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View Full Version : Anyone ever make a corkscrew?



Rikk
10-03-2014, 08:36 PM
New guy here, been lurking around for years, but never posted anything.

I am sitting out in my shop watching TV and came up with the idea to make a few corkscrews, for opening wine bottles, as gifts for Christmas. I have searched the internet for quite awhile and can't come up with anything. The bulk of the parts will be easy to make, but I can't think of a good way to make the actual screw part of the corkscrew. I was thinking about coiling the material around a rod, finishing the ends and heat treating it to make it rigid and functional, but I really have no idea about what material I would use and how to harden it.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,

Rikk

Alan Douglas
10-03-2014, 09:09 PM
I "unmade" one once, on a cheap Swiss Army knife. Soft as butter. I guess they figured no one would ever actually use it.

It could be rather dangerous if it broke in use.

ironmonger
10-03-2014, 09:38 PM
One of the smiths in our local group makes a clone of an early pattern and he uses 4140 for the screw. He found the added strength useful.
His resemble an auger bit more than the more common worm pattern that is made from wire.

I found this:
http://www.corkscrewinn.com/corkscrews
fourth from the end

here is more:
http://www.google.com/patents/US262613

He came up with a method to make these himself... he doesn't use the interweb much, so I'm pretty sure he never saw the previous info before.

Remember I said we're blacksmiths... we often do thing that are more difficult than necessary. We like to do thing that are out of the ordinary.

paul

mickeyf
10-03-2014, 10:33 PM
Never even imagined making one before now, but I would probably approach it something like making a spring, on a lathe. Then bend the heat, and end and sharpen as required. Tempering, etc as needed.

Things used for food and drink are generally stainless of some sort. I have no idea how that would work in this case.

Rikk
10-04-2014, 09:26 AM
One of the smiths in our local group makes a clone of an early pattern and he uses 4140 for the screw. He found the added strength useful.
His resemble an auger bit more than the more common worm pattern that is made from wire.

I found this:
http://www.corkscrewinn.com/corkscrews
fourth from the end

here is more:
http://www.google.com/patents/US262613

He came up with a method to make these himself... he doesn't use the interweb much, so I'm pretty sure he never saw the previous info before.

Remember I said we're blacksmiths... we often do thing that are more difficult than necessary. We like to do thing that are out of the ordinary.

paul

Thanks Paul, smithing is actually on my list of things to learn one day. I looked for years and finally found a nice anvil that I could afford a year ago.

I understand doing things more difficult than not. I will keep looking and see what I can come up with. I am thinking something like what Mickey mentions below. I'll do some research and see what would be an easy material for a HSM to heat treat without special methods.

RussZHC
10-04-2014, 02:02 PM
I wonder if you could use something like a "picket turner", as in wrought iron fences...I am thinking more about the leverage advantage those often have...not sure on material

OR how close would a beat up drill be, have the wire conform to the flutes...

Paul Alciatore
10-04-2014, 02:30 PM
Why not just use a spring. They are sold in all sizes. Sharpen one end and done.

Bob Fisher
10-04-2014, 04:05 PM
Buy a cheap one and go from there.winding a screw in that size wire would take some serious torque considering the arbor dia required. Bob.

ironmonger
10-04-2014, 06:50 PM
I wonder if you could use something like a "picket turner", as in wrought iron fences...I am thinking more about the leverage advantage those often have...not sure on material

OR how close would a beat up drill be, have the wire conform to the flutes...

Which was the first thing we thought of... it just didn't look like the original sample. the twisting process leaves a core if you will. It has two edges that are directly across from each other. If you look at the example you will see it is more like a spring than a twisted flat. kind of like a helical section of a grain auger.

What was used was a two part die, with one side having two 4140 5/16" rods welded at about 15 degrees from perpendicular, the other die had one 5/16" rod about 15 degrees the other way, for an included angle of about 30 degrees. The two rods are separated by about .025". This clearance gives the metal driven down from the single rod some where to move to.

If you look at a thread, and imagine a thread wire on each side they represent what the 5/16" rods look like. the hot stock is placed at the exact intersection of the single rod and the space of the two rods. As you forge the dies together the surface of the corkscrew is slowly developed as the corkscrew stock is fed 'into' the dies and rotated.

Kudos to Andy for coming up with a dies which actually duplicate the graceful proportions of the original. We don't know if this is how it was made, but it works. The dies and the process may have been in common knowledge in 1882, but none of our blacksmithing community was aware of it. Other attempts were made to duplicate this form, but to my knowledge none had succeeded. Pics to follow for those that may be interested.

paul

boslab
10-04-2014, 07:09 PM
Wrap your wire round a length of acme stud bar an screw off after
Good for making square section springs too!
Marc

fixerup
10-05-2014, 10:10 AM
I agree, it would be a nice gift to make.
Here is an alternative type of corkscrew which might be easy to build.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHkhXDwbCqs
Here a good info site
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-6/Corkscrew.html
Good luck and post some pics of your build if you can
Cheers!
Phil