Beer Cap Initial – A Lasercut Bottle Cap Display

March 14, 2016
beer cap initial art

Whipped up a little (read: way too big) beer cap project the other day. Ben & I are avid beer drinkers (and brewery tour-ers) & I’ve been collecting caps for a while now, so we had quite a few ready to go.

This beer cap initial letter was laser cut from 1/4″ birch plywood. It’s mounted on the wall with standoffs, which allows for just enough space for caps can be pressed into it from the back.  This thing is pretty massive – maybe 3′ tall? I believe there are over 250 slots (woo!).

See process photos after the jump.

laser cut beer cap art

I created the art file in Adobe Illustrator & we laser cut a few test holes from the birch plywood to figure out the optimal size for some of the beer caps we had handy. I believe the final diameter was around 27mm, with 4 mini notches.

The vast majority of our caps were able to be crammed into this size, with the exception of a few hard root beer bottle tops –  those were all too small & fell out.

Side Note: The Cranberry ginger shandy (bottle cap pictured above) was without a doubt my favorite new beer that I tried this winter. Very light, but delicious.

wood laser cutter

After finding optimal dimensions & laser settings, I applied a layer of masking to our sheet of plywood (to prevent burn marks on the face of the piece) & we let the laser cutter do it’s thing.

We have a pretty large piece of equipment in our studio. It’s a dual head, 120watt beast of a machine. This project took somewhere in the ballpark of an hour to cut.

laser cutting wood

A few more shots from the bed of the laser cutter. We had a few stubborn holes that needed to be pressed out with a finger after the fact.

wood laser cut bottle cap art

Ginger, our very unimpressed looking Labrador, included for scale.

The photo on the right shows the masking tape being pulled off, revealing a nice, smooth finish – no burn or smoke damage on the face of the board.

laser cut bottle cap art   The board was sealed with a clear satin polycrylic finish and then hung on our kitchen wall after curing.

Standoffs are the perfect hardware solution for a hanging a project like this. The letter stands about an inch off the wall & throws an interesting shadow depending on what angle the light hits. You can find standoff hardware here.

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