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Thread: looking for a suggestion on drilling holes for bottle stoppers

  1. #1
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    looking for a suggestion on drilling holes for bottle stoppers

    If I use an 11/32 drill bit for either penn state stoppers or niles stoppers on wood, its fine. I get a tight fit to use my bottle stopper chuck.
    If I use an 11/32 bit on inlace acrylester its too tight, if I try to force it, the hole chips out.
    If I use an 23/64th bit, the hole is too big for inlace acrylester.
    I tried to use tape over the chuck screw to make it tighter, doesn't work, so now I have 3 blanks that are unusable, but I haven't disposed of them yet, figured Id fill in the holes eventually with something and then redrill.

    whats the solution, something simple Im missing?
    Human Test Dummy

  2. #2
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    Do you use a tap to match your chuck's thread?

  3. #3
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    Ed beat me to the question. I've always used a tap to cut threads in the hole, especially in acrylics or other plastics. (Don't recall what size the tap or the holes are...been a while since I made any bottle stoppers.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    (Don't recall what size the tap or the holes are...been a while since I made any bottle stoppers.)
    Me neither ... and we made some Niles stoppers yesterday. At least I remembered to wake up this morning.

  5. #5
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    I don't have a tap.
    I never had a problem with regular acrylics, seems only the inlace acrylester drives me up a wall.

    having read ed's response, I think Ill order the niles tap set for future use, have the right size and all.

    its been too cold to do much work out there, so I decided to make a couple of dozen bottle stoppers and not make them again for a while, just keeping busy.
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
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    Unlike wood, Inlace (don't know why you bought that crap!) has no ability to expand or contract. Niles uses a 3/8-20 drill bit/tap so where the 11/32" or 24/64" show up at, well...
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Burr View Post
    Unlike wood, Inlace (don't know why you bought that crap!) has no ability to expand or contract. Niles uses a 3/8-20 drill bit/tap so where the 11/32" or 24/64" show up at, well...
    well, dad, I didn't know much difference betweens plastics when I first decided to turn acrylic bottle stoppers, so it looked good, I purchased a bunch.
    my other problem is that I started making only PSI bottle stoppers, but then purchased 30 niles ss stoppers at last years show, and they require a bit different hole, but Ive been ok with wood other acrylics, using 11/32 on wood, 24/64 on acrylic.

    I haven't looked at the niles site, but will get to it. I also cut my blanks short, to get 3 stoppers out of each blank, so when I drilled the hole, I couldn't flip it and turn away the other hole, too shallow.

    Its a learning process for me.........and Im learning to ask first because acrylic blanks are expensive, eventually, Ill work on making my own...not ready for that yet....soon though.

    I don't have anymore inlace left, maybe a pen blank or two.
    Human Test Dummy

  8. #8
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    Could you fill the holes with epoxy and re-drill, when you get the Ruth Niles tap?
    "We the People ......"

  9. #9
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    The stopper chuck sold by PSI has a 3/8" screw and comes with a 23/64" drill bit. That leaves only 1/128" of material for the screw to grab. I emailed them about the issue, but they have so much stock they can't make a change. I use a 5/16" drill bit to drill a hole in a blank, then tap it with a 3/8" tap; that leaves plenty of material for decent threads. That process works in wood and acrylic for me.
    Bill Arnold
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  10. #10
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    I do the same as Bill. 5/16" bit and 3/8" tap. Have had some failures on some punky maple, but nothing else ever. If the wood is punky, I now drill it, cut with the tap, soak in a bunch of CA glue and then re-cut with the tap. That will work about 80% of the time for punky wood.
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