The Donny Virtual LatheWine Glass
Learn to turn a inexpensive wine glass into an heirloom treasure
that can also please the palate. This method teaches how to make an
elegant wine glass from discount store wine glasses and exotic
This piece can be turned in 2-4 hours on any size lathe using tools
that are likely in any turners toolbox.
At the end of this project enjoy your favorite wine proudly
displayed in your newly turned glass!
White or redWhite or redWhite or redWhite or red
Want to impress your friends? Make a set of glasses that match the
wine you serve.
Bloodwood is a full bodied wood and goes well with red wines
whereas fruitier woods like cherry and apple
compliment the whites.
-WARNING- Woodturning is a potentially dangerous activity. Improper
use of tools and/or equipment, products or materials as well as not
following recommended safety guidelines can result in serious
injury or death. It is your responsibility to make sure you are
properly educated in all aspects of woodturning and to follow
safety guidelines and manufacturers recommendations regarding the
proper use of product to ensure your safety. If you have questions
regarding proper lathe operation, tool use or safety guidelines,
please consult an expert.
Safe turning practices are not limited to the recommendations
listed at the end of this document
It is your responsibility to become properly trained and educated
prior to attempting woodturning
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Model
This model was created using the Donny Virtual Lathe and Google
SketchUp. For more information on modeling woodturning go to
www.turnedoutright.com and a free copy of this model.
The grids is in 1/4 “ increments
Method: Wine Glass Section: Materials
Inexpensive wine glass. I bought mine from Wal-Mart in a pack of
six for $6.00.
I used blood wood. I recommend hard exotics as they turn smooth
with sharp tools, require a minimum of sanding and wear the
Glue & Finish:
•Wipe on poly: It wears the best when handled and is
•GE silicon II (any hardware store)
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Preparing the base
From a ¾ inch thick material cut a 3’x3’ or larger square and mount
it in your
In this instance mine was 3.2 inches. It just needs to fit into
your chuck and be
slightly bigger than the base of the wine glass you are modeling.
The base of a
7 inch tall wine glass should have a diameter of about 3”.
The blank should be square so that all of the chuck jaws engage
each of the four perimeter surfaces.
With a parting tool cut a grove in the edge of the blank that is as
close to the
chuck jaws as possible, being careful not to catch on the
Next cut a maximum diameter circle in the face of the blank
to the depth of the grove that you just cut.
Do not stand in the path of the spinning blank and be careful of
the corners as
they will fly off. I cut very close to the bottom but stop just
short then break the
corners off with the lathe stopped.
Now we need to cut a hole in the base to accept the stem.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Drilling the base
Mount a Jacobs chuck in the tail stock with a ½” Forsner bit.
Drill a 1/8 inch deep hole in the center of the base.
Warning: the depth of this hole is critical. More than ¼ depth will
result in a
hole being present in the bottom when you part off the finished
The bottom will be parted off concave and you only have 3/8 of
work with and the Forsner bit has a point on it. That’s why I
depth. The stem is going to be CA’d into the base and it will not
forces that will delaminate the tenon. You can also use a twist
drill to get a
shallower hole but I have found them not to cut as cleanly.
Now we are going to cut a matching tenon in the stem.
If you have another chuck it is desirable to leave the base in this
chuck. But if
you need this chuck for the next step mark the base and chuck so
that you can
return it to the same orientation.
Then remove the base.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Gluing the Stem
Cut a ¾ x ¾ x 3” piece of the same material for the stem.
Make sure that the grain runs in the direction of the long
dimension of the stem
otherwise you will be cutting end grain and it will be hard to get
a smooth cut
and it will not match the base.
To minimize waste cross-cut a 3”piece of material from a 4” wide
cut the base 3 x 3 leaving enough material for the stem. Trim the
piece ¾ x ¾ square to use as the stem.
Mount the stem blank into the jaws of a small chuck after marking
its center on
Bring up the tailstock and turn the tailstock end of the stem
round. Then turn a
½ inch tenon on the same end. Trim this tenon to 1/8-1/4 inch deep.
I prefer 1/8
For the best appearance the stem to base fit needs to be perfect. I
sharpened ½” wrench to get an exact size tenon.
Cut the cheek of the tenon concave so that it sets down square on
making a barely detectable parting line.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Gluing the stem
Test fit the base on the stem blank before removing the stem from
Trim it until if fits tight.
Remove the stem blank and insert the base back in the chuck.
using two chucks).
