Bottle Stopper Questions - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-15-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Bottle Stopper Questions

I'm working on my first lathe project - a bottle stopper. I haven't applied any type of finish. Any suggestions on finishing? I was thinking straight mineral spirits. Also, I'd like creative suggestions on how to hide the hole created by the dead center. I want something that will look better than just filling it. Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-15-2011, 10:56 PM
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If you turned between centers, you should leave a little sacrificial piece that you part off and then finish sanding off the lathe. I turn 100's of bottle stoppers and I use this dedicated bottle stopper chuck from PSI. This way you just drill the bottom hole, turn your piece and finish. No worries about the center mark. Also, do you mean mineral oil as a finish...mineral spirits isn't a finish. I like to use a shellac/walnut oil/carnuba wax finish that I get from my local Woodcraft. Sort of like a Shellawax finish. Others will have their own preferences, but these go on quick and hold up well.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask more questions.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-15-2011, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sawdustfactory View Post
Also, do you mean mineral oil as a finish...mineral spirits isn't a finish.

That's exactly what I meant. It's been a long week (even though it's only Tuesday lol). I've seen the chuck that you're talking about but didn't want to buy one until I decided if I liked it or not...I need to get one

Thanks for the feedback!
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-16-2011, 09:20 AM
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I use a mandrel and jacobs chuck also to hold the bottle stopper. I use the live center up until the very end then back it off and finish the top of the stopper. So like what was said, keep a small bit on the end that will be parted off when you finish the stopper.

For finishing, I will sand down to 600 for a nice, smooth finish, then use a couple of applications of Mylands friction polish, then 2 coats of wipe on poly to seal up the work so the finish doesn't rub off with a lot of use.

I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers of his car.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-16-2011, 10:24 AM
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There's nothing wrong with turning bottle stoppers without a chuck. I did it for years. Turn them between centers. You can saw off the bottom or simply leave the drive center marks and glue the cork on the tenon. To do the top as you start finishing the top cut down in a sort of large V leaving a small cone on the top portion. After you've sanded and applied some finish just cut down the cone until you cut through. Now you just have small cone to carve or sand away.
If you use the screw in wine stoppers like Ruth Niles sells you can make yourself a screw chuck. You just take a scrap piece of wood that is screwed to the faceplate. Center drill it and put a screw through the back that is the same thread as the wine stopper insert. Then just drill and tap your wood. Now you can just screw on the wood and turn it. I use the tailstock for support until I get the wood round then pull the tailstock away and finish turning it.
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