Wine glasses

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Project by richgreer posted 01-20-2012 05:49 PM 2115 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Wine glasses
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I’ve turned several sets of wine glasses. They make great gifts. This time I adopted a slightly different philosophy. In the past, I tried to replicate what a typical wine glass looks like. I strived for a much skinnier design. I usually took the stem down to about 1/4”.

This time I asked myself why a wood based wine glass needs to be shaped like a typical all glass one. I decided that a bulkier base may be more comfortable in the hand and look more appropriate for a wood based wine glass, The narrowest portion of the stem is just below 1/2”. In my opinion, these wine glasses feel good in the hand. despite the fact that they have not been adequately tested (yet).

The wood is English walnut and I finished it with Shellac, followed by the standard 3 step buffing process.

For anyone considering making wine glasses, be advised that the glass bulbs are hand blown and they are not all exactly the same size. These two glass bulbs have nubs (that insert into the wood) with diameters that differ by 1/32nd of an inch. I needed to use a different drill bit for each. Of course, the wood is not exactly the same shape either, despite my efforts to make them as close to identical as possible.

I think the fact that each wine glass is just a little bit different due to each being hand made is, in itself, part of the appeal of these glasses.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

11 comments so far

View Bobsboxes's profile


1369 posts in 3116 days

#1 posted 01-20-2012 06:27 PM

Great looking glasses Rich, lets have a toast. I have to agree with you, holding a very fine stemed wine glass is very uncomfortable, always think I am going to break it. Great idea. Bob

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 4148 days

#2 posted 01-20-2012 07:17 PM

nice job.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View LesB's profile


2152 posts in 3895 days

#3 posted 01-20-2012 07:19 PM

Looks good. I agree with you on the thicker stems.
What did you use to “glue” the glass to the wood??

I have had four of those wine glass tops for several years and have not gotten around to making stems for them. You have stimulated me to get to work on them…..maybe today.
Two things I would change from yours. First the base seems a bit small and would easily tip over. Especially after I have had a couple of glasses and my conversation gets a bit animated. (-; I will make the base about the diameter of the glass. Next the shellac finish. Shellac is alcohol soluble so any wine spilled on them could damage the finish. I think I will use a salad bowl finish or wipe on varathane. I may also try a different wood and shape for each one so people using them can more easily remember which one is theirs. Particularly my spouse who can’t seem to keep track of hers.

-- Les B, Oregon

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3526 days

#4 posted 01-20-2012 07:36 PM

Les -

Thank you for your comment. The glue I used is Bondaflex. It works well with glass and it is flexible. In theory, it will allow for the expansion and contraction of the wood without breaking the glass.

With respect to the base – It has a diameter of 2 3/8”. That has something to do with the stock I worked with which was 2.5” square. As an FYI – a conventional (all glass) wine glass I referenced had a diameter of 2.5”. I was just 1/16th” off when centering the wood.

You are probably right about the Shellac. In my experience, Shellac is has been a good base finish if I planned to buff the piece. I really wanted to look I get from buffing. My other option, if I want to buff, is Danish Oil. I’m out of that. It’s been my experience that these wine glasses seldom get used to drink wine. They usually become display pieces. No one wants to actually use a wine glass they can’t put in the dishwasher.

On a related subject, I have given away, as gifts, at least a dozen cutting boards and they were all greatly appreciated. I believe most of them are used as display pieces and I have never heard of one of them being used as a cutting board.

These wine glasses will be given away shortly as a gift.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View CaptainAhab's profile


214 posts in 3249 days

#5 posted 01-21-2012 01:21 AM

Rich, that’s sweet! I am going to have to make a set of those and I really like Les’ idea of doing them each unique.

-- Dave

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3755 days

#6 posted 01-21-2012 01:26 AM

having them a little different is what you get with custom made, and i like it that way, if someone want something all punched out and looking the same, then you go to a factory, but i like how yours turned out, i think the real thin stems would feel like they might break..very nice…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3275 days

#7 posted 01-21-2012 01:43 AM

Nice job Rich, well done :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View a1Jim's profile


117689 posts in 4029 days

#8 posted 01-21-2012 02:42 AM

Looking good Rich,nice work.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4267 posts in 3616 days

#9 posted 01-21-2012 03:42 AM

Rich, is the base, the part that sits on the table, smaller in diameter than the usual wine glass, or is that an optical illusion. I took a wine glass, and partially filled it with appropriate liquid, a white table chardonnay, and tried to tip it. The one I am using is more stable than I realized.

I think you should also partially fill one of yours, with an appropriate liquid, and test it for stability.

It may be pertinent to see how the stability changes as you sip it down, at the appropriate speed.

I will try the same thing here…may need repeating a few times….....

Soz I respeeted ish a fewsh tiemes an its mashebe a lisual lest stabel then beford….......

due ur own testts, ans sees was uz tinc…...........iz chekke bas in da murnign….....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3526 days

#10 posted 01-21-2012 04:20 PM

Jim – -

I checked the sizes on a conventional all-glass wine glass in our house. The top portion looked to be about the same size as the top portion of the glasses I made. The base on the conventional wine glass was 2.5” in diameter and the base on the glasses I made are 2 3/8” in diameter (i.e. they are an 1/8” smaller). I started with stock that was 2.5” square and missed the exact center by 1/16”.

I think, to some degree, the picture makes the base look smaller because I am pointing down and the base is further away from the camera than the top.

As an FYI – On my next pair, I will use a separate wood for the base and the stem. I’ll probably use something like cherry or maple on the bottom and an (expensive) exotic for the stem. The stem will come from my relatively large collection of exotic wood pen blanks (Pau Rosa, ebony, bocote, etc.)

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4267 posts in 3616 days

#11 posted 01-21-2012 05:36 PM

Ah ha, it is an optical thing then. I wondered, because the glasses seemed to have a tilt, and I knew that wasn’t the case. If you moved farther away from the glasses, took a high quality picture, and then cropped it down, you would have less of the perspective distortion. You just have to do those glasses justice, Rich…..(-:

Your idea for the next ones sounds like a great idea.

.....the weather is stuck in a rut here, 4 deg below zero at 0630 hrs…............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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