Use and Care of a Bench/Floor Corker
Floor/Bench Corker Care and Use
The floor/bench corker is a precision designed, well constructed corking machine and with good care and maintenance will last for many thousands of bottles. Points to remember when using your corker are:
Clean and dry your corker at the end of every bottling day. Water can pool up inside the mechanism, resulting in corrosion- especially if the water has sulfites in it.
Don't over-soak your corks. Twenty minutes is more than enough time. Corks that have soaked up too much liquid will release it inside the mechanism when squeezed by the jaws and fluid pooling on the inside of the machine will corrode it. Many times corks can be inserted dry with no pre-soaking necessary.
If the corks are going too far into the bottles, or winding up sticking out above the neck, adjust the cork depth with the knurled ring threaded onto the corking finger. Corks should be just below flush with the lip of the bottle.
Lubricate the jaws with a small amount of keg lube (petrol gel). Do not use vegetable oil as it will attract too much dirt and gum up the jaws. Do not use DW40 as the solvents and propellants in the material will slowly dissolve the jaws on nylon jaw corkers. Also, it is not fit for human consumption. Occasionally lubricate other moving parts (i.e. those that do not come in contact with the cork) with WD40 to prevent sticking.
If the shaft that holds up the bottle platform sticks or won't spring back up when the corking arm is released, tighten the two small nuts found on the bottom of the platform tensioning arm. If your corker malfunctions or sticks, be extremely cautious about taking it apart. The jaw mechanisms are held in place by powerful springs and can leap out when the cover is removed and/or deliver a nasty pinch to unwary fingers.
To assemble your corker, place it upside down with the front leg across your lap. Use a wrench (some models have one included) to thread-in the screw with washer into the hole to secure the cross leg in place. Tighten firmly but gently. If the bottle platform fails to return to position when the corking arm is returned to the top position, tension on the platform can be increased by tightening the two small nuts on the bottom of the front leg. Adjust them clockwise one turn at a time. If they are over tightened the platform may fail to release at all. In this case, reduce tension by loosening the nuts counter-clockwise one turn at a time.