Jeff: Your corkscrew is great, the video really shows just how quick it should be. I agree with you that the 'red shockwave' click animation is a bit over the top, though it does make it very clear when yu have clicked!

I think the idea that I've not yet addopted is adding dummy geometry to act as a rotation point / guide for my model.

Here is a render of a similar corkscrew (not as pretty as yours though, too compact!)

Thanks for taking the time out, to help a relative noob!

Corkscrew (5 degree twist per segment - not quite smooth)