Here's the Thing: Convex bottle opener

 

The Convex bottle opener is a reflective stainless steel ball ready to de-cap any beer or beverage. It’s made from a huge industrial ball bearing intended for use in heavy machinery, but re-imagined as a modern bottle opener.

Hand reaches for Convex bottle opener on a white background.


With it's mirror-polished, spherical form, it beautifully warps and reflects its surroundings. It is made from super durable 304 stainless steel so the Convex bottle opener is designed to last a lifetime. 

Moving image of a Convex bottle opener popping the top off of a beer bottle.


A hexagonal hole provides the leverage for gripping caps as well providing a sturdy base to prevent the ball from rolling when not in use.

One stainlesss steel Convex bottle opener sits on a white background next a red bottle cap.

A beautiful tool somewhere between ostentatious display and subtle camouflage. In some ways, it matches any room instantly, but it's also flashy and attention grabbing. A functional piece of art.

A stainless steel bottle opener hides behind a brown bottle on a wooden coffee table.

Inspiration


Convex mirrors are everywhere in our world. An astronaut’s face shield, a school bus safety mirror and in this case: huge ball bearings used to support industrial equipment. From mining machines to windmills, these balls are used to support heavy moving parts and reduce wear and tear.


We sourced some of these baseball sized bearings and realized what an opportunity there was. A single ball held in the hand is mesmerizing. Like some sort of magic trick, it warps your face and the whole room into an infinite, tiny space. We packed that experience into a useful object that you can keep around all the time.

A stainless steel Convex bottle opener sitting on a white background next to a brown bottle and red bottle cap.

How it came to be
We planned a method for machining the ball bearing into a bottle opener by machining all the way through the solid ball and peeking through the opposite side to leave just a tooth remaining. Just enough tooth to open a bottle, but we quickly learned how hard it is to machine stainless steel: We got a quote back for $72 a unit and decided to rethink the plan.

A grey CAD model on a white background depicting the Convex bottle opener.
 
 This was actually a lucky mistake. After learning that we couldn’t machine that much material away, we dug deeper and discovered hollow ball bearings. Typical bearings (like the ones in a skateboard wheel) are solid but larger balls are commonly hollow to reduce weight and material usage. With a hollow ball, we could use laser cutting to create the finished product, a much more affordable option, finally bringing this project into the realm of possibility.

Two hands measure a prototype of the Convex bottle opener on a blue counter top surrounded by tools and parts.
 
We ordered samples from many, many suppliers to find the purest reflective ball bearings available. Endless handcut prototypes led us to a simple hexagon hole on one side providing three jaws to grip the bottle cap. The hexagon hole also provides a dependable resting point for the ball.

A hand prys a red bottle top off of a brown bottle.
 
A gold plated edition of the Convex bottle opener adds a beautiful golden hue to the warped reflection. Sort of like looking through a glass of beer

Two Convex bottle openers on a white bacground, one stainless steel and one gold.
 

Plated in 18 karat gold with the same stainless steel ball underneath doing all the heavy lifting. Depending on the style of your home decor, you might find this gold version better matches your vibe.



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