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After a fifteen year hiatus I recently began brewing beer again. While gathering tools and supplies for bottling, I came across this handsome bottle capper. The typical countertop model (looks like a juicer) that takes up counter and cabinet real estate. This stainless steel capper attaches to your drill press. Instead of adding another unitasker to your life, it extends the use of a tool you probably already own. Brilliant. I immediately ordered one from the eBay listing.

I’m pleased to report that it is precisely machined, heavy-duty, and works like a charm. I chucked it into my drill press, filled a bottle, placed the bottle on a rubber mat on the press table, covered the bottle top with a cap provided by my friend Mark Allen of Machine Project, (I still owe you some homebrew!), and crimped it down by turning the drill press’s feed handle (please note, you don’t actually turn on the drill press when doing any of this). Perfectly capped.

I can’t recommend this bottle capper more highly; it’s inexpensive, takes up very little space, and gets the job done effectively.

Stainless Steel Bottle Capper For Use With Drill Press $13.45 shipped.

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


29 Responses to New Review: Tool Review: Drill Press Bottle Capper

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  1. You can’t be serious. First: I “probably already own” a drill press? Really? In fact I do — a benchtop model, not big enough for this. Second: I’m seriously expected to haul a 5 gallon bucket of homebrew and a couple cases of bottles out to my garage workshop, do my bottling in what must be described as one of the less clean areas of my house, clean the spilled beer off my drill press, and then haul the full cases back to my brewing area for conditioning… all so I don’t have to find room to store a bottle capper? No, thanks, I’ll stick with doing my bottling in the kitchen, right next to the dishwasher where I sanitize the bottles, on surfaces that are clean and where spills are easily wiped up. I have a couple of handheld cappers, they work just fine, and the amount of space they take up as a percentage of all the accumulated stuff I have is near zero. 

    • Richard mirrored my immediate thoughts: even though my shop is in my basement, and I do my bottling in my basement as well they are in separate areas and my shop is NOT the cleanest, most sanitary place.  The last thing I want is beer spilled all over my shop & sawdust in my beer.  Inevitably, you WILL break a bottle while capping.

    • Richard mirrored my immediate thoughts: even though my shop is in my basement, and I do my bottling in my basement as well they are in separate areas and my shop is NOT the cleanest, most sanitary place.  The last thing I want is beer spilled all over my shop & sawdust in my beer.  Inevitably, you WILL break a bottle while capping.

    • Richard mirrored my immediate thoughts: even though my shop is in my basement, and I do my bottling in my basement as well they are in separate areas and my shop is NOT the cleanest, most sanitary place.  The last thing I want is beer spilled all over my shop & sawdust in my beer.  Inevitably, you WILL break a bottle while capping.

    • Richard, your point of view is perfectly valid, but your attitude isn’t that welcome on MAKE. I bottle in my kitchen, walk out to my shop, avoid spilling anything, cap, walk back. This works for me. I’m not forcing anyone else to do it, just presenting an alternate tool that is fairly novel. Please try harder to be a good citizen here and we’ll all have more fun.

      • Sorry, John, but my first reaction to this post was also that this alternative does not make much sense. I’m using the standard type of bottle capper for my bottling. It’s lightweight, portable, easy to use, cheap (you can get cappers for less than 15dollars) and doesn’t need a drill press to use! 

        I’m not sure which part of your “novel alternative” is innovative in any of these respects. We’re just wondering why your alternative is better, maybe it’s part of a bigger plan to make an automated bottle capper or something which would be cool, maybe you care to explain … 

        Also, I’m a bit annoyed by your offensive reaction to this critique, I’m standing with Richard here.

        • He’s reacting to the entirely unnecessary tone of people saying things like “You can’t be serious” and “How about telling us how to MAKE it, instead of promoting your financial interests.” People can not like something without making the author feel attacked by making fun of his/her judgement and questioning motives without any basis. People’s mileage varies. For some, this may not be a worthwhile tool. For John and others here in the comments, it is.

    • Aaron Murphy on said:

      do you wine like this foreverything you do?

  2. Anonymous on said:

    How about telling us how to MAKE it, instead of promoting your financial interests.

    • A how-to would be great. Anyone out there interested? I’ll post it. I think you could certainly make one if you were a machinist with a lathe. Please note, this doesn’t promote our financial interests. I bought this from a small seller on eBay, to whom I have no connection. Your tone is a bit harsh, by the way.

    • Looks like an extremely simple tool. I think anyone with the tools required to make it could probably do so from that single eBay photo. The only dimension that would matter enough to not be able to eyeball would be the final inner diameter, but I suspect that could be measured from a factory capped bottle.

      • I don’t think you would need much beyond the drill press and a couple drill bits to do this.  Rather than milling down a piece of stainless, why not just pickup a big ‘ol industrial bolt and drill into the head the required depth and circumference?

  3. I like it.  My benchtop press will work nicely for this.  There might be some spillage, but I don’t see it as a big deal.  I haven’t broken a bottle while capping since the Clinton administration.

  4. I’ve always wanted to get into making homebrew.  This looks like a neat option for one step of the process – thanks for sharing! 

    I’m always amazed at some people’s attitude of, “I would never use that, so it’s a stupid idea.”  Seriously? When did having options become a bad thing?

  5. Jimmy Stauf on said:

    This is great!  I just happen to be putting together a more complete brewing solution in my shop, and this item couldn’t have come at a better time!    Thanks for putting that up.

  6. Jimmy Stauf on said:

    This is great!  I just happen to be putting together a more complete brewing solution in my shop, and this item couldn’t have come at a better time!    Thanks for putting that up.

  7. Jimmy Stauf on said:

    This is great!  I just happen to be putting together a more complete brewing solution in my shop, and this item couldn’t have come at a better time!    Thanks for putting that up.

  8. I’m in agreement with Richard (hey, imagine that?) on this one.  Seems like an overly complicated way to do something that’s already simple and requires minimal effort to do properly.  I can just see the people who crank the drill press down too hard and break the bottle, people who don’t follow the “don’t turn on the drill press note” and other disasters I can’t even imagine.  I guess if you’re just getting into brewing and you want to spend ever so slightly less for this capper than one that’s actually made for that purpose, and you have a drill press, it’s a somewhat less bad idea.

  9. I’m in agreement with Richard (hey, imagine that?) on this one.  Seems like an overly complicated way to do something that’s already simple and requires minimal effort to do properly.  I can just see the people who crank the drill press down too hard and break the bottle, people who don’t follow the “don’t turn on the drill press note” and other disasters I can’t even imagine.  I guess if you’re just getting into brewing and you want to spend ever so slightly less for this capper than one that’s actually made for that purpose, and you have a drill press, it’s a somewhat less bad idea.

  10. I’m in agreement with Richard (hey, imagine that?) on this one.  Seems like an overly complicated way to do something that’s already simple and requires minimal effort to do properly.  I can just see the people who crank the drill press down too hard and break the bottle, people who don’t follow the “don’t turn on the drill press note” and other disasters I can’t even imagine.  I guess if you’re just getting into brewing and you want to spend ever so slightly less for this capper than one that’s actually made for that purpose, and you have a drill press, it’s a somewhat less bad idea.

  11. Jimmy Stauf on said:

    This is perfect for my shop.  I am putting together a more complete brewing solution, and it never dawned on me to do something like this.  The Drill Press is the perfect height, is in the perfect place, and it sure beats buying another capper.  I’m currently suffering through bottling with the hand capper method.  Thanks for putting this up.

  12. Jimmy Stauf on said:

    This is perfect for my shop.  I am putting together a more complete brewing solution, and it never dawned on me to do something like this.  The Drill Press is the perfect height, is in the perfect place, and it sure beats buying another capper.  I’m currently suffering through bottling with the hand capper method.  Thanks for putting this up.

  13. Jimmy Stauf on said:

    This is perfect for my shop.  I am putting together a more complete brewing solution, and it never dawned on me to do something like this.  The Drill Press is the perfect height, is in the perfect place, and it sure beats buying another capper.  I’m currently suffering through bottling with the hand capper method.  Thanks for putting this up.

  14. Anonymous on said:

    One of the great things about Makers is their inquisitive nature. They seem always ready to ask how could I do this ? or I wonder if I could make something that would work for this or with this ?  The good thing about the Maker community is that they can support and foster these experiments with encouragement , positive critique , and sense of community. There are plenty of places on the internet where we could post our dabbling and get flamed to charred bits , let’s just make sure this isn’t one them….. 

    • Anonymous on said:

      Well said. You just described why we instituted our community guidelines and the “Be Nice” policy. We wanted to create an environment where no question felt stupid and where people could present their ideas and projects in a supportive, educational environment. So far, I think it’s been pretty successful overall. We don’t have to remove very many comments and have only ever banned a few people (beyond outright spammers).

  15. hey john, love the idea and the sweet old delta drill press (i’m guessing here..a dp-220?).

    my only concern with this setup would be the potential to damage your drill press pinion gear or quill, especially with a smaller or lower quality drill press. 
    see http://bit.ly/pphsT7 for what can happen when you get carried away, granted this wasn’t damaged capping a beer bottle.

    i guess that there being a glass bottle involved adds a physical “fuse” to blow, hopefully before damage to the drill press, but i would still caution users of this product to not go overboard, ha ha.

    any direct comparison pictures to a bottle capped with the conventional capper?

  16. Very cool! “Danger: Do Not Operate” Machinery after drinking beer. Now has a new meaning to me.

  17. Why not just find an old press with the drill stripped out and use that after a good old clean of course. I got mine from the side of the road and simply taped a wooden handled capper in place, works like a charm and I don’t worry about contamination. It’s really light once the drill has been taken out and I can move it whereever / whenever I want.

  18. Great Idea. I googled homemade bottle capper and this is what I found. I dont have a drill press, but what a cool Idea for someone who doesnt want to spend a fortune starting out. I bought the 4.00 hammer capper and thought about making a press from wood. Why spend 40.00 if your not sure your going to continue. I’ve already spent over 100.00 and I don’t even like beer that much!!