Instructables
Picture of Wine Bottle Stoppers

Bottle stoppers are simple yet rewarding projects for the wood lathe. A quick trip to the wine aisle of your favorite wine supplier will show that the choices of wine stoppers are limited to uninspired plastic to way overpriced chrome items. By creating your own you can add a unique flair that can be a conversation piece for years to come. One can use just about any wood species and design options are limited only by the imagination of the turner. Bottle stoppers require inserts made of cork, stainless steel, or chrome plated metal. Stoppers make great gifts and can provide some quick cash for those in the craft sales business. For this project, I will make a simple bottle stopper made of Sycamore with a stainless insert. The project typically takes about 30 minutes for an experienced turner and about an hour for those just starting out. On a scale of difficulty from 1 to 10 where 10 is an advanced artistic hollow form, I would estimate this project to be a 2.
 
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Step 1: Project Materials:

Picture of Project Materials:
stopper mandrel.png
Wood:
As I mentioned in the intro, most any species of wood can be used for a bottle stopper. For this demonstration, I will use Sycamore as it is readily available and turns well. The stopper project requires a piece of stock that is 2”W x 2”D x 2 ½”L.

Accessories:
The stopper will require an insert for sealing the bottle. The inserts are sold at a number of online and local woodworking shops. See above for stainless steel insert.

Tools:
Wood Lathe (Powermatic 4424 at TechShop)
Drill (preferably a drill press)
3/8" Drill bit
Skew
Small Spindle Gouge
Spindle Roughing Gouge
Parting Tool
Small mallet
Stopper Mandrel (See above)

Sanding paper (100, 240, 320, 400)
Finish of choice

very nice :)

Hardwired226 months ago
how do you get each bit of wood to be a different color? I like it!
woodartz (author)  Hardwired226 months ago
Those are a laminate. Each layer is a different color. I'll try to do a video to show the process.
woodartz (author) 7 months ago

Here are a few more that show the insert better...

wine_stop_sm.JPG

For the interesting wood and acrylic blanks for stoppers, pens, etc go to places like Rockler or Woodcrafters stores or any number of online sources like Pennstate. Lots of exotic woods in smaller pieces as well as laminated pieces for those multi color pieces. Plus some acrylics are very cool, I like molten copper infused acrylic for wine stoppers. And the small pieces are pretty cheap considering. Just thought I'd offer the info. Nice stoppers by the way. Here's a couple of mine.

IMG_5254.JPGIMG_5256.JPG
jimofoz7 months ago

Pretty cool. I've been able to get the bottle stopper part by keeping an eye open in stores like T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. They often have wine stoppers clearanced at a very cheap price. You can then take off the supplied handle and replace it with your own.

zoombag7 months ago

Very nice looking, but we typically do not leave anything in a wine bottle to stopper up!

Meursydotes7 months ago

I would love to see the process with one of the really colorful woods. =)

These are beautiful! This may be very crazy, but for those colorful ones did you paint them or is there wood that looks like that? Because I need to find that wood!

woodartz (author)  Penolopy Bulnick7 months ago

It's a laminated plywood made by Rutland Plywood Corp. They make a dowel called DymondWood (appropriately named based on price and hardness ;). I turn the rough dowel into shapes that you see in the pics.

kimbutterfly7 months ago

fantastic