DIY Network

How to Make a Bottle Stopper

If you know how to turn wood on a lathe, you can have hours of fun in your workshop. Use a lathe or a mini-lathe to transform raw materials into decorative items such as bottle stoppers.

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making a decorative wooden bottle stopper
  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Drill a Hole

Drill a hole in the bottom of the 4" x 3" x 3" block of wood, big enough to accommodate the dowel. Glue the dowel into the hole, and allow the glue time to dry.

drill hole in wood block for dowel

Step 2: Secure the Chuck

Secure a chuck to the head stock of the lathe (Image 1).

Insert the dowel into the chuck (Image 2).

Step 3: Screw the Stock Into the Lathe

Screw the tail stock of the lathe into the top of the block of wood (Image 1).

Make one manual rotation of the block to make sure it doesn't hit the tool rest (Image 2). Set lathe at medium speed (1,200 to 1,400 rpm).

Step 4: Secure the Face Plate, and Smooth the Block

Secure the face plate for protection before turning on the lathe.

Use a gouge to smooth the surface of the block to the desired shape and size.

use gouge to smooth surface of block

Step 5: Make Recessed Cuts, and Finish the Piece

Make deeper, recessed cuts at the end of the block (Image 1).

If you like, use a spindle gouge for detail work on the block (Image 2).

Remove the wood from the lathe, and sand it before painting or staining.