Introduction: How to Make a Mug Out of Scrap Hard Wood Flooring

So, for the longest time I've been wanting to make something out of beautiful hard wood flooring left over from my Uncle's house, and I hated to see perfectly good hard wood go to waste. I decided to make a stein after watching a bunch of videos about making tree branch mugs, and I liked the idea and put my own classy spin on it. Also, I've had a piece of antler lying around that was just perfect for a handle.

This mug is great for just about anything. You could use it in a Viking Cosplay and string it from your belt. You could use it in fantasy costumes like Harry Potter and use it for Butter Beer, which I intend to attempt make and use in this mug, or just personal use to impress your friends.

So, without further ado, let's get started.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools:

Table Saw

Router

Sander

Hammer

Materials:

Hardwood Flooring

Antler

Wood Glue

Small Nails/ Tacks

Polyurethane

Lots of Rubber Bands

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting Down the Hard Wood Flooring

Ok, so the first step to this nonsense is to get your floor boards into regular boards since they're full of grooves. So the easiest way is to run them through a table saw to get them down to a solid rectangular cross section. Then give them a quick sand just to get any markings off.

The next step is figuring out how many sides you want. Eight you want eight sides. It's easiest and good looking, proportion-wise. Then you summon a demon (a.k.a do math) to find the angle that your cut is going to be.

If you are also going to do eight sides you can skip this part, unless you're a nerd or fascinated by math (also nerd).If you want more (or less) sides here's the process to find the angle for your cut. Since there are eight sides there are eight spokes so divide 360 (the total # of degrees in a circle) by eight which gives you 45, then take 180 (total # of degrees in a triangle) then subtract 45 and divide that # by 2 and that's your angle which i our case is 67.5 degrees or 22.5 degrees depending on which way you slice it.

If you were one of the luck few to survive that paragraph the next thing to do is to go ahead set your table saw to 22.5 degrees because 67.5 would be impractical to cut on a table saw.

The next step is to decide he height of your cup. I decided 7.5 inches looked the best. So, go ahead and cut eight pieces of your angled board.

Step 3: Adding the Bottom

So for this style mug the bottom is actually offset from the base of the mug. I always love this look, and it adds a professional looking flare to the mug when you drink from it an see it indented. In order to do this you first need to decide how far from the base the bottom will be, about 3/4 of an inch. Then adjust your table saw accordingly an cut each piece the same width as the thickness of the wood you are using for the bottom and raise the blade only about 1/4 of an inch which will be the same thickness that you offset the bottom piece. Then put two pieces of tape across the backs of the pieces and pull them all together, and make sure it's tight. Then from the inside trace it onto a piece of paper. Then offset it about 1/4 inch out so that it can slide into the pieces. Then trace it onto your bottom piece and cut it out. Then test it and make sure everything fits snugly. Rubber bands help hold it together while making sure everything fits well.

Step 4: Gluing

This part can get messy. I was an idiot and thought I was being fancy gluing it in the pattern above, but it just made things messier. The best way to do it is to lay them all down on some tape like so and put glue in between each piece and around the bottom piece then slowly roll them all together slowly hammering the bottom piece into each one. Then once you get it all glued in place, put rubber bands around it to keep it together while it dries, the more the merrier. Then I took a shirt rag (a shirt I use as a rag) and wiped all the excess glue off the inside and outside of the mug.

Step 5: Adding the Lip

After the glue dries take of the rubber bands, then sand it on the sander and true up the bottom top and sides, while also getting rid of any glue stains. Then get a concave router bit that best fits the mugs thickness and route a lip onto the inside of the mug. Make sure to leave at least a little flat surface, don't make a sharp lip. Then sand down the inner rim so the curve fades into the flat part. The picture is before sanding. Then lightly sand down the outer rim as to not make it uncomfortable to drink from.

Step 6: Handles

First cut your antler to the right size for your handle then make sure both sides align by using the sander. Then decide where you want it. Using left over pieces of the angled board make mounting blocks for the handle. Then drill a hole and counter sink on the back of the pieces so you can screw the blocks into the antler. Screw the blocks into the antler, putting a little bit of glue between them. Then drill small pilot holes into the blocks on the angled sides so that the tacks will go into the mug. Then glue the blocks to the mug and hammer in the tacks. Then clamp the handle to the mug and let it dry, wiping off and excess glue.

Step 7: Finishing

We're almost done. In order to finish it. I suggest a good pour epoxy that will give you a good seal. However, I did not have any nor the conviction to find any so I used our good pal polyurethane. What I did was I gave the inside a good once over then soaked the rag a little extra then squeezed a drop down each inner crevice in order to seal it well. There should be a substantially thicker amount at the bottom of the cup which is good in order to give it a good seal. I then gave it several more light coats. The outside is also done with polyurethane. Two coats should do the trick. Well that's about all. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial, I really enjoyed building it. If you have any questions comments or concerns, please let me know in the comments below or email me if your an attractive lass. Well it's getting late, I'm getting tiered as you can tell, and the voice in my head reading everything I'm typing is getting a thicker and thicker Irish accent. Goodnight, and Godspeed.

P.S. I may burn something on the front or bottom, feel free to mention any suggestions.

Comments

author
Mecher (author)2016-07-21

Hi, you did a Great Job! I have similar mug... bought at Ren Faire for $60. I certainly like mine! Just hand wash please ???

author
ssmith15 (author)Mecher2016-07-21

What interior finish could be used that would be historically accurate (or close) for a living history event? The only thing I can think of is beeswax or pitch.

author
sir_ghattas (author)ssmith152016-07-23

Beeswax and Linseed oil is a common combination.

author
Mecher (author)2016-07-21

I forgot to mention that you are using up wood that still has use, and not filling landfills ???????????????

author
sir_ghattas (author)Mecher2016-07-23

Yes, but it's just left over scrap, so there's not enough left over to use for much else.

author
sir_ghattas (author)sir_ghattas2016-07-23

A lot of times people have extra pieces they end up throwing away after they finish flooring.

author
clazman (author)2016-07-21

Nice idea! Great job.

Your procedure for determining the interior angle of a polygon is interesting. There is a "cleaner" method: interior angle of polygon with "n" (number of sides is:

180*(n-2)/n

Hope that makes your life a little easier.

Also, a lot of so called hard wood flooring is not solid but made up of veneers which are unsuited for this project.

I have a nice procedure that will give a much stronger joint while resulting in less glue squeeze out.

Step 1: Apply glue to both surfaces. Don't flood the surface as usual. Just apply a nice thin layer. Not too dry though.

Step 2: Wait several minutes to give the let the glue time to be absorbed into the wood. Those areas where the glue is absorbed will be quite noticeable.

Step 3: Apply a second film of glue to those areas where the glue was absorbed. You may want to apply a thin film of glue to the remaining surfaces to freshen up that glue.

Step 4: Again wait several minutes. If no further glue has been absorbed the mating surfaces may be brought together.

The results:

You will find that the glue is quite tacky and less fluid. This characteristic will make it much easier it maintain align.

Secondly, the joint will be much stronger in that the glue wood interface will be much greater.

Thirdly, typical glue squeeze out will be reduced greatly having been absorbed into the wood resulting in the stronger joint mentioned earlier.

Yes the type of glue and the porosity of the wood used in the joint plays a lot in this process. This, and the thoughtfullness of the woodworker will have a large impact weighing heavily in the result.

One final comment. Taking this process to its limits I have created very strong butt joints (end grain to end grain).

author
MarkN97 (author)2016-07-21

Great idea! Just dont use Lumber Liquidators wood. smrf

author
DanielR68 (author)2016-07-21

Now we need an instructable on how to make a bar wench! Nice job!

author
nonobadog (author)2016-07-21

I'm surprised there are not more 'safety ninnies' telling you how dangerous wood is and you will surely get contaminated just because you didn't buy it in a store.

Very nice mug! Aesthetically pleasing and very functional.

author
Ivy Stockstill (author)2016-06-29

The mug is groovy (especially the antler handle) and the 'ible is excellent the BUT...I'd reiterate how important paying attention to Step 7 is because I doubt the chemicals used to treat wood flooring are anything you'd want to ingest; also, anything alcoholic or hot would tend to leach out even more of whatever might be present in the scrap wood so this lil article might (or might not) help you decide what to finish your groovy mug with (not affiliated btw) - http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/finishing/articles_497a.shtml.

author

Thank you, that's very helpful. However, the hardwood flooring is from Thailand and is raw, so I do not believe there are any chemicals in it. And for the matter of finish, I only intend to use this for cold nonalcoholic beverages, as I don't drink (and am underage), and it is not intended for coffee, as I addressed in the other comment. Thank you so much for the link. I have been researching that and it is very helpful.

author

Glad to help. I wish it were as easy to find antlers lying around as it was when I was a kid. Somehow it's not the same buying one from a website...

author

I know how you feel, internet shopping always feels like cheating.

author

Oh, and the reply was more for the reading public who might reproduce your 'ible wthout taking precautions...

author
ThirdEarthDesign (author)2016-06-30

Great build, looks awesome.

author

Thank you!

author
pauldancy (author)2016-06-28

You have to burn some Celtic knots on the front or all around! Nice job; I always wondered what the degree cut was for multiple sides of a bucket or mug. pbd

author
sir_ghattas made it! (author)pauldancy2016-06-29

I had the exact same idea. I am a HUGE fan of Celtic knots. However, I decided to burn the bottom instead of the front so whenever I drink from it people see what I did. Here's what I ended up doing. But, I still may up putting Celtic knots on the front, I just haven't decided what and where looks best.

Screenshot_2016-06-29-11-54-22-1.png
author
jessyratfink (author)2016-06-28

This is SO GOOD. Love the antler handle! :D

author
sir_ghattas (author)jessyratfink2016-06-29

Thank you!

author
rainingfiction (author)2016-06-29

Beautiful, is it leak proof?

author

Thank you, and yes it is. I've already drunk out of it several times.

author
Carpenter Guy (author)2016-06-28

oh, I mean I made an octagon frame once.

author
Carpenter Guy (author)2016-06-28

Nice instruactable! I made a frame once, I cut 8 pieces at 22.5 degrees.

author
gm280 (author)2016-06-28

How much will it hold? And is the finish inside coating okay to use for any drinkable liquid? I do like it though. Thumbs Up.

author
sir_ghattas (author)gm2802016-06-28

It's exactly 36 ounces and it is safe to drink from for all cold beverages, at least I have and I haven't gotten sick, however, I would not recommend any hot beverages as the polyurethane may diffuse into hot water, but I am not completely certain. I advise making sure whatever sealant or finish you use is rated for what you widh to drink.

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