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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 woods.
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 type of
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.
Safety Warning
-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 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 best.
Glue & Finish:
•Wipe on poly: It wears the best when handled and is waterproof.
•CA (Thick),
•GE silicon II (any hardware store)
Unique Tools:
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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 evenly on
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 jaws.
Next cut a maximum diameter circle in the face of the blank perpendicular and
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 piece.
The bottom will be parted off concave and you only have 3/8 of material to
work with and the Forsner bit has a point on it. That’s why I recommend 1/8
depth. The stem is going to be CA’d into the base and it will not undergo
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 board. Then
cut the base 3 x 3 leaving enough material for the stem. Trim the remaining
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
one end.
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 use a
sharpened ½” wrench to get an exact size tenon.
Cut the cheek of the tenon concave so that it sets down square on the base
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 the chuck.
Trim it until if fits tight.
Remove the stem blank and insert the base back in the chuck. (unless your
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 its
circumference about 1” from the base of the body. This leaves a 1” tenon on
the body which we will use to affix the glass body to the wood stem.
While holding the body of the glass with a rag, tap the stem on the base side
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 body’s tenon
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 to adjust
the depth of the hole because as you turn the bevel the glass will fit deeper
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 center to
support the end of the spindle.
Starting at the right of the spindle turn features from left to right using
standard spindle gouges and techniques.
Generally the diameter on the right should be bigger than the left but hey its
your design!
Be careful and remember that the first 1” of the spindle is hollow. Don’t turn it
to thin.
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Method: Wine Glass Section: Polish the stem
If you have good spindle technique and a sharp tool you can almost eliminate
sanding. This is especially true the harder the wood.
If your surfaces is not smooth then sand through 400 grit paper, otherwise skip
sanding and go right to burnishing
Use wood shavings to burnish the surface. Do this by holding shavings
against the stem while the late is turning.
As a final surface smoothing use Tripoli. Do this by turning up the speed and
holding a bar of Tripoli against the turning stem. When the entire surface has
been smoothed and coated with Tripoli use a paper cloth to polish the surface
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 example
above the base will be ½ of the amount that was protruding from the chuck.
Insure that there is enough room between the chuck jaws and the bottom of
the base so you can part it off safely.
Now using a small bowl gouge shape the base in a convex shape from the
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 when they
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 the base
while the lathe is turning.
Apply multiple coats. The more coats the better the finish and the more water
proof it will be.
For best results let the initial coat dry 24 hrs between applications.
You can remove the assembly from the chuck but be prepared for it to wobble
a bit when returned to the chuck.
When the stem-base assembly is dry buff it to the desired gloss.
Part the base from the chuck using care to slightly concave the bottom without
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 they
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 top. Don’t
ruin a beautiful job by shortchanging the bottom. In fact it is fun to surprise
your admirer by adding a feature to the bottom.
Finish the bottom of the base using a soft sanding disk mounted in a Jacobs
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 cut through
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 possible.
• 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 body into
the wooden stem. The glue should ooze from around the stem if enough glue
is used.
Do not wipe off the excess glue. Let the glue dry and then cut it off.
Let the completed glass dry for 24hrs
Using an single edge razor blade cut the waste from around the stem where it
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]
Woodturning Safety
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 exposure
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 recommendations.
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 before proceeding.
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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Woodturning Safety
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 if attempted.
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 fingers.
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 open flame.
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 your lathe.
27. Stay alert, take frequent breaks and never operate the lathe or other shop equipment when under the influence of drugs, medication or alcohol.
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.