Laminating Bottle Stoppers
Blank Preparation & Turning
by: Ed Davidson

Lathe Turned Arts


I purchased some very nicely dyed and stabilized (i.e.; expensive) Boxelder burl pieces recently from Arizona Silhouette, and planned on making fancy (i.e.; expensive) wine bottle stoppers from them. But the blanks were a little larger (1 7/8" X 1 7/8") than I would normally use for stoppers. And, this wood was way too nice to what to do...LAMINATE.

This essay will take you through the steps that I used in preparing a colorful wood lamination for bottle stopper turning.


Here are four surplus slabs of dyed Buck-Eye, each measuring about 1 7/8" X 2 1/2" X 3/8", cut from larger blanks, using a band saw. Now, on the disk sander, sand the band-sawed surfaces flat, for glue-up.


I'm using Titebond II for the glue-up, but any yellow glue should do fine..


Be extra sure to glue the four slabs up so that there are no gaps or air pockets.


Let the assembly dry for a few hours, then back to the disk sander...sand one surface flat, as shown here.


Move to the band saw and set your fence so that there's about 3/8" clearance.


Very carefully, and with the flat-sanded surface facing the fence, saw the laminated blank into four new slabs.   


Back to the disk sander for another round of pre-glue-up flat sanding.


And here's the key...after sanding, rotate every other slab 180 degrees.


Make sure that the four slabs line up as close as possible...corner to corner, and using the Titebond II again, glue-up the four laminated slabs, and let the new assembly dry for a few hours.


Sand a surface flat (as shown) and drill a 3/8" hole about 1" deep. Be very careful to drill the hole dead-center of the lamination.


In this example, I've mounted the laminated blank in a Jet Mini with a Super Nova chuck and worm screw, and using a live center on the tailstock for support while turning. Click here for alternative mounting/chucking methods.


Here's the finished piece...It's been sanded to 600 grit, followed by one coat of Sanding Sealer and a Beall Buff.

More tutorials: Bottle Stopper Chucking, Inlay Turning, Berea All-Chrome Alternative, Cork Stopper Making

Have a question or a comment? Send me an e-mail

Disclaimer: Please be careful when using any procedure described on this website, and maintain safe operations and practices at all times. The author assumes no responsibility for your safety, and will not be held responsible for any mishaps that may occur, either directly or indirectly, as a result of reading, using or applying any aspect of the instructions, procedures or processes described on this website. By applying any aspect of these instructions, either correctly as described or incorrectly, you agree to hold the author harmless and to indemnify the author from any and all injuries that may occur. 

Copyright(c) 2005 All rights reserved.