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Project by tyvekboy posted 02-23-2021 04:13 AM 2688 views 8 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
JAR OPENER • No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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NOTE: Illustrations have been updated to make constructing this project less confusing.


Being a senior citizen my hand strength seems to be waning. SWMBO has been hinting that she could use something to help her open some jars.

The other day I was browsing the internet and saw this Jar Opener that cost about $20.00 ($14.75 on sale). I thought that with all the wood scraps in my shop and broken bandsaw and old hack saw blades I could easily make one of these.

This is the perfect project to keep me busy during this pandemic.

I started with drawing the plans in Sketch Up. Then down to the shop to build it.

I started by laying out a 7-3/4 inch circle on a scrap piece of 3/4” plywood. Drew a line down the middle. Then 1 inch from the edge of the circle I drew 2 lines 30 degrees on either side of the line to form a 60 degree angle. I then cut the circle. Then I cut 2 pieces (yellow and blue in illustration above).

HINT: If you have enough scrap wood around the circle layout, you can cut the lines that make the 60 degree angle first. Use a piece of scrap (guide board) that has 2 edges that are parellel and bigger than the board your circle layout board. Align one of the parallel edges of the guide board to the line to be cut and screw it to the circle board in a waste area. Use the other edge of the Guide board against the table saw fence to cut the line. Repeat to cut the 2nd line.

Then the circle part can be cut on a bandsaw.

TIP: If you plan to mass produce this for gifts, you can use less wood if you make templates of the 2 top pieces. This will eliminate the use of the previous HINT. You will still have to cut the circle part of the pattern on the bandsaw.

Cut the kerfs in the blue part.

Before proceeding with this step, you need to identify what saw blade you are going to be using. I would suggest using a blade that is at least 1/2 inch wide like a hack saw or bandsaw blade. You will need 2 blades about 6 inches long. I used an angle grinder with a thin cutoff abrasive blade to cut my blades.

The blades need to project 3/16 to 1/4 inch from the wood.

I used a Japanese pull saw to cut the kerfs because it makes a really small kerf. To create a depth guide to make sure the kerf depth would be even I used double stick tape to attach a scrap of 1/4 inch plywood to one side of the pull saw. The edge of the scrap was located a distance from the fine teeth of the saw so when the saw blades are inserted they project the proper distance from the wood.

To guide the saw 1/4 inch from the side of the blue part I clamped a scrap piece of 3/4 inch plywood on top of the 1/4 inch depth guide and extended it below the teeth of the saw so that it would ride against the side of the blue part.

The blue part of the jar opener was then put in a vise and the saw was used to accurately cut the kerf the right distance from the edge and to the correct depth. The second kerf was cut after I flipped the blue part in the vise in the similar manner.

The 7-3/4 inch circle bottom piece was cut from a scrap piece of 1/4 inch piece of plywood. Then the yellow and blue pieces were glued to the bottom piece.

After the glue set I sanded the edges of the circles to match. I also used a round over bit to finish the edges of the blue and yellow pieces.

The saw blades now have to be sized. I cut my blades to a length so that when inserted into the kerfs they were about 1/4 inch shorter than the kerf. This allowed me to glue a thin piece of wood at the end of the blade to help keep it in the kerf. If the blades do not fit tight in the kerfs use a little epoxy to secure the blade in the kerf.

NOTE: The blades should point toward where the angle meets.

This is what my blades look like after installation. The blades that I used were 1/2 inch bandsaw blades.

All thatʻs left to do is drill and countersink the mounting holes and applying some finish. I used mineral oil on mine.

This is the my jar opener mounted under the cabinet.

I like it and SWMBO likes it too.

NOTE: If you want to build this you can save my illustrations and youʻll have enough information to do it.

Thanks for looking. Comments appreciated.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

18 comments so far

View mel52's profile


2424 posts in 1727 days

#1 posted 02-23-2021 05:04 AM

Sharp idea. I may be making one of these in the near future. Thanks for showing and a good job on the build. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View alholstein's profile


246 posts in 5505 days

#2 posted 02-23-2021 05:26 AM

That interesting our old plastic one just broke this weekend and I used the blades of it and some scrap plywood to make my own. Better than the old one, it should last as long as we do.

-- Al Holstein "I wood do it"

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


9454 posts in 2283 days

#3 posted 02-23-2021 10:15 AM

That is cool tyvek’... love the attachment to the bottom of whoever’s…

Knowing my dyslexia, I’d either mount the blades the wrong way or manage to saw the top off, making replacing a tad difficult… not to mention metal filings in the jar… so I’ll take that back… raj eht ni sgnilif latem noitnem ot ton…

You had me going for a while,

thought you were going to sacrifice a precious Jap saw for the cutting blade.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Sandy's profile


249 posts in 5387 days

#4 posted 02-23-2021 11:44 AM

Nice job, and good instructions, Alex, but will it float?


View oldrivers's profile


3115 posts in 3029 days

#5 posted 02-23-2021 12:26 PM

That is a Dandy little Tool for us aging folk, sometimes I need one of those. Nice job thanks for sharing.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8640 posts in 4816 days

#6 posted 02-23-2021 01:23 PM

This is great Tyevk because my wife needs one or should I say we both do; I’m the opener! Thanks for the great explanation and all photos! Now hunting for my broken band saw blades!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View doubleDD's profile


11296 posts in 3506 days

#7 posted 02-23-2021 01:32 PM

I like this little tool, could be a great help around the house. Now I just need a good hand to hold the jar. LOL.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9627 posts in 2175 days

#8 posted 02-23-2021 02:29 PM


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


312 posts in 3430 days

#9 posted 02-23-2021 03:03 PM

Very nice write up. Thanks

-- MrLaughingbrook

View Ivan's profile


17286 posts in 4330 days

#10 posted 02-23-2021 03:11 PM

Very clever and practical tool!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View luv2learn's profile


3158 posts in 3766 days

#11 posted 02-23-2021 04:35 PM

Thanks for sharing this idea. I like it!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View jjbuzard's profile


33 posts in 3497 days

#12 posted 02-23-2021 04:55 PM

Great Idea and it is made by you out of WOOD! Will have to try this myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

-- Jim B

View bondogaposis's profile


6185 posts in 3814 days

#13 posted 02-23-2021 06:49 PM

Great idea, thanks for posting it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Peteybadboy's profile


4849 posts in 3412 days

#14 posted 02-23-2021 08:50 PM

Congrats on DT3. Great idea

-- Petey

View tyvekboy's profile


2183 posts in 4476 days

#15 posted 02-23-2021 10:55 PM

Thanks to everyone who viewed and left comments on this project.

I have updated the illustrations to make it less confusing and more accurate.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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