trouble with wine stoppers and drilling once done turning...

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Forum topic by Napaman posted 11-12-2008 06:25 AM 8652 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5530 posts in 4310 days

11-12-2008 06:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wine stopper napaman question

Hey everyone…I finished my first wine stopper and got real far on #2 when i bunged it up…actually burnt the top…her

I made my first wine bottle stopper today…and really glad…it actually was easier then the pens since there is little prep with the pen tubes and glue, etc…

but had one big problem…at the end once it is all the way done you have to drill a 3/8 hole so that the chrome stopper can screw into the wooden top…

here is the problem…with the top all finished and shiny…and ODD SHAPED…how the heck do i clamp it down to get a straight hole??? the first winestopper i got to work by taking two square scraps and a rag to pad the wood…and it worked but it is slightly askew…

the second wine stopper was much smaller and tapered so did not try that…since i had a much shinier sheen on the finish it was way too slipper…and could not get it…so i stopped before I drilled a hole too deep and ruined it…

the problem is not so much the finish (all though that complicates it by being more slippery)—-as it is the odd shaped and very small item that needs to be held and secured for a large 3/8 hole…

any suggestions???


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

10 replies so far

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4560 days

#1 posted 11-12-2008 06:31 AM

drill the hole first, then chuck that end toward the headstock, or mount it on a bottle stopper mandrel.

That said, I’m predrilling the hole, and with hard woods I’m also using a tap to thread the hole before I turn it. Softer woods you can just force onto the mandrel – essentially a threaded bolt chucked in a drill chuck, the same diameter & thread of the stopper hardware.

Or, I’m just conjecturing here, you can drill a smaller pilot hole before hand for your drill to track in later.
(not that I’d recommend it, just a thought)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4310 days

#2 posted 11-12-2008 06:47 AM

scott…what is a mandrel—-i have one for my pen turning…but for the stoppers i got a special chuck from PSI for my shopsmith…and using the version that has a threaded screw coming out and I screw the wood onto it…

the problem is that the hole needed for the chrome stopper is much bigger—-so i cant drill it until done turning and putting the finish on…(if i want to use the friction polish)...then when i go to take it off…now i have a very small object..and I could not clamp it…i could use my hand drill but I want it to be real straight (the hole)...

i guees the hole for the screw chuck is a pilot hole in a sense like you mention…but again…how do i hold the stopper with out dinging it…and again—-its done…just one step to go…

thanks for the help…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View lew's profile


12495 posts in 3989 days

#3 posted 11-12-2008 02:18 PM


Could you make a soft wood “jam chuck” for your lathe. Something that would capture the stopper around it’s largest diameter and also support it near the tip. Then chuck the stopper- “hole end” towards the tail stock. Now replace the tail stock center with a drill chuck and drill bit. Advance the tail drill/chuck into the stopper while the stopper turning.

Just a thought.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4560 days

#4 posted 11-12-2008 02:40 PM

Matt, the mandrel that Scott is talking about can be found here=.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4321 days

#5 posted 11-12-2008 02:53 PM

I went up to PSI and from their website it is not possible to tell from what they show how to solve your concern with the info we have.

I’m going to assume that the problem is the mandrel threads are somewhat less than 3/8” in diameter. If that is the case, maybe 1/4”? If so, Highland Hardware has bottle stoppers with 1/4 or 3/16’ in threads. (These are somewhat triangular/conical stoppers with ridged rubber)
There are also stoppers that are more elongated, not cone shaped, that have smaller threads. Rounded bulb at the point of the screw. Look around for different stopper bases.

If a Morse taper will fit inside your Shopsmith headstock you might try as Ruth sells one of those.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4428 days

#6 posted 11-12-2008 04:38 PM

Hi Matt. Glad to see you’re getting some more use from the lathe. While I’m not familiar with what you’re doing since I’ve not done a bottle stopper, I was thinking I might try drilling the hole first, and then putting a split dowel into the hole. I figure that it might expand when you mount it on the lathe, and when you’re done, you could knock it back out. You could drill small pilot holes in the dowel before you cut it to aid in mounting on the lathe.
Keep in mind, what I just said is based on brainstorming (sometimes in my head it’s more like a light drizzle) as opposed to actual use. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View coloradobob's profile


26 posts in 3788 days

#7 posted 11-12-2008 07:13 PM

Your shopsmith should have come with a 3/8 or 1/2 drill chuck for your head stock. Drill a 11/32 hole about 1 inch deep in your square stock use a 3/8 by 16 flat bottom tap to thread the hole. Get some 3/8 thread all from HD or lowes. A 3/8 nut and washer to lock the blank onto the thread all cut the thread all about 2 1/2 inches long. Mount the chuck to the head stock bring your tail stock up and turn. When you are done turning and finishing the stopper unscrew the stopper and you are ready to go. If you use a cork stopper you will have to drill the hole to fit the 3/8 dowel rod. This can be done with a hand drill. Note when using a chrome stopper with red wine after a while the chrome will pit. Most of the stoppers I turn I use Stainless steel. Hope this helps. coloradobob

-- coloradobob

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4310 days

#8 posted 11-13-2008 03:00 AM

thanks everyone…i like all the ideas…i need to take some pictures of my set up…and I am going to check out the mandrel link…

but i think the problem is different then i described…the problem is NOT with the lathe…the stopper is turned (quite beuatifully may i say) but then after finishing it I need to take it off and drill a 3/8 hole for the chrome stopper to fit into the WOODen top…that is the problem…how do i hold down the wooden top without destroying it…and its too hard to just hold in my hand…

ok…will try to get out and take photos in next couple days and get back to you…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4310 days

#9 posted 11-19-2008 06:13 AM

SCOTT—-I GET IT…I just re-read your first piece of advice—-drill the 3/8 hole on ONE END…amd mount in the head stock from the other end…i will try that…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Seer's profile


306 posts in 3876 days

#10 posted 01-27-2009 06:14 PM

PSI has a mandrel that screws onto the headstock and you drill and thread the blank before turning it. I just ordered one and can’t wait to use it, alot more inexpensive than other setups I was considering.


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