Cinnamon Stopper

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Project by Doe posted 07-27-2013 at 12:01 PM 723 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I figured it was about time to start posting some projects so I thought that I’d start with a failure.

A couple of years ago, I used cinnamon sticks for a Thanksgiving decoration. Rather than toss them out, I thought I’d try using resin to embed them into a stopper. I cut the cinnamon using the band saw, a bit of overkill but it didn’t take long to do. Then I drilled the hole for the stopper, and used a forstner bit for the cinnamon part.

First problem: the cinnamon hole joined up with the stopper hole. I added some wood dust with CA glue to plug it up. Then I lined up the bits of cinnamon with the most curlicues in the top and pushed in some flatter bits to fill in some gaps. Next I read the instructions for the resin.

Second problem: The instructions said not to use plastic cups because of the heat generated. I was going to use the tiny measuring cups I use for mixing epoxy. There was nothing else in the house that I wanted to sacrifice for my experiment so I went back to the craft store. No cups for mixing resin so I bought a resin mold.

Third problem: the instructions include dire warnings almost as bad as those drug commercials on TV. So, I took everything out on the back porch and read the mixing instructions.

Fourth problem: The amount of hardener depends on the depth of what you’re using it for. I figured maybe 3/8” but what about the cinnamon? Does that affect the calculation? I had no idea so I guessed, of course. I stirred it up (wondering if I should have worn woolly mittens because of the inferno of heat it was supposed to give off). Since it wasn’t very hot, I poured it all back in the little measuring cup to see of it would melt or do anything nasty. All fine.

Fifth problem: Well, the fill with CA and dust didn’t work and the resin kept oozing down the stopper hole, so I kept coming back and adding more resin until it started hardening.

Sixth problem: it was still a bit tacky the next day. I kept thinking of epoxy, maybe I didn’t mix it well enough or I didn’t add enough hardener. Since I did this on Saturday, I waited until the next Saturday. It was still a bit gummy on the bottom but I didn’t care at that point. I used a tap to clear the dripped resin out of the threads; that was easy. The resin turned nicely and I used micro mesh to 12,000 to shine it up.

The reason the stopper is a failure is because the cinnamon isn’t centered (picture 3)—the seventh and show stopping problem. I used the new PSI bottle stopper chuck, because I can’t center a hole if my life depended on it and I like their pen blank chuck. I use a tap for the bottle stoppers and maybe retapping to get the resin out might have made it a bit wonky. By the way, I really like the new chuck other than the fact it uses tommy bars (I’m always dropping them).

I’m going to try again. It looks really nice and using resin isn’t nearly as bad as the label says (doing it outside is a good idea to keep down the styrene smell). I think it would make a great trivet, so I’m going to test how it’s affected by heat. Maybe using only enough resin to hold the cinnamon instead of filling all the way to the top, or using epoxy. I think an apple pie size would be perfect.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

10 comments so far

View MarkJ's profile


50 posts in 2481 days

#1 posted 07-27-2013 at 01:40 PM

I wouldn’t call it a failure, it’s an awesome idea and it looks good. I was more focused on the cinnamon swirls than I was on the whole being centered

View MrFid's profile


520 posts in 541 days

#2 posted 07-27-2013 at 02:49 PM

Agree with Mark, plus, I actually think non-symmetric projects are great! Not a mistake, a design feature.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11341 posts in 1742 days

#3 posted 07-27-2013 at 05:30 PM

That looks cool and if you didn’t say it, I thought it should be like that!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 461 days

#4 posted 07-27-2013 at 10:14 PM

I am with Jim…...You should not have said anything….I actually thought it was meant to look like that…. so well done…:)

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View bigogre's profile


348 posts in 786 days

#5 posted 07-29-2013 at 06:24 AM

That’s pretty cool. Opens up a whole flurry of ideas. Is it possible to color the resin a bit? like with a cream color? If so, you wouldn’t have to drill so deep, maybe a 1/4 inch or less, and still get a similar effect.

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

View Doe's profile


959 posts in 1467 days

#6 posted 07-29-2013 at 02:20 PM

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your comments!

bigogre, coloring the resin is a next step—I haven’t a clue what to use. I have some tiny shells and was thinking of a stopper with a very pale blue resin for my first adventure. Cinnamon and cream sounds great! do you have any suggestions on what to use?

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View kiefer's profile


3043 posts in 1304 days

#7 posted 08-01-2013 at 09:42 PM

That looks just the way it should using natures shapes .
If your name was Rembrandt or Picasso it would be worth millions it’s that good .

-- Kiefer 松

View Doe's profile


959 posts in 1467 days

#8 posted 08-03-2013 at 03:40 AM

Thanks so much for your comment Kiefer! I took art in school and never made it as a painter. Now I’m having a lot more fun with wood.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View UncleStumpy's profile


387 posts in 950 days

#9 posted 08-03-2013 at 09:25 AM

I dunno, looks pretty damn good to me!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View Bill Huffman's profile

Bill Huffman

133 posts in 56 days

#10 posted 07-10-2014 at 05:29 PM

Great project and thanks very much for the write up. I will need to try this, the design with the cinnamon is brilliant.

-- Im so impressed with what people can do, and I wonder how they do it. Thats what keeps me doing it.

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