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Old 11-08-2018, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Bottle stopper mandrel help

So I wanna get into making bottle stoppers. So here's my question. What mandrels do I need to make pretty much any bottle stopper. I know I need at least 2 one for large and one for mini. But on woodturners catalog they have 4 different ones. Also ruth niles has at least 2. So do I need only a couple or do I need to get many? Also are there different mandrels for different brands? Or are they all compatible? Also is there better mandrels than others? Whether it's a brand or type. What else would I need? Oh yeah what size taps do I need or do I need them? Thank you you guys are always great help!
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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What lathe do you have? What kind of chucks do you have? Which bottle stoppers are you planning on making, a link would be helpful?
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Lotsa questions - - -

I think the situation isn't nearly as complicated as it appears to be. I haven't tried to track all of the commercial options, but I suspect that if there are differences, they are fairly small. For example, while Ruth Niles does offer two MT mandrels, the differences are relatively minor - the only apparent difference is that one can also be mounted in a scroll chuck. Other variations include mandrels that screw onto the lathe spindle rather than slip into a taper, mandrels that are held in a collet chuck, mandrels with removable studs, and mandrels with self-tapping threaded studs. Most involved 3/8" studs, with 16tpi threads if they are threaded, but I think I have seen at least one mandrel with a different diameter. So many choices, but they all achieve the same purpose.

My approach is to standardize on one method for producing the turning - I use a mandrel with a 3/8x16 threaded stud that screws into a suitable hole in the turning blank. My process is described in much more detail in another thread - Thoughts on wine stoppers. I opted for a mandrel that screws onto my lathe spindle. I mainly use a steel PSI mandrel, but I also have a shop-made mandrel that I occasionally use for finishing.

Having standardized on a process that requires a threaded hole in the base of the turning, I have total flexibility to use any kind of stopper. Most of the stoppers I make use the silicone sleeve design that has a 3/8" dowel that is very slightly too large to fit into a hole threaded for a 3/8" stud - so I simply ream out the hole using a 23/64" drill bit, add a little glue, and press the dowel into the hole. But if I am using a metal stopper with a threaded stud, I can just screw it into the hole and be done. I don't make stoppers that use cork because they can't easily be cleaned for reuse.

Finally, there is one other factor - portability. That is, what is the likelihood that you will be upgrading to a different lathe in the future? If an upgrade is on the horizon, you probably want to think about whether the tooling you are looking at today can be ported over to a new (presumably, larger) lathe.

So - to answer your question - my suggestion is to select one method and purchase the tooling to use that approach.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Decide what stopper you want to use first, and then buy the mandrel you need for that particular stopper. . You would then select a blank to turn in your choice of wood, acrylic, or whatever material.

When you are beginning, I don't think it is wise to try to anticipate and buy everything you might need for every possible path you might decide to follow.

Do a bit of shopping and decide on how you want to start. . I prefer stainless steel stoppers above the plated ones.

Some stoppers have threaded stubs. . A common thread size is 3/8"x16 tpi. . Threaded stoppers could be glued into the blank you turn, but I think it is advisable to use a metal insert with internal threads already tapped to accept your chosen metal stopper. . Here is an example of such an insert:

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/BSERT.html

which can be used with this stopper:

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/BS1.html

But don't get the impression that I am recommending this PSI stopper (which is plated). . This is just an example you would encounter in your shopping.

I prefer a stainless steel stopper, and I know that the Ruth Niles products are extremely popular and are very good. . Frankly, I'd go with them.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I use Ruth Niles and/or StainlessSteelBottlesStoppers.com (Ruth's are also SS). Both parties are very friendly and will tell you what you need. So will all of the others mentioned above. You have many choices. Enjoy!
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcatcher View Post
What lathe do you have? What kind of chucks do you have? Which bottle stoppers are you planning on making, a link would be helpful?
I have a nova comet II. I have a nova g3 chuck. I'm not really sure what type of bottle stoppers I want to use. Honestly I'm pretty confused with the different size stoppers. I was hoping a could get a couple mandrels to start. I was thinking about getting the professional whiteside mandrels. They have a few but there's 2 that self thread. And the niles or s.s. bottle stoppers has the niles mandrel also self tapping. I'm just worried about them being the size weather it's the thread or the width of the stopper itself.

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Old 11-09-2018, 08:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyL View Post
I use Ruth Niles and/or StainlessSteelBottlesStoppers.com (Ruth's are also SS). Both parties are very friendly and will tell you what you need. So will all of the others mentioned above. You have many choices. Enjoy!
Does the mandrel come with different size rings for different width of stoppers?

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Old 11-09-2018, 08:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I started out using some stoppers from Craft Supplies USA but switched to Ruth Niles. I have a mandrel which screws on the headstock spindle. Quick and easy but will only fit whatever size thread you have. I also have one which I put in a drill chuck or collet Chuck (it also came from CSUSA as I recall).....and I have the Niles Morse taper mandrel. All three of these are for different size stoppers.
Note that when using a Morse taper type mandrel, you need a draw bar (threaded rod going through the headstock with a nut/ knob to tighten it) so the mandrel won’t work loose and come out of the Morse taper....and smack you in the head.

I highly recommend both Niles and the products from SS Bottle Stoppers.
I do drill and tap my holes instead of trying the self tapping method. The brass inserts would be good for acrylics or woods which don’t tap well.

Check out Ruth’s bottle opener and Joyner off center jig too.
Ruth has the package deal with stoppers, mandrel, drill bit, and draw bar.
Likewise, Stainless Steel and not plated stoppers.
Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by jxdubbs View Post
Does the mandrel come with different size rings for different width of stoppers?
In penmaking, it is customary to match the bushing to the kit - that is, bushings are designed to be used as a guide to turning the diameter of the pen body so that there will be a seamless transition from the turned portion of the pen to the metal components in the kit.

That could be done with stoppers if you want. However, that would also mean that either there has to be an accepted standard for the diameter of stopper that all component manufacturers follow, or else that you would have to buy a new mandrel each time you switch kit designs. The world of stoppers is very small, and the only standardization that makes sense relates to the internal diameter of the neck of wine bottles (and I'm not sure that is all that standard), and it doesn't make sense to have to have multiple sets of tooling for something as simple as bottle stopper turning.

And this only applies if you are using metal stoppers such as the Niles stainless steel units. If you are using the silicone sleeve or cork versions, there is no 'top' to try to match.

So that leaves two choices:

1. If you are using a metal stopper and want a smooth transition between the metal and the turned portion you create, use calipers to measure the stopper and to guide your turning. A set of calipers cost less than a stopper mandrel, and one purchase sets you up for life.

2. Choose instead to intentionally to give the turned portion of the stopper a different diameter. My approach of recessing the bottom of the turning so that the seam between the metal and the turning is hidden behind that edge means that I want the bottom of the turning to be larger than the top of the metal portion of the stopper.

It makes sense for pen turning to include some elements of formula. Bottle stopper turning allows for much more creativity, and you have the freedom to use a wide variety of design options.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie_W View Post
I started out using some stoppers from Craft Supplies USA but switched to Ruth Niles. I have a mandrel which screws on the headstock spindle. Quick and easy but will only fit whatever size thread you have. I also have one which I put in a drill chuck or collet Chuck (it also came from CSUSA as I recall).....and I have the Niles Morse taper mandrel. All three of these are for different size stoppers.
Note that when using a Morse taper type mandrel, you need a draw bar (threaded rod going through the headstock with a nut/ knob to tighten it) so the mandrel wonít work loose and come out of the Morse taper....and smack you in the head.

I highly recommend both Niles and the products from SS Bottle Stoppers.
I do drill and tap my holes instead of trying the self tapping method. The brass inserts would be good for acrylics or woods which donít tap well.

Check out Ruthís bottle opener and Joyner off center jig too.
Ruth has the package deal with stoppers, mandrel, drill bit, and draw bar.
Likewise, Stainless Steel and not plated stoppers.
Good luck!
Do you know or if anyone else should know if the Ruth Niles and S.S Bottle Stoppers. Are the same mandrels/chucks? They look identical.

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