Rich, quite creative! Resin hops bottle opener. Perfect. That cup is very nice also. You have become quite a turner!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

1083 posts in 597 days


#5 posted 08-23-2019 02:39 PM

Thanks Jeff… Considering my new job, I better get better too…lol

Rich


Rich, quite creative! Resin hops bottle opener. Perfect. That cup is very nice also. You have become quite a turner!

- jeffswildwood


View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

1083 posts in 597 days


#6 posted 08-23-2019 02:40 PM

Maybe if the chamber was heated… That may help some. I tried stabilzing the hops also, but they needed to dry out first as the moisture in them reacted with the cactus juice.

Rich


Definitely one of the more unusual items in the swap. Really cool.

EDIT: I just had a random thought…I wonder if you could simply put the hops into the vacuum chamber for a while to dry them out?

- Lazyman


View torus's profile

torus

324 posts in 894 days


#7 posted 08-23-2019 03:04 PM

Rich

This hops buds beer opener is brilliant!
I want one (nope, I want five of them)!

GrantA, you better insure this opener, or it will be “lost” ;))

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3033 posts in 2829 days


#8 posted 08-23-2019 03:08 PM

Rich – really creative approach to the hops handle. Seems like an obvious idea now that we all see your fine work. Making a coozie out of wood 1/85” thick seems like it would definitely qualify as pushing the limits of turning.

Good to hear you weren’t injured in any of the shop mishaps (or mishops). Looking forward to seeing what you make with the new casting set up. Who knows, I might need to commission you or Dave P to make some corn castings for a swap??

Hmm – maybe a stabilized corn cob mallet handle?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

1083 posts in 597 days


#9 posted 08-23-2019 03:10 PM

Full size blanks and openers run me about $20 in material. These style openers aren’t available yet on the market, but should be soon. The 1/2 size blank with their stand-up opener (which is available) would be about $12-$15 in materials to make.

Rich


Rich

This hops buds beer opener is brilliant!
I want one (nope, I want five of them)!

GrantA, you better insure this opener, or it will be “lost” ;))

- torus


View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

1083 posts in 597 days


#10 posted 08-23-2019 03:14 PM

Ohhhh I’ve already looked in to casting corn cobs. I actually saved some, but didn’t dry them in time so they got nasty… I still plan on dye stabilizing some corn cobs. I’ve been waiting to get you as a recipient before I try it again :P

Rich


Rich – really creative approach to the hops handle. Seems like an obvious idea now that we all see your fine work. Making a coozie out of wood 1/85” thick seems like it would definitely qualify as pushing the limits of turning.

Good to hear you weren t injured in any of the shop mishaps (or mishops). Looking forward to seeing what you make with the new casting set up. Who knows, I might need to commission you or Dave P to make some corn castings for a swap??

Hmm – maybe a stabilized corn cob mallet handle?

- EarlS


View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

10750 posts in 1619 days


#11 posted 08-23-2019 03:35 PM

Dear Lord, no cast corn!!! ;-)

This is awesome work Rich. I love the opener, extremely creative idea and obviously, extremely appropriate! You never disappoint!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View pottz's profile

pottz

5978 posts in 1465 days


#12 posted 08-23-2019 07:50 PM

very cool opener looks great,ive done the corn cob pens in the past.very creative,nice job.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12891 posts in 2861 days


#13 posted 08-23-2019 08:28 PM

That is a hip beer opener and unique gift.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1352 posts in 1591 days


#14 posted 08-23-2019 10:03 PM

Super creative with the hops cast like that, great thinking and perfectly executed.
The turning work on the cup is also superb.
Very nice swap items, I,m tipping Grant will be thrilled with whats he received.
Very very nice.
Regards
Anth

EDIT Oh and all was not lost with your pressure vessel explosion, I got to learn about wood stabilizing. Thank you for that.

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

1076 posts in 1538 days


#15 posted 08-24-2019 12:52 AM

A fantastic idea for the beer swap and an excellent job executing the plan! I’m sure a number of us would pay for our own copy of that hopped-up opener! Way to power through all the problems and still turn out an outstanding product!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

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