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.
Step 1: Project Materials:
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.
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.
Wood Lathe (Powermatic 4424 at TechShop)
Drill (preferably a drill press)
3/8" Drill bit
Small Spindle Gouge
Spindle Roughing Gouge
Stopper Mandrel (See above)
Sanding paper (100, 240, 320, 400)
Finish of choice