I would like to fix self-made wooden pieces on top of the following reusable corks:

enter image description here

Their description can be found here (where I bought them and where the picture comes from).

The pieces to fix can be of any shape: spheres, cubes, cones, cylindres, polyhedrons, etc... are painted and may come from different types of wood. They are decorative, and are not bigger than twice the size of the cork.

Should I simply use a wood glue?
With this method, it seems a bit difficult to solidly fix a sphere without putting a lot of glue.

Are there alternative ways?
Ideally, the method should be aesthetic and solid enough to resists a bottle opening.

  • If you need the decorative pieces adhered strongly you need to prepare both it and the top surface of the caps (or just a small spot on the cap) so that you're not just sticking paint to the clear finish that may be applied to the caps, which would result in a very weak bond. Can you scrape or sand paint from the decorative pieces, or, paint them after they've been glued in place? – Graphus Dec 3 at 14:22
  • @Graphus I would not like to paint afterward (but could finish the end result if needed). Preparing the cork is definitely an option. – Surb Dec 3 at 15:06
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    Although you can achieve very good surface bond strength if you prep well (bonds that are actually stronger than the wood itself are possible, so the glue line is not the weak point as most of us visualise it to be) I think @Wilson's answer will end up being your best option here. The ideal glue to use here is epoxy, since it's gap-filling and most other glues are not, and additionally it doesn't require firm clamping to achieve a strong bond. – Graphus Dec 5 at 6:29
  • @Graphus Thank you for the advice (in particular epoxy), I was thinking at which glue I should use. Perhaps you could put this last comment as an answer so that I can upvote it. – Surb Dec 5 at 8:47
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    No, thank you for the thought but a specific glue recommendation isn't the main question here and each Answer should focus on the one main query that each Question should be about, Adding additional details like this is one of the purposes of the Comment feature. – Graphus Dec 5 at 18:00
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would suggest drilling a hole into the wooden part of the bottle top and a corresponding hole on the bottom of your decoration. That way, you'll be able to dowel the two pieces together.

This can leave the appearance of the both parts unaffected, and the dowel and the inside of the hole will be good surfaces for the glue to bond to. Also, you are not relying on the surface area in the same way; you can easily glue a spherical object to the flat surface in this way.

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    Keep in mind also that when you open bottles, it's a little stiff, so you might try twisting it and applying lateral force to the cork to get it out in a few different ways. So a dowel should be able to take some of those forces. – Wilson Dec 3 at 14:42
  • Thank you! This sounds like a simple and efficient suggestion. – Surb Dec 3 at 15:08
  • One more question: When drilling in the cork, I think the wooden cap is quite thin, so I'll probably need to drill a bit inside the pvc cork. Will that be a problem (I am a bit afraid because of the heat)? – Surb Dec 3 at 15:25
  • It's not a problem to drill into cork, but take it slow, don't rush it. If your cork is made from PVC then I don't really know! I believe PVC corks have empty spaces inside which will make them difficult to glue. – Wilson Dec 3 at 15:32
  • After a bit of surgery, I can tell that the interior is not empty but the drill has absolutely no problem to pass through the PVC. Thanks a lot your helpful answer. – Surb Dec 5 at 9:05

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