This is a fun, simple little project to do on a wood lathe. Using just a few materials, you can create a nice wine bottle stopper that makes a great gift.
I made it at TechShop.
Step 1: What you'll need
You'll need the following materials:
You'll need the following tools:
Step 2: Setup your work piece
Using your lathe, clamp your piece of wood between the headstock and tailstock. Make sure it's in there securely. Also, jog it by hand to make sure it spins freely and there are no obstructions in its rotation.
Step 3: Turn it to shape
This is where you can get creative. Using any combination of roughing gouges, shears, or scraping chisels, you can turn your blank of wood down to whatever shape you desire.
For mine, I went with a spinning top kind of shape. So first, I made the entire blank round. Then went along and shaped it. Once you're happy with the shape, come in with a parting tool and trim your piece off the lathe.
Step 4: Trim the ends
After you part the piece off the lathe, there may be a little nib that's still on the piece. Using the bandsaw or disc sander, you can easily remove it to square up the ends.
Step 5: Insert your dowel screw
The easiest way I found to insert the dowel screw was to put it in a bench vise and screw the top onto it. Keep going until you're approximately half way through the screw.
Step 6: Optional: Sand and smooth
For this step, I put my piece back on the lathe so I could sand it smooth. I secured it in the chuck by the dowel screw. Keeping the RPMs low (around 400-500), apply sandpaper to the surface until the desired smoothness is achieved. I started at 60 grit and went to 120 then finally 320.
At this point, you can also apply a turning finish if you'd like. Simply put it on a paper towel and apply to the surface while still on the lathe.
Step 7: Add your cork
Once you're finished the top, all that's left to do is to screw in the cork. And there you have it! A fun, simple lathe project that can make a great gift!