Glue the stem into the base using thick superglue. Use the
tailstock without a
live center to press it up tight to the base. Let it dry.
Next we will prepare the stem for the glass body.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Cut the stems mortise
When dry pull back the tailstock.
With a small triangular file score the stem of the glass around
circumference about 1” from the base of the body. This leaves a 1”
the body which we will use to affix the glass body to the wood
While holding the body of the glass with a rag, tap the stem on the
with a small hammer. Keep the glass base as a model.
Measure the diameter of the body’s tenon.
With a Jacobs chuck and a drill that matches the diameter of the
drill a 1” hole in the end of the stem. Trial fit the body until it
fits up against the
stem, then go a tad more.
With a small bowl gouge bevel the stem to fit the body.
To do this take small cuts fitting the glass into the stem until
the base of the
glass body fits snugly up against the wood stem. You may also have
the depth of the hole because as you turn the bevel the glass will
into the stem.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Turn the stem
Turn the stem between centers using a cone in your tailstocks live
support the end of the spindle.
Starting at the right of the spindle turn features from left to
standard spindle gouges and techniques.
Generally the diameter on the right should be bigger than the left
but hey its
Be careful and remember that the first 1” of the spindle is hollow.
Don’t turn it
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Polish the stem
If you have good spindle technique and a sharp tool you can almost
sanding. This is especially true the harder the wood.
If your surfaces is not smooth then sand through 400 grit paper,
sanding and go right to burnishing
Use wood shavings to burnish the surface. Do this by holding
against the stem while the late is turning.
As a final surface smoothing use Tripoli. Do this by turning up the
holding a bar of Tripoli against the turning stem. When the entire
been smoothed and coated with Tripoli use a paper cloth to polish
and remove residue.
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Method: Wine Glass
Using a parting tool cut a grove into the base at a point that will
allow the base
to be the proper thickness. Use the glass base as a model. In the
above the base will be ½ of the amount that was protruding from the
Insure that there is enough room between the chuck jaws and the
the base so you can part it off safely.
Now using a small bowl gouge shape the base in a convex shape from
bottom of the stem to the outer edge of the base.
Finish the base using Tripoli and/or sanding papers.
Oh, and by the way watch your knuckles, it doesn’t feel very good
get impacted by the spinning corners of the base.
Now you are ready to finish the bottom.
Section: Shape the bottom
Method: Wine Glass Section: Finishing
Apply Wipe-on-Poly (polyurethane) on the surfaces of the stem and
while the lathe is turning.
Apply multiple coats. The more coats the better the finish and the
proof it will be.
For best results let the initial coat dry 24 hrs between
You can remove the assembly from the chuck but be prepared for it
a bit when returned to the chuck.
When the stem-base assembly is dry buff it to the desired
Part the base from the chuck using care to slightly concave the
cutting into the stems tenon.
Next we will finish the bottom of the base-stem assembly.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Finish the bottom
The next time you see someone admiring a woodturning notice how
immediately turn over the piece and look at the bottom. For this
reason a piece
is not complete until the bottom has been given as much care as the
ruin a beautiful job by shortchanging the bottom. In fact it is fun
your admirer by adding a feature to the bottom.
Finish the bottom of the base using a soft sanding disk mounted in
chuck in the headstock.
Be careful not to destroy the concave shape of the bottom or the
glass will not
sit flat on the table.
The next page outlines how to repair holes and cracks. In case you
the bottom like I did on my first one.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Repairs
I use the following procedure for fixing holes and cracks. Its
success will depend on how
much care you take and also how the wood reacts to CA. This isn't
perfect so be prepared
for your results to vary.
• Gather some of the wood material from the lathe or floor. Make
sure that it does not have debris in it and that the color of the
material matches the area you are going to patch as closely as
• Put the wood material into a coffee grinder. I use an old one I
got from the trash. Grind the material until it is as fine as you
can possibly get it, this may take multiple runs and a shake or two
of the grinder.
• With a Q-tip apply some BLO around the perimeter of the area to
be prepared to minimize the amount of glue that will wick into the
surrounding area. CA does not take a finish and therefore it wont
blending well leaving a nasty stain that is hard to remove without
re-cutting the area.
• Then with the ground wood between your thumb and forefinger
sprinkle it into the repair area. Sometimes piling it on the repair
and then wiping the surface briskly with your finger will force the
wood down into the crevices and open grain.
