Ransom PowerDork
8/20/18 10:54 a.m.

Every fall my folks and some family friends make apple/pear cider with the output of trees in some of their yards. They rent a press, but somewhere along the way picked up this bottle corker:

It works great, with one minor issue: It's setup for wine (er, sake?) bottles, and the upright is too close to the bottle centerline for the ceramic jugs one of the group made. They can make it work, but the bottle leans, and everything's more awkward. So my dad asked me if I could modify it to make a bit more room for the bottle. Sure, fun metalworking project!

For the first post, I'll go ahead and show my failed first approach. It would've been functional, but... Anyhow, I like Project Binky as much as anyone, so any opportunity for some CAD...

Yeah, that looks about right! The thing is, I had nothing like a brake, and no good way of making a crisp bend in the 18ga steel I had handy. Hammering it over was working, but it was going to look a great deal more... rustic than I had in mind.

So... Time to tack a different tack.

Ransom PowerDork
8/20/18 11:59 a.m.

I was really hoping to find some 0.75" x 1.5" 16ga rectancular tube, and they really thought they ought to have some at the steel yard. But they didn't. I ended up with some 3/4" square, and a plan to stack them. The original tubing is metric, so not exactly 3/4", but darned close. Fortunately, the extra weight of making a 0.75" x 1.5" tube out of two 0.75" doesn't much matter in this application...

Clever mechanism inside, as I went to disassemble for the hacking:

As sort-of visible in the CAD, I had this sort of smoothly curved aesthetic in mind. It didn't really exist on the corker to start with, but I didn't think it would clash, given the bends in the legs, and something about the industrial green made me think of bridges and cool old (giant) machinery. So... curve in two parts:'

And a bit more TIG practice to cap it with a piece of sheet. You can tell I need the TIG practice by the fact this photo has the edges ground down. cheeky 

There was a lot of grinding after welding my addition to the existing upright right in the seam where the tubes meet. It's far from perfect, but I couldn't bring myself to use body filler on something like this. Anyhow, the pieces come together; after welding the new piece onto what would be the bottom in this picture, I removed a matching shape from the original strut for bottle clearance, and covered it with a strip of 18ga...

A splash of Hammerite in a color that doesn't match the original, but probably hits midway between original and ODOT bridge green... A little reassembly, and we have room for the proper style of bottle!

I'm not sure whether Franklin is expressing approval or outrage, but I'll take it.

Mezzanine Dork
8/20/18 12:20 p.m.

Damn, nice work! This is my kind of project: fixing up an old piece of junk that actually still sort of serves a purpose and then dressing it up into something nice. Well done!

RossD MegaDork
8/20/18 12:21 p.m.

Cool project.

But the real question is ...

Who is the cork soaker?

Ransom PowerDork
8/20/18 12:39 p.m.


And I assure you, Franklin is a total cork soaker.

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