My wife is hosting a party. She wanted me to make placeholders from wine corks. (She saw this idea somewhere, and will actually use them to label serving dishes filled with food.)
I thought about power tools and jigs I would need to be accurate and keep my fingers intact. I opted for a very low tech. means described in this Instructable.
- Wine bottle corks (real cork or plastic)
- Metal saw blade
- Spacer piece
After publishing this I notice several others have published similar Instructables. At least my Instructable provides slightly different methods some may find more suitable to their situation.
Step 1: Put the Cork Into a Vise
I put a cork into my vise, but left the jaws loose enough that I could adjust how much of the cork rose above the top surface of the jaws. I used a spacer piece about 3/16 of an inch thick to get both ends fairly equal. Then I tightened the vise just a little to hold the cork firmly without distorting it.
Step 2: Saw a Slot
I wanted to saw a slot into the side of the cork. This slot will hold the card that identifies the food in a dish or the name of the person sitting at a particular place. I "eyeballed" the cut to keep it in line with the cork and to keep the cut as vertical as possible. I made light strokes with the saw until I could feel and hear that the teeth were in contact with the vise jaws. I am using a metal cutting blade because of its fine cut. Because it is a metal cutting blade, I do not need to worry much about damaging the teeth.
The saw I am using is what I made to replace my keyhole saw when the plastic handle broke after many years. I use blades from a reciprocating saw in it by making a hole in the end of the blade. A hacksaw or holding a blade from a reciprocating saw in one's hand would work, too.
Step 3: Turn the Cork
Loosen the vise. Turn the cork so the slot faces downward, more or less. Use the spacer piece to set the cork in the vise again. (Second photo)
Step 4: Slice Off a Side
Let the side of the metal cutting blade rest on the top of the vise jaws. Begin sawing gently to remove a slice from what will be the bottom of the place holder. See the second photo.
Step 5: Finished
All that remains is for you to print on your cards and insert them into the slots.