• Now carefully drip thin CA into the filled area. Use the glue
sparingly and don’t let it get outside of the BLO area. Spray the
area with accelerator to speed drying.
• Repeat the filling-gluing process until the repair is filled with
as much wood as possible. Don’t fill the gaps with just CA, always
use wood and CA. The higher proportion of wood the better.
• Power sand the surface and refinish the repair with the same
finish as the rest of the piece.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Glue up
Using clear GE silicon II (you can get it from Home Depot) glue the
the wooden stem. The glue should ooze from around the stem if
Do not wipe off the excess glue. Let the glue dry and then cut it
Let the completed glass dry for 24hrs
Using an single edge razor blade cut the waste from around the stem
interposes the glass.
Find yourself a nice bottle of wine and try it out !
Let me know how it turned out, send a
picture to [email protected]
1. Safe and effective use of a wood lathe requires study and
knowledge of proper machine operation, tool use and correct turning
techniques. It is your responsibility to read and follow all
warning labels and owners/operators manuals supplied on or with
machinery, chucks, tools and other products. It is your
2. responsibility to become properly educated in all aspects of
woodturning prior to turning wood.
3. Always wear a full-face shield at all times. Shop/Safety glasses
alone are not sufficient protection from flying debris.
4. Exposure to wood dust can be harmful to your respiratory system.
Always use a proper dust mask or air filtration helmet in addition
to adequate ventilation.
5. Always wear adequate hearing protection. Long-term
6. to noise can damage hearing.
7. Do not wear loose clothing, gloves, jewelry or any objects that
dangle as they may become entangled in the lathe. Always tie back
long hair. Check your person and your surroundings for any other
items that may be accidentally entangled.
8. Check your owner/operators manual for proper speed
9. If you cannot find recommended speeds, please seek the advise of
a professional prior to operating the lathe.
10. Use slower speeds for larger diameter or out of balance work.
NEVER stat the lathe before checking to make sure the lathe speed
setting is correct for the size of work to be turned. If excess
vibration or shaking occurs, stop the lathe and determine the cause
11. Prior to starting the lathe, rotate the work piece by hand to
make sure that it clears the tool rest support and lathe bed. Also,
make certain that all clamping devices are locked and that the
tailstock is proper seated against the work.
12. Be sure the work piece is securely mounted and is free of
imperfections or substandard glue joints that may result in the
work piece separating or flying apart.
13. Make certain that the belt guard and/or control and motor
covers are is in place. Check to make sure all tightening handles
are properly tightened.
14. Make sure that the tool is resting on the tool rest before
beginning the cut. Always run the lathe at slow speeds while making
roughing cuts and NEVER use a roughing gouge on a bowl.
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15. Prior to running the lathe in reverse, make sure that necessary
steps are taken to prevent the work piece and/or chuck from
unscrewing itself from the lathe.
16. Always know your capabilities work within your limits. Many
techniques and procedures used by professional woodturners may be
beyond your abilities or skill level and can prove to be dangerous
17. Utilize the tailstock whenever possible. This provides an added
level of safety as it often times prevents the work from coming off
the lathe during a mishap.
18. Always remove the tool rest before sanding and finishing.
Failing to do so can result in serious injury to your hand and
19. Do not overreach! Although many of today’s tools have long
blades, this does not mean that they are designed to reach long
distances over the rest. Overreaching can cause the blade and/or
handle to break causing serious injury.
20. Keep your tools sharp and properly ground. Dull tools are
dangerous as they require excessive pressure to make them cut. If
you have difficulty in sharpening, seek the advice of an expert for
proper training. Keep tools out of the reach of children.
21. Do not use tools for purposes for which they are not designed
or intended for. Using a tool, chuck or lathe component for
purposes other than what they were designed to do will likely
result in an accident.
22. Properly dispose of finishing rags and unused finishes.
23. Do not leave finish containers open and keep them away from
24. Keep your work area clean and free of clutter and debris.
25. Use caution when finishing with cloth rags, they may become
entangled and cause injury.
26. Inspect your lathe and equipment frequently. Check power cords,
connections and do not use extension cords for providing power to
27. Stay alert, take frequent breaks and never operate the lathe or
other shop equipment when under the influence of drugs, medication
28. Never leave the lathe running unattended. Be certain to turn
off power to the lathe when not in use.
29. Use a well-balanced stance when turning while maintaining a
firm, comfortable grip on the tool.