Perfume Bottle Holder

Monday 9 July 2018

This is a relatively easy project, but is perfect if you are looking to practise and hone your thread chasing skills.

Although this project is a perfume bottle holder, by adjusting the dimensions to suit, you can use this idea for numerous other projects. Whilst this is made from cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa) and aluminium, the metal turns almost as easily as hardwood. Brass is another alternative which could be used instead; both take threads well.

I'd had this idea for some time and bought a small refillable perfume test bottle off the Internet. Whether it is genuine Chanel No. 19 remains to be seen, but if it was, for 10p, I had definitely found a bargain. Being refillable you could always disguise your own 'Passion De Paul' in the bottle and you will be loved forever. Please note, however, that there are no guarantees!

Tools used

20tpi internal thread chaser

20tpi external thread chaser

12mm (1/2in) skew chisel

6mm (1/4in) beading/parting tool

6mm (1/4in) combination tool

10mm (3/8in) combination tool

Step 1

Take one 125 x 25mm (5 x 1in) bar of aluminium and the same sized piece of cocobolo. With both rods, take 50mm (2in) from the end to be used for the top of the container. Using a 19mm (3/4in) Forstner bit, drill down the cocobolo for at least 60mm (2 3/4in). Note: mark the distance with a piece of electrical tape wrapped around the stem of the drill bit

Step 2

Out of a piece of scrap boxwood make two bushes so that you know the exact depth to plane the cocobolo down to

Step 3

With the two bushes inserted at either end of the cocobolo and the whole thing placed on a pen mandrel, using the skew chisel plane down to the correct depth. Whilst at this stage, sand and finish this piece of wood

Step 4

Trim the cocobolo to a length of 57mm (2 1/4in) and using this as a guide, mark on the aluminium bar the length where the metal needs to have a smaller diameter. Leave a 12.5mm (1/2in) length at the end of the bar and this is where the male thread will be chased. Using the parting tool cut the diameter down at each end between the marks you made in the last stage

Step 5

Using the skew chisel, plane the marked length down to a diameter of 22mm (7/8in). As the cocobolo will be glued to this section, leave the surface rough for a greater grip

Step 6

The perfume bottle I used for this project was 7.5mm (9/32in) in diameter. Using a 8mm (5/16in) drill bit, drill down to a depth where when inserted, the black neck of the bottle will just be showing

Step 7

The perfume bottle slides smoothly down the drilled hole

Step 8

Using standard high-speed 20tpi thread chasers make a male thread on the outside of the hole that you have just drilled. The lathe speed is 350rpm

Step 9

Now cut the bar into two halves – the cut will be hidden by the cocobolo sleeve. Then, trim and decorate the bottom end of the project

Step 10

Sand and polish the aluminium with metal polish. This can bring it up to look like silver. You can also finish the threaded end of this split metal bar

Step 11

With the 50mm (2in) section of bar removed at the start, drill and thread the hole to accept the previously threaded male section. Use the toolrest at an angle rather than an armrest for support

Step 12

Next, glue the cocobolo to the bottom part of the holder and check that this screws into the female threaded hole that you have just chased

Step 13

With the threads fitting correctly, you can now start to shape the top

Step 14

With the 50mm (2in) section of cocobolo drilled to 19mm (3/4in), plane the aluminium top down until the wood just slides over it. After removing the cocobolo you can then turn the top around in the chuck and grip it using the cut end

Step 15

Using the combination tools start to shape the top. You may want to be able to hang the holder, in which case you can add a drilled sphere at the top end. The combination tools can be used as scrapers for this, but they do cut beautifully when used as a conventional gouge with the bevel rubbing

Step 16

Drill through the sphere with a 7mm (9/32in) bullet-headed drill bit so that the bit does not wander at the start of the drilling, then sand and polish the top. Using a scrap spigot, finish the cocobolo perfume top which you will have cut to a length of 20mm (3/4in)

Step 17

With the cocobolo glued onto the aluminium you now have the finished top. When screwed to the bottom part of the project, I find it easier to unscrew if wood faces up to the aluminium, so have the cocobolo just a little longer that the metal in the top

Step 18

The finished perfume bottle holder, ready for use