Tuesday, March 10, 2015

BEER BOTTLE CAP BEADS

"What next?" did you just ask yourself! Ha. It all started while I was cleaning out my garage and ran across a box of beer bottle caps. I'm not a beer drinker, but the caps manage to find a home with me.

Each cap has a plastic seal inside. The first thing you have to do is remove the seal. One article I had said to use an electric skillet or mug warmer and it would take 8 to 9 seconds to warm the seal so it could be pried off. Another said to boil the caps. Since I couldn't find my mug warmer, I boiled the caps. It took a few minutes of boiling to be able to pull the seal off. I used a knife to get under the seal and small jewelry pliers to pull it off. Let me tell you, it was not easy. I was too stupid and too stubborn to stop and get a pair of gardening gloves ... holding the caps so tightly cut into my fingers and the knife kept slipping and stabbing me. I'll have to wait until my cuts heal before starting another batch of caps!

Here are a few photos of my process. The bottle caps and the seals removed.

After the painful part of removing the seals ... once the bleeding had stopped ... the caps were domed.

Here are a few domed Corona Light caps. A few on the left side were domed and the edges flattened. I want to rivet them to a copper or brass backing.

The next step was to take two domed caps (or one domed and one flat), hold them together and wrap copper foil around them. Hey, they instantly became beer bottle cap beads!! It's important to burnish the foil so it adheres to the caps. Next, using unleaded solder, I soldered the foil around each bead. I also made a bunch of 18 gauge copper wire jump rings, cut them in half, reshaped them slightly and soldered them to the beads. I soldered two rings to some. I soldered only one ring to a few of the flat-backed beads. What are the beads with the R? By googling, I found they were Redd's Apple Ale by Miller Brewing Company.

Here are a few close-up shots.



Here is a roly-poly bead. You can see a few scars in these photos.

Here is one with a flat back:

A fun project so far. I haven't found a good way to prop or hold the hot beads. I remember seeing a gadget someone sold years ago I should have purchased. It was a pair of pliers that had two domed caps welded to the ends. It would hold these hot beads perfectly.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks, Deborah. Too bad we didn't live closer together. We could get into a lot of mischief!

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