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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Other > Pneumatic Bottle Capper - Just...because.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Default Pneumatic Bottle Capper - Just...because.

Its not like my bench capper was all that slow or required that much effort, but after all I am an engineer and if something can be done with power (or in this case pneumatics) well then it's a must right? I'm also fortunate enough to have access to craploads of spare parts like air cylinders, scrap metal and the like, so that helps too.

The air cylinder is a 2" bore spring-return cylinder with a 5/8-18 threaded rod end, which is perfect because a standard capper bell screwed right on. On the base I stuck on an "alignment" plate that I made out of lexan to make it easy to align the bottles each time. By the way I only use one size of bottle so I built the capper accordingly. Obviously it wouldn't work for very many other sizes. In the video its running at 100 psi.






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Old 03-15-2010, 12:36 PM   #2
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fantastic. i love it. if i bottled id buy one from you. how much does bottle height matter?
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:51 PM   #3
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Thats awesome! Makes capping so much faster I bet?
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmtech825 View Post
fantastic. i love it. if i bottled id buy one from you. how much does bottle height matter?
Although I'm not the OP, I would think that if you had shorter bottles you could make blocks for each bottle height to put on the base, but if you had taller bottles you'd be out of luck. The real problem is that if you're off by too much in the wrong direction you could end up with broken glass all over, which is less likely to be a problem with a manual capper because you can stop once the cap is on.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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The cylinder has a 2" stroke and I'd say I'm only using 1" of that with my bottles.

The cylinder is 2" bore (NOT 3" like I first posted - fixed now) so at 100psi I'm getting 100 x pi x (1^2) = 314 pounds. This sounds like a lot but my bench capper has a lever that multplies force by 8 (10 / 1.25), so I can get the same force by exerting 39.25 lbs on the lever. I'm sure people do that all the time without breaking bottles. Just to be safe though I want to make sure my bottles are lined up correctly every time. I will probably run it at more like 80-90psi when bottling a whole batch.
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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very cool man. Nice and simple. the divot in the in the bottom for bottle alignment definitely seems to be key. Do you plan on pinned adapter plates for different bottles or just using one bottle style for simplicity? If I still bottled, I would copy this for sure.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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Hmm... Seems like you *could* build it with an adjustable height and a preset pressure limit. That way you could simply slide the thing up or down for different bottle heights and the auto pressure limit would help eliminate broken glass... Dont' ask me how to do this.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:40 PM   #8
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Fortunately for me I have only ever collected one style & size of bottle. Itís the real common 9Ē high long-neck with the recessed area for the label. Lots of brewing coís use them (RedHook, Victory, FlyingDog, etc.) even the Costco brand. Thereís another bottle thatís real similar with smooth sides (no recessed area) but for some reason I never saved those (Bellís for example). They would probably work too. Anyways since I had no reason to make it adjustable, I didnít. I probably could have, but it would have gotten more complicated and/or less durable. As far as limiting the pressure, I do that with the regulator on my compressor.

I'm looking forward to doing a whole batch with it this weekend.
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:54 PM   #9
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Very, very cool. I may have to add one of these to the "someday projects" list.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:38 PM   #10
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You over engineering mother Fer. I like it.
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