magnetic bottle opener sliding down fridge - need ideas

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Forum topic by bues0022 posted 04-11-2011 06:33 PM 5541 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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250 posts in 3769 days

04-11-2011 06:33 PM

I few months ago I posted this project:

They are bottle openers, and the one with the spalted top has magnets imbedded in the walnut layer. It is finished with paste wax. Now, when you put it on the fridge, the wood is too smooth and it slides right down – despite the magnets having enough force to hold it (just not vertically because of the low friction). In an attempt to fix it without causing significant visual problems, I made some small silicone “bumpers” and attached them to the front. While this is better, with repeated open/close cycles of the fridge, it still falls down. The only thing that seems to work right now is to put the top silicone bumpers above a different magnet so it’ll stay put.

Question for you all: How can I make thes bottle openers stay on the fridge without causing significant visual defects? I thought about finishing the outside with something other than wax, but if I dipped in silicone, that layer would eventually peel, and look terrible. Any other thoughts? I want it as inconspicuous as possible.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

14 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13571 posts in 3302 days

#1 posted 04-11-2011 06:37 PM

The only thing I can think of is to use a stronger magnet. Some of these more modern magnets are exceptionally strong.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3879 days

#2 posted 04-11-2011 07:03 PM

I agree with Bertha…the magnet here is not strong enough…..or you might want to imbed a second magnet to keep the opener from turning and sliding. You can make texture (like fluting the handle) for a “grip” which might create enough friction to slow the sliding. You could imbed a small piece of sand paper or add some sand to glue and make some small inlays to slow it down…..There are alot of ways to do this….just depends on what you want to have the finished project to appear.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3950 days

#3 posted 04-11-2011 07:15 PM

sounds like magnets is it

you might take some 60grit paper to the door
make it have the traction lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 3841 days

#4 posted 04-11-2011 07:22 PM

Stronger magnets…

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View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3769 days

#5 posted 04-11-2011 07:31 PM

I was thinking about stronger magnets, but that doesn’t help much for the two I’ve already made :( I got them at the craft store, and there are 6, 1/2” magnets in each one. While not rare earth strong, they are heft little buggers. Maybe I’ll have to order some of the Lee valley ones, they seem much stronger (and cheap!) but I’ll end up paying more in shipping than the magnets I’d buy! Oh well.

That’s what I’ll do for the future, BUT, for the two current ones, any thoughts? I can’t do something too rough, as it’ll scratch the fridge pretty bad.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View MrsN's profile


987 posts in 4135 days

#6 posted 04-11-2011 07:41 PM

I love magnets. I get all of my magnets from this guy

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 3302 days

#7 posted 04-11-2011 07:45 PM

Rare earth magnets are far stronger than your ceramic type of the same size.
And what most don’t know is you can quadruple the strength of the RE magnets by simply putting a tiny piece of metal on the other side.
Although it may be too late for your existing bottle openers, for the next ones, bore a countersink hole, glue in a washer (or available cups that they sit in) then the RE magnet and finally your wood cover, you will notice a ten times stronger grip compared to the six that you have now.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View Bertha's profile


13571 posts in 3302 days

#8 posted 04-11-2011 07:47 PM

You might be able to put down a thin film of rubber cement in the areas where the magnets contact. Ugly? Without a doubt. You could probably bore a single new hole & pop a rare earth in there. Ugly? maybe. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3769 days

#9 posted 04-11-2011 08:08 PM

So you would put the washer on the side facing away from the fridge?

I’ll have to do some tinkering with the ones I’ve already got. I’m not sure what kind of magnets they actually are. They were small metal disks – but I don’t know what they were made from. Likely not rare earth – it seems companies are very apt to advertise if they were RE. You live and learn….

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3698 days

#10 posted 04-11-2011 08:37 PM

for the future, definitely stronger magnets will solve your problems, With 6 1/2 in magnets in your current project, it must weigh a half pund, and only have a bout a quarter pund pulling force. with the rare earth, you will get double the force from a single magnet the same size and weight as one of your current ones. as far as saving this project, the only thing I can think of is to it over so those screws catch the top of the fridge door, and the magnet just holds it against the door. you arent going to get much more friction against an enamel or stainless door than you are getting with silicone.

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3745 days

#11 posted 04-11-2011 09:55 PM

It might be that if you put a large washer-like magnet on the fridge you might be able to get the bottle opener to stick reliably to that.

-- Greg D.

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3900 days

#12 posted 04-11-2011 09:58 PM

Or combine those last two ideas: build a hanger bracket for each opener (that the screws will catch and hang onto), and use more powerful magnets to hold those to the fridge.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12002 posts in 4037 days

#13 posted 04-11-2011 11:04 PM

For the one’s you’ve already made, you might get two 3/4 dia X 1/4 thick rare earth magnets, stack and stick both to the fridge door and hang the cap screws on the magnets. Bet the opener would stay put then!
For future openers…..stronger magnets and a washer.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 3302 days

#14 posted 04-12-2011 04:03 AM

”So you would put the washer on the side facing away from the fridge?”

Yes, a bare magnet has waves of flux permeating all around it, a washer (or any ferromagnetic medium) will focus the waves away from it, increasing its strength.
Putting the magnet in a metal cup so the sides are also covered (like what you can find here) will force the waves even tighter giving you the maximum strength of a magnet.
A 1” rare earth magnet in a ferromagnetic cup can easily lift 25 pounds.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

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