Bottle Stoppers

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Project by scottb posted 03-02-2008 04:05 AM 2522 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These stoppers are a gift for my Uncle who’s had a great first year or so making great wines over in CA.

This is my first (and second) go at trying these stoppers. Having seen chrome ones flake apart in my kitchen, I went right for the stainless steel ones – Can’t have a gift flake apart for someone who’ll be putting these into frequent use!

I had some trouble at first tapping the blanks to sit tightly on the mandrel. (no instructions with the kit, and the site implied using a drill, or the lathe to tap. No good. I tried doing it manually to better results, but found that with cherry, even tapping by hand it was too loose and the stopper bottom didn’t thread on so much as just push in/pull out. Instead of running out to get the next size down, I just drilled the next blank, and forced it onto the threaded mandrel and it worked! The oak blank was much tougher to do this way, the tap had to be called in. I wonder if using 5/16ths with some woods and 3/8ths with others will be in order? Time will tell – I have a few more kits to turn.

Anyhow, after solving the problem of mounting them on the lathe, (short of just working between centers – which wouldn’t leave them threaded for the stopper bottom anyhow) these were a piece of cake.

The first is cherry, the log has a really cool “patchy” look to it, and might be lightly spalted. The second is oak. The wood was definitely under some stress when it grew here's the log before it hit the lathe – really, really cool grain on that firewood save.

Both shapes were turned to whatever shape whim and wood decided – the base on the cherry was a little small as I forgot to put the spacer on the mandrel when I chucked it. I still think it looks good though. The finish is 3 coats of walnut oil, which took some nice looking wood and made it gorgeous.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

16 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4398 days

#1 posted 03-02-2008 04:49 AM

Very cool projects. They look like fun. I plan on getting into turning soon.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4452 days

#2 posted 03-02-2008 05:36 AM


These are gorgeous. The grain patterns on the stoppers are wonderful.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jimp's profile


208 posts in 4391 days

#3 posted 03-02-2008 05:36 AM

Very Nice! I really like the cherry wine stopper. If you are using a 3/8”- 16 TPI tap, try using a 11/32” drill bit. This might help with you tapping issue. This is what I use, and I haven’t had any issues tapping the wood for my wine stoppers.

-- - Jim, Carroll, OH

View itsme_timd's profile


690 posts in 4461 days

#4 posted 03-02-2008 06:42 AM

Wow, very nice stoppers Scott – thanks for sharing.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4957 days

#5 posted 03-02-2008 06:43 AM

Thanks for that suggestion jimp… I think I was using the bit they sent along with, but between that one, and the ones that I got for 3 or 4 different pen kits, it’s possible I’m off a smidge.

I’ve got enough of that cherry to make a few more for myself, and also get some pens too.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4791 days

#6 posted 03-02-2008 01:30 PM

these will be greatly appreciated, I’m sure. Beautiful, personalized art pieces.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4505 days

#7 posted 03-02-2008 04:03 PM

Great stoppers, Scott. Keep posting what you do with that cherry, it’s gorgeous.

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 4875 days

#8 posted 03-02-2008 04:37 PM

Scott – Nice Bottle Stoppers. Thanks for the link to the Stainless ones and the comment on the chrome ones. I have a friend in CA who always has wine on hand. I will have to make some for him, but I did notice that you must have bought them all as they are currently out of stock. His birthday isn’t until June so I have time.

-- Joel Tille

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4957 days

#9 posted 03-02-2008 04:46 PM


Joel, I bought 10 back in Nov (along with the rest of the world) I got parts of the kit (them, and the drill bit, but the mandrel was back ordered until March (but fortunately it came in early.) Lesson learned – plan way ahead for Christmas. Those easy, last minute ideas are often on everyones to-do list! (I should have known better when I saw the “out of stock/backordered until Jan” signs on several turning projects at Woodcraft after Thanksgiving. (Nothing like stretching Christmas out until March, eh?)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4957 days

#10 posted 03-02-2008 05:16 PM

I got some of these kits back in early Dec also. I need to get the tap though, I couldn’t get the walnut I was trying to use to thread onto the mandrel. live and learn, I’ll get ‘em done eventually.
Yours came out nice. I do like the look of the grain in the cherry.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4937 days

#11 posted 03-02-2008 05:31 PM

Nice job and good looking wood, although, I’m still trying to figure where your bottles were running off to before you made these..?? Is there a big problem with that in NH?

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View mjlauro's profile


244 posts in 4391 days

#12 posted 03-02-2008 08:12 PM

Another great turning exhibit, nice work.

View Nils's profile


141 posts in 4495 days

#13 posted 03-03-2008 12:56 AM

Very nice looking pieces. I love that you include the background about these beautiful pieces of wood.

-- Nils Davis, Menlo Park, CA

View Karson's profile


35212 posts in 5031 days

#14 posted 03-03-2008 04:44 PM

Scott A great job on the turning. Some nice wood there.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View relic's profile


344 posts in 4567 days

#15 posted 03-07-2008 02:29 AM

Scott the stoppers are nice and I really like the spalted cherry.

-- Andy

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