Bottle Stoppers

  • Advertise with us
Project by GatorJack posted 08-07-2013 04:50 PM 1054 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This being my first time to post a project, I will attempt to convey the story and not bore everyone.
My company has a large United Way fund raising effort that includes an auction.
You can donate anything from services to merchandise. Most donations are items people have that they don’t want – regifting of sorts.
I decided that I would make something to donate and hope that it sells.
I choose Bottle Stoppers.

I used the Chrome Stoppers sold at Rockler. I have a mini-lathe that I used with a couple turning tools.
For wood, I went to the local hardwood lumber yard and selected a variety of woods which they sold me 1 to 2 foot lengths from 2X8 boards. I cut the 2X8 pieces into 2X2 (roughly) pieces on my table saw, and then cut approximately 3 inch lengths for my blanks. I selected what they had in stock that day – Mahogany, Black Walnut, Cherry, Maple, & Hickory. I also used a limb from a Cedar tree in my back yard as one of my blanks.

For me turning is a new, immature skill. So I start a piece and see where it takes me.
Sometimes I have a general idea of what I want to create, but it takes its course and then I determine I have a finished product.

After turning was complete, I sanded the piece while still on the lathe. I started with rough sandpaper and after 3 stages of finer grits, I ended with 600 grit.
I then applied a paste wax, allowed it to dry and buffed it with a rag, again while all still on the lathe.
This was an experimental process. I tried several methods for my finish. I applied wax, then dried with a hair dryer, waxed then rested a couple minutes and let it dry, I buffed with a rag on the lathe, and I buffed using a bench grinder with a buffing wheel. I feel my best result came from buffing with the rag on the lathe (hair dryer didn’t seem to add any value). Better gloss, more even finish. I usually put on 4 to 5 coats of wax.

The results are in the pictures attached. I completed 8 Stoppers and the auction begins next week. Starting bid is $10 each, so we’ll see how it goes.

I have some questions yet to be resolved. When cutting off the end opposite the mandrel, I “burned” the wood a couple times. Need to figure out how to avoid that. Also, my turning tool skills need some work. I am not able to get to real small diameters. But I will practice and ask lots of questions.

-- Jack, Atlanta

2 comments so far

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2198 days

#1 posted 08-12-2013 02:17 PM

They all look good. Like the cool shapes, variety of pretty woods used and great finish. I’m sure they will sell well. Good luck in the auction.

View FloridaArt's profile


852 posts in 3320 days

#2 posted 08-14-2013 02:26 AM

These look great Jack! I’d be proud to run the bidding up from ten dollars! :-) I like your selection of wood. Nice job, and I hope the auction goes well.

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics