Raise Your Glass…..or Wooden Drinking Implement


Another pay-it-forward build update.

So, for my friend Kathleen, I decided to make a wooden beer/soda/water mug. It’s made from flat pieces of wood cut at an angle to make an almost circular polygon. To do this, I first had to build a jig…..

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This jig serves a very important purpose. It lets me reliably and repeatedly cut pieces with a 15 degree bevel. While I can tilt my saw blade for the same effect, it’s difficult to safely and accurately make these cuts. This jig takes care of that for me. I drew it up on the computer and laser cut the pieces for it.

Here’s another view that shows the angle. The block keeps the wood at the proper spacing.

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So now we prepare the wood. I planed down some oak to a workable thickness. I probably looked weird at TechShop as I would plane the wood some and then hold it up to my mouth to test for thickness.

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Next, we cut out 12 pieces and bevel the edges…..

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Now we test fit them.

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Add some glue and tighten it.

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Now we really tighten it. Note the rags to protect the wood from the hose clamps. Note: You can accomplish any engineering task with hose clamps, duct tape, and glue.

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Looks circular!

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I cut out a bottom on my bandsaw, glued it, and then sanded it to match. Then I made up a handle on my CNC router and ran it through my table router with a 1/4″ roundover bit to give it a nice smooth feel.

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Now we glue it together, sand, and throw some polyurethane on the outside.

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I then coated the inside with an epoxy resin coating. This seals up any gaps and seals off the wood from any liquids. Once fully cured, the coating is safe for liquids. (You can see a little bit of the shiny coating on the top that hasn’t fully cured yet.)

So there you have it! One oak drinking cup. The outside seams didn’t fully mesh as fully as I’d like, but it does give it a “rustic” feel. (I made a test piece with poplar, and as that’s softer, it meshed quite nicely. However, the oak looks better, IMHO.)

I hope Kathleen enjoys many tasty beverages with her new mug. Just remember that it’s definitely not dishwasher safe. Hand wash only and dry immediately.

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