Wine Bottle Stopper #1

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Project by Napaman posted 11-19-2008 06:10 AM 2306 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well here is my first wine bottle stopper…I am pretty sure this was Olive Wood (I got the wood like a lot of my pen blanks out of a “grab bag” section at Wood Craft—-just a table of really cheap wood)...

I am really excited about this because I have not been turning very long…so far I have made 6-7 pens and this is my first bottle stopper…in some ways it is much easier then pens and I enjoyed the “creative freedom” compared to pens…which can be very creative but this couold really be any shape.

I made this about a week ago—-and then this past wekend I turned about 5-6 more blanks but did not finish any of them because I ran into a problem on this stopper that I have not fully solved on.

I posted a forum about it here but I am not sure I explained the problem real well in the forum.

The problem I am having is AFTER I AM COMPLETELY DONE turning, sanding and putting a finish on the stopper…I have to pull the stopper OFF MY LATHE…and then I have to drill a 3/8 inch hole to allow for the chrome stopper to screw into the wooden “top”.

The problem is I cant seem to HOLD the wooden “top” tight enough in my hand—-and thus the hole is not getting drilled super straight…and thus the stopper is not able to go on straght.

After I did this one…I turned a bunch of the blanks but have not drilled the holes yet…

Also i have heard that Chrome stopper can be bad for red wine…so I will be ordering non-chrome…i have a bunch of cork stopper as well…that you will see this weekend…

Either way these are REALLY FUN…and I think I will have a lot of Christmas gifts for family and colleagues this year…

thanks for any feedback and especially any ideas on the hole drill…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

8 comments so far

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5092 days

#1 posted 11-19-2008 03:02 PM


Beautiful Job!!

I had a similar problem holding some cheese knife handles. I will try and remember to take some pix of the chuck I made. I think you could modify it to solve your problem.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5583 days

#2 posted 11-19-2008 03:34 PM

Nice job. Get over it, buddy, we all goof up, you just learn from your mistakes.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 5211 days

#3 posted 11-19-2008 03:35 PM

Here is a mandrel and a source for stainless steel stoppers.

View kewald's profile


127 posts in 4918 days

#4 posted 11-19-2008 03:53 PM

Rikkor, thanks for the link – great stuff!

-- Always do the Right Thing the Right Way the First Time - if you can figure out what that is! Ken, Spring Branch, TX

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 5144 days

#5 posted 11-19-2008 05:46 PM

nice looking wine stopper Matt! Really like the shape and the olive wood. I have never attempted turning before maybe one day I will give it a try.

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5092 days

#6 posted 11-20-2008 02:20 AM


Here are 2 ideas I used when making cheese knife handles. If you have a chuck for your lathe, you could use either one of these ideas, directly.

The first, requires the drilling of the metal stopper hole prior to any turning. Drill the square blank the suggested diameter and depth for the stopper. Then mount the blank on this holder:

The large end of the holder is held by the chuck. The small end, with the pin, holds the drilled end of the blank. The pin is the same diameter as the drilled hole. The tail stock is brought up and tightened into the blank. The pressure from the tail stock provides enough friction to prevent the blank from spinning free.

The second idea is to hold the turned stopper after it is finished, in order to drill the hole.

Make a holder that is has a hole the same diameter as your finished stopper. Cut some slits into the end. Use a clamp to provide even pressure. Insert the finished stopper into the hole, with the end to be drilled, facing out. Mount the holder into your lathe chuck. Replace your tail stock with a drill Jacobs chuck with the correct sized bit for your stopper. Crank the tail stock into the blank, with the lathe running, and drill your hole.

If you don’t have a lathe chuck, you could make dedicated holders using a threaded holder and turning the desired holding device into it’s design.

Hope this gives you some ideas and maybe an excuse to buy something for your lathe!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5414 days

#7 posted 11-20-2008 05:25 AM

thanks for the comments everyone…

Lew…i like the middle option…it seems to fit the issue and with the slit and clamp gives the flexibility for different size/shaped stoppers…

I also bought a mandrel that was recommended on the forum i wrote…for the tear drop stoppers…

so maybe that will help as well…

if that does not I will try this option…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5049 days

#8 posted 12-12-2008 06:15 PM

Interesting Matt, it sounds like you’ve got a solution….did it work?

I’ve seen some kitchen utensils made out of olive wood, I’d like to work with some of that if I can find any of it locally.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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