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Bottled Ship Builder

I Made 12 Inch Tweezers

Bruce Foxworthy

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Putting together my first SIB in nearly 40 years, all of a sudden I needed a pair of long tweezers that I didn't have. I looked them up in Micro Marts online catalog and saw that they were $13 plus shipping, plus time. Well that wouldn't due. So undaunted, I thought to myself a trip to Home Depot, and I'll be back in business in no time.

These tweezers are 12 inches long, 3/8 inches wide, and 1/16 thick and tapered to a 1/8 inch square tip. They are easy to make, cheap and work great. Because aluminum is soft I can bend an angle or radius at the tip in the future if need be.IMG-6967(1).thumb.jpg.9b2dcfeaa213e0c80f896bcd0b0fdb6d.jpg

I picked up a 3 foot long piece of aluminum angle iron and cut 24 inches off of the 1/2 inch side on my band saw, (a hack saw will work too).


I cut that length in half, clamped the two pieces together with the sawed sides up in my vice and started filing till I got them roughly 3/8 wide the full 12 inches. Then I started filing a tapered angle, (starting 5 inches back from the end), one side at a time to bring the pieces to a 1/8 inch wide square pointed end. I buffed out the scratches from the filing with Scotch Brite pad.



Next I cut a piece of 3/16 x 3/8 wood stock I just happen to have for making deck furniture 2 1/2 inches long and five minute epoxied that between the two pieces at the ends. I scribed X's on the surface of the aluminum where it was to be glued so that it would take a better bond.

At this point I tried using them just like this but found that it was to difficult, for me anyway, to keep constant pressure on them while I was busy navigating inside the bottle, dropping stuff all the time and such. So I devised a way to keep them constantly closed with an adjustable sliding opener. I put a screw and nut on between the halves of the blades. I cut the screw off just long enough so it could easily slide back and forth. Then I peened the end of it over to insure that the nut wouldn't come off.


Because my nut was so much larger than the head of the screw I wound up filing the points of the nut down till the nut wasn't sticking out so much. I put a piece of electrical tape over the surface of the tweezers blade so the file wouldn't scratch it's face in the process.

Finally I slid the screw all the way next to the wood and using a pair of needle nose pliers firmly gripped the blade next to the screw and parallel to it. IMG-6976.thumb.jpg.668c1a40c1c14de7cde57fd11d3d75d0.jpg

Then pushing down on the butt end of the tweezers with one hand and twisting the pliers over to the right and down with the other hand I introduced an angle bend on each side of the blades. This keeps the blades permanently closed with some considerable pressure at the tip. To open the tip, just slide the screw towards the tip. To close down on your part just back the screw away from the tip. Easy.

So there you go. I hope this helps someone else out. I'm sure this concept will work fine for any length of tweezers you may need to make for your bottles.

I've only been a member of this forum for about six week now and I'm still reading all over it. I know you guys have put a lot of your knowledge and experience forward which has helped me tremendously with my current build. I'm doing things I never had a clue about before thanks to your generous input.

I'm happy to contribute to the forum and will continue to do so in the future.

Regards and sail on. Bruce Foxworthy



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