Picture of 'Viking' beer mug (no power tools - the bushcraft way)
This is it, my 40th Instructable, YIEHAAA!!!

For this anniversary-I'ble I wanted to make something special.
I like beer, I like wood, I like the outdoors, so I decided to give myself a favour: I decided to make a good old 'viking style' beer mug.
The bushcraft way.

Aim was to use not one single power tool (to spice the job a bit). It took a lot longer than with the 'right' tools but it turned out to be one of the funniest projects I ever did. This was pure fun!

Set all your toolboxes stuffed with classic hand tools aside cause you won't use them this time.
All you need is a hatchet & a knife.

A good hatchet, and a good knife.

Back to basic.

A few members asked where I got that fabulous hatchet.
Well, this beauty is a traditionnal axe from the Basque Country - a region saddled on the western French-Spanish mountainous border. I discovered those axes some 20 years ago during raptor migration monitoring. They're quite hard to find, even locally, and it's just this summer I found a spot again where they were sold. They are made by the 'JAUREGI' factory/family in northern Spain and I never saw them anywhere else

These axes are hand-forged, and extremely reliable. Light (the small one weights only one pound), balanced, extremely powerful & useful to do as well bushcraft or bigger tree cutting. I never had better, I'll never have better. If I had to choose one object to take on a survival trip, there would be not one second of hesitation.

They are made in 5 or 6 sizes. On the picture you'll see the two smallest models. The darkest is my first I bought some 20 years ago and that's still alive 'n kicking.
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LukeE429 days ago
I have an older wooden mug and after holding water in it, it split in multiple areas leaking how can i get it to hold water again?
Eddym8 made it!1 month ago
Thanks for the inspiration. I made this out of Marri which is a gumtree variant here in Western Australia. I used a saw and a knife and ALOT of sanding. Just put the Envirotex Lite Epoxy coating on it to ensure a good seal and the ability for hot and cold drinks to be enjoyed. :) Im pretty happy as this is one of my first wood projects. Cant wait for a beer next week when its all cured. :)
El diego1 month ago
Would madrone work
blindenmier3 months ago

Fantastic tutorial! I'm in the process of making wooden "shot" glasses. Can't wait to try your method!

THAT_GUY74 months ago
What would be a good alternative to the bees wax stuff that I can find at like a hardware store ?
bricobart (author)  THAT_GUY73 months ago

If those cuts & tights are properly done you even don't have to use propolis. Let it soak in water - or beer - for a few minutes and the whole will seal itself.

EricVonAwesome made it!5 months ago
This was fun! Thanks for the