Picture of Cork Board Project

I made it at the TechShop ( in Menlo Park.


The final project (main image shows a prototype) requires a large number of wine-bottle corks to be cut transversely into two nearly equal lengths. To avoid cutting them individually, this stage involves building a jig to allow 50 corks to be cut in one operation.


The corks are about 1 7/8” long by 7/8” in diameter, or just under that. The sizes vary slightly. This jig will need to accommodate them snugly. (The dimensions given are those used in this project – different ones may be used if convenient, but they will need to be calculated to fit the corks.)


How the corks are used in this project will be described separately. But this section will provide for any project which needs cork segments.


Materials needed:

  1. Plywood sheet ¼” thick, 1’ wide by 2’ long.
  2. Wooden board ¾” thick, 8” wide by 2’ long.
  3. Wooden lath for spacer 3/8” thick, 1½” wide by 8” long.
  4. Wood glue.
  5. Four wood screws 2” long.
  6. Two ¼” steel bolts, 3” long, with wing-nuts, and 4 appropriate washers.


Tools used:

  1. Table saw.
  2. Drill press.
  3. Band saw.
  4. Clamps.
  5. Belt sander.
  6. Hand-held electric drill with sander attachment.
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Step 1:

Picture of
Take ¾” wooden board and mark-up for cutting in two equal pieces, each at least 3¾” wide by 22” long.

Mark-up one of the halves for drilling cork-holes. Omit one hole at the end to ensure orientation. There should be three rows of holes (17, 17, and 16), the centers separated by 1” laterally and lengthwise. 

Step 2:

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Cut board lengthwise with table-saw to make the equal halves.

Clamp two boards together and drill all holes 7/8” diameter through both boards.

Step 3:

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Take the ¼” plywood and mark up for the backing and alignment pieces.  These can be a little over-sized as they will be trimmed later.


  1. Backing pieces: 4” x 23”
  2. Alignment piece:2½” x 23”
Spacers: make two, each of 3/8” x 1½” x 4”.

Cut plywood into the marked pieces.
KellyCraig2 months ago

Just for reference, here is another jig I use for splitting the corks. I can do an awful lot of them in a few minutes using it.

KellyCraig2 months ago

Like your solution. If doing the project over and over, it's a great way to knock out cutting all the corks at once (mindful of the throat capacity of the saw).

If you have just a few, I just drilled a hole as deep as half the length of the cork, and a bit smaller than it, in a 2x2 about 6" long. Then spit it in half. That turned it into a clamp and I just cut the corks along the end of the 2x.

adamallstar2 years ago
Very cool project. Curious if drilling the holes to hold the corks is necessary though, could you just fill up a similar shaped box at full capacity to keep the corks from moving, then cut them?
sleemanjc (author)  adamallstar2 years ago
Thanks for the question. Sorry for the delayed reply.
The problem is the varying size of the corks. It's hard to make a jig which adjusts and still holds them all firmly. And we need to get a grip on both ends. I have had to make a couple of other jigs for bigger and smaller corks.
I need a solution which works for a lot of corks but it's not worth the effort to do a really industrial size automated system. Still a lot of human effort.
Love the look! Awesome job!