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Old 07-14-2017, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Bottle stoppers out of round?

Picked up one of the PSI bottle stopper kits, including chuck, stoppers, blanks, tap, etc. I had been messing around using the silicone stoppers on the dowels, and just using raw cork (Hint, corks compress or expand depending on how they are mounted or at what RPM they are spun, makes for a real treat when trying to turn to a specific diameter).

My first BS went great. I love making these things now.

Next one is a beautiful Paduak, finished with a couple coats of Shellac, grooves inlaid with gold leaf, and then a few coats of Poly. I had to cut it off the chuck, as the poly had formed a film over the chuck. So I have to rework it a touch to get that sharp edge off. (Going to use a thin washer to offset future pieces from the chuck when finishing from now on).

I placed it on the stopper, and it's out of round. One side is >1/32" off from the edge, while the other side is flush. I try a second stopper, same thing. I mount it back on the now cleaned up chuck. While it does sit a bit prouod because of the finish, it's even all the way around.

My first turning was dead nuts co-centric with both the chuck and the stopper.

Could PSI have a run of stoppers (The chrome and silicone part with the bolt) that aren't turned properly? One of them that failed actually feels a little lumpy on one edge.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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One way to tell if the stopper is actually round is to measure several diameters with calipers. If all of the readings are the same, then it is perfectly round. This also needs to be done to check the centering of the stud on the stopper. The amount these are off will tell if it is too out of round to use. Personally, I don't think a thousandth or two is going to make much of a difference. The wood will swell and shrink this much during use. If you have several of these, contact PSI to see if they are aware of the problem, and if they will be willing to make it good to you.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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The one stopper I did measure varied between .927 and .953, the chuck between .9615 and .960.

I could break out the dial indicator and see what the runout is if I reverse mount the stopper on the chuck, but that's a lot of work, and I don't know if my dial indicator will actually mount properly.

Looking closer at my first one, it too is not cocentric. But the design of the blank hides this as it immediately flares out. This latest one actually tapers in a bit (over aggressive sanding, whoops, but it makes for a nice profile).
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Can you post pics of your turning process? I used literally thousands of the silicone stoppers, and hundreds of the cork version and have never had a problem.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Contacted PSi and waiting their reply.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcatcher View Post
Can you post pics of your turning process? I used literally thousands of the silicone stoppers, and hundreds of the cork version and have never had a problem.
I used the starter Kit that PSI provides, which includes a screw chuck, tap, stoppers, and a few blanks.

I drill the blank with the bit provided in the kit, and then tap accordingly.

Mount it on the screw chuck, and turn it down like I would with pen bushings, so it's flush with the end of the chuck.

Finish to taste, and understanding that the finish will add a bit of diameter to the piece. I have now fashioned a HDPE ~1/4" threaded bushing to sit between the chuck and the piece to allow the finish to wrap around smoothly.

Then screw onto the stopper.

The bolt in the stopper does not appear to be cocentric with the outside diameter. The outside diameter is also varying in size and regularity, there are flat spots on it.

My first thought was there's no way my hand turned piece is more accurate than a machined part, but I'm thinking these stoppers are cast, not machined, and then chrome plated.

As for the cork, I have a large bucket of extra large corks. In order for them to fit in a standard bottle, I have to reduce their diameter some. I went through a lot of corks before getting it right, as they are fragile and expand when squeezed down between centers, or crush when put in a chuck. That makes the final dimension somewhat random when I remove the cork from the lathe.

I have no issues with the silicone on the wooden dowel stoppers, other than getting the blank to mate properly (resolved), and then holding the blank on the lathe (somewhat resolved).
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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If you emailed them, you won't get a reply.

The only way to go is to phone them ... number at top of their web page.

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Contacted PSi and waiting their reply.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magpens View Post
If you emailed them, you won't get a reply.

The only way to go is to phone them ... number at top of their web page.

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Originally Posted by Marmotjr View Post
Contacted PSi and waiting their reply.
That's very disheartening. I hate phones.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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[quote=Marmotjr;1932878]
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcatcher View Post
The bolt in the stopper does not appear to be cocentric with the outside diameter. The outside diameter is also varying in size and regularity, there are flat spots on it.

My first thought was there's no way my hand turned piece is more accurate than a machined part, but I'm thinking these stoppers are cast, not machined, and then chrome plated.
The first few stoppers I made used the PSI plated metal components. They are fine - the fact that they may not be perfectly concentric is not a major issue because they are just bottle stoppers. However, I very quickly learned that if you want quality metal bottle stoppers, you buy the components from Ruth Niles. Her's are turned, food-grade stainless steel. Yes, they are more expensive - that's exactly what you would expect.

Most of the stoppers I make are given away, so I don't want to sink a lot of money into them. So I tend to use the PSI dowel/silicone sleeve components for my 'everyday' stoppers. The only issue with them is that when you are making the turning, you need a hole in the blank (3/8x16) to fix it to the stopper mandrel, so you drill a 5/16" hole and then tap it. But when you finish the turning, the hole is too small to accept the wooden dowel. My solution to that is to use an 11/32" drill bit to bore out the tapped hole before gluing the dowel in place. I do it manually - hold the drill with vice grips and gently twist the finished stopper top to ream out the threads to leave a hole that the dowel will snugly fit into.

I take a different approach to the problem you encountered with finishing the seam between the bottom of the turning and the top of the metal component. I put a recess on the bottom to accept the top of the metal stopper component. One way is to use a forstner bit to cut a mortise about 1/16" deep. Alternatively, I use a spindle gouge to scoop out a recess. In either case, I do this with the blank mounted in a chuck with the bottom end facing the tailstock, and then reverse it onto the stopper mandrel for the rest of the project. But the result is the same - the bottom of the turning is always larger than the diameter of the mating component, and more importantly, when viewed from the side, the seam between the turning and the top of the metal component is hidden behind the edge of that recess. The result looks neater and avoids the finishing problem you encountered.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Those are good ideas, thanks.
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