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Tips for making first wine cork board?

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 12-14-2011 12:19 AM 5242 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Elizabeth

814 posts in 2610 days


12-14-2011 12:19 AM

Hi all,

I have been admiring the wine cord message boards people have posted here, so when I saw two bags of wine corks at a Goodwill recently I snagged them. I’ve got some questions for those who have made them, or for those who had made any kind of message board really, as I have never made one.

What’s the best backing material to use?

Are the corks cut in half lengthwise before attaching? (I’m guessing not.) This would certainly make my cork stash go farther; I haven’t counted them but I’m guessing I have something in the neighbourhood of 75 to 90 corks. If they are cut, how is that done without destroying them or losing fingers? (Bandsaw jig with really skinny kerf to limit tearout?) If they are not cut, is it worth sanding down the backs a bit to make a larger gluing surface?

What adhesive is best to use on them?

Any tips for making the frame, considering I have never made a frame for anything?

I’ve read some basic how-tos from google, which all say “get a deep picture frame from the store, like those used in scrapbooking” and “use Elmer’s glue” but I don’t know if I trust those pieces of advice…I certainly don’t want a store bought frame!

Thanks all :)


14 replies so far

View MrsN's profile

MrsN

975 posts in 2993 days


#1 posted 12-14-2011 12:42 AM

I don’t really know much about making one but I do know that you have to be careful when cutting corks because the rock a lot and can be a bit dangerous to bandsaw. when small things rock your fingers are way too close to the blade. you can make v-block jigs to help this alot.

-- ----- www.KNWoodworking.com ----- --

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#2 posted 12-14-2011 12:43 AM

I use a lot of white Elmer’s glue to glue together cedar boxes and trunks. I understand it is not water proof but it works well for me.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

814 posts in 2610 days


#3 posted 12-14-2011 12:56 AM

Yeah, there’s no way I would try to bandsaw these without something to keep my fingers well away. I won’t even scroll saw stacked pen blanks without some kind of jig (which sadly I have yet to make).

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 3594 days


#4 posted 12-14-2011 01:26 AM

Leave the corks whole.
Attach corks with a hot glue gun, ala Martha Stewart.

-- 温故知新

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Kindlingmaker

2656 posts in 2993 days


#5 posted 12-14-2011 03:15 AM

Elizabeth, DO NOT do one like this…
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/15908
...you will have a headache the next day!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

814 posts in 2610 days


#6 posted 12-14-2011 07:12 PM

Thanks for the tip and the great story, Kindlingmaker! What an experience!

Hobomonk, I hadn’t thought of hot glue, that’s a good idea. And it has the benefit of any visible glue through the (hopefully minimized) gaps being clear and inconspicuous.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2317 days


#7 posted 12-14-2011 07:28 PM

I have made several cork trivets for casserole use on the dining table—a cousin project to yours. The inside dimensions are 9×7 1/8 and they use the “2 up, 2 sideways, 2 up” pattern of corks. I think they’re especially cool if you use lots of different logos.

I use frame stock 13/16 square, rabbeted for a 1/4” bottom. Hot melt glue is the right stuff (and a good thing!) but mask off the frame to keep the dribbles from wrecking the finish, which you will have applied first.

You may want a taller frame to come out flush with the surface of the corks for your message board. On these I wanted the corks to be proud.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2608 posts in 2517 days


#8 posted 12-14-2011 07:54 PM

Elizabeth,

I made a curly maple cork trivet for a Christmas present for my in-laws last year.

I took some of the back of the cork off to provide for a wider glue surface, as well as to level the surface since it was a trivet, not a message board. I also used Titebond III as it is waterproof and was compatible with both surfaces. I covered the glue up with cork dust, as I wanted it to resemble the beach, let that dry, then used CA glue in the cracks and dusted a couple more times.

You may also consider using a slower curing epoxy that will dry clear. You could simply rabbet a groove in the back of your frame, then use a thin piece of plywood glued into the rabbet. Gluing the backing will also ensure that you don’t get any ooze-out from when you glue the corks down. Epoxy may also lend rigidity to the back of the board, stiffening/strengthening it?

I started a large cork message board, but have not yet finished it. I plan on using 1/4”-plywood as it is a pretty large board. I’m sure 3/16” or maybe even 1/8” would work as well.

Before cutting any wood, you may want to start by doing a dry run with your corks. Lay them out in several patterns and figure out which corks go where to allow for the most even fit, as not all corks are the same length or diameter. Once you get your pattern figured out, leave it that way. It would probably be best to do this on a large workbench or assembly table. That way, you can simply set the frame down next to it, fill the frame with glue, and begin setting your corks in-place. That’s how I plan on doing it.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Jonathan

2608 posts in 2517 days


#9 posted 12-14-2011 07:56 PM

If you need more corks, I’d suggest going to a local restaurant that serves a fair amount of wine and befriend the bartenders. The corks will add up quickly! You might make some little thing to give them, returning the favor. Or at least offer to show them the completed project, as they may be curious.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

814 posts in 2610 days


#10 posted 12-15-2011 12:21 AM

Great tips, thanks everyone! There are more than a few wineries here in Oregon; I’m sure to find some source for corks. We don’t really drink any wine in our house so there’s unfortunately no home-grown supply.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2411 days


#11 posted 01-20-2015 04:28 PM

For those having a band saw and needing to cut corks quickly and safely:

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/105784

View sras's profile

sras

4392 posts in 2596 days


#12 posted 01-20-2015 05:14 PM

I was going to recommend a fixture for slicing corks, but Kelly beat me to it!

One other tip – and it is a matter of choice. If you want your corks to be uniform size and shape, boil them for about 3 minutes. They will return to original size and lose that taper.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1114 posts in 2411 days


#13 posted 09-01-2016 04:35 AM

Would love to see yours, Steve. More options is not a bad thing, to be sure.


I was going to recommend a fixture for slicing corks, but Kelly beat me to it!

One other tip – and it is a matter of choice. If you want your corks to be uniform size and shape, boil them for about 3 minutes. They will return to original size and lose that taper.

- sras


View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

42 posts in 501 days


#14 posted 09-01-2016 08:07 AM

I know I’m a neanderthal when it comes to tools but, seriously, people cut corks with power tools??

Corks are not very tough, use a Junior hacksaw to cut corks in half.

-- I've worked out how to sharpen, now how do you get blood out of pine?

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