New Bottle Stopper Experiments

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Project by Jim posted 12-20-2011 05:29 PM 1777 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been wracking my brain for the past few months, wanting to incorporate more color in my bottle stoppers. I’ve bought dyes and exotic woods, but none ever had the amount of color I wanted, nor could I only dye small strips or patterns (without a pressure pot at least). Every time I dyed, as soon as I turned below the surface edge, I got the natural colored wood back. So, after looking around and not finding any other solutions, I headed to my scrap box.

Ever since I started making pens last year with the wife, I told her to keep all the cutoffs from the acrylic blanks so if anyone wanted a specific color we would at least have a physical example of what was available. Well I’m glad I did. A few of the blanks were long enough that I was able to split them in half on the bandsaw, rough them up for some CA glue to hold to, and pressed them between some wood and turn a stopper out of them. Sorry that two of the pictures aren’t so great, I literally finished gluing the stoppers in and then ran them to the buyer within minutes of being done so I didn’t have time to set up for good shots.

P.S. the last one doesn’t have any acrylic, just another stopper pic I had that somehow got into the mix.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

10 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3550 days

#1 posted 12-20-2011 06:39 PM

Looks Cool !!!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Diggerjacks's profile


2311 posts in 3648 days

#2 posted 12-20-2011 08:14 PM

Hello Jim

I love them

A really good work

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Vince's profile


1208 posts in 3938 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 09:06 PM

Great job

-- Vince

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3704 days

#4 posted 12-21-2011 02:05 AM

Those are beautiful stoppers. The celtic knot turned out great as well.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View imbid100's profile


8 posts in 2814 days

#5 posted 02-03-2012 03:52 AM

Jim, the acrylic pieces, are they glued together before gluing them to the wood sections.

Great Job.

-- Bob Haley, Destin, FL & Bowling Green, KY.

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3831 days

#6 posted 02-03-2012 05:05 AM

Actually, after cutting 2 equal slices of acrylic, I scratch it up with some rough sandpaper, on all surfaces but the ends. I then glue one piece onto the wood blank with CA glue, making sure to slide it around a bit to ensure good CA coverage and prevent and gaps from showing. Then add the second slice and slide it back and for a bit too, to make sure they get a good even coating of glue and a tight bond between the two acrylic slices. Then I allow that to set, and later add the final pieces to the blank. Sometimes I’ll glue all of the pieces at once but I’ve had issues keeping the blanks squared up that way.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View imbid100's profile


8 posts in 2814 days

#7 posted 02-05-2012 03:19 AM

Jim, I failed to mention, in my first post, how attractive your stopper are, sorry.

The pen blanks I use are only 5/8” X 5” and I am unsure how you are cutting the blanks to fit into a 2” square stopper blank.

Bob – Destin, FL

-- Bob Haley, Destin, FL & Bowling Green, KY.

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3831 days

#8 posted 02-05-2012 03:44 AM

I usually use cut offs from pens that are a single tube design so rarely do I have the full 5” blank. Anyways, I slice them down the middle lengthwise if I want less than a 5/16” thick band, then I glue the two halves side by side, so if it WAS a full blank it would now be a slab 1 1/4” (5/8” + 5/8”) wide, by 5” long, and 5/16” thick (minus the waste of the band saw blade). If I want a thicker band (like in this stopper w/the teal band) I use a full blank and cut in half width wise, and glue them side by side, making a 1 1/4” (5/8” + 5/8”) wide, by 2 1/2” long, and 5/8” thick blank. You just have to make sure you don’t rely on your design to need that full 2” wide where the band lies. I usually try to use the 3/4” blanks when I can so that I at least can have 1 1/2” wide of blank to play with.

The trick is to use a blank with a not too distinct pattern so that the joint doesn’t show. This teal one had a soft transition between the colors and with a little effort, I was able to get the colors to align so that the split doesn’t appear. If you try it with the “lava” blanks which tend to have the lines swirling in them, it’s a bit more of a challenge but not impossible.

Hope this helps with minimum confusion!

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

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#9 posted 02-05-2012 03:51 AM

Very cool stoppers

View imbid100's profile


8 posts in 2814 days

#10 posted 02-05-2012 05:22 AM

Jim, thanks for sharing. I think I finally understand. I appreciate your help.

Bob – Destin, FL

-- Bob Haley, Destin, FL & Bowling Green, KY.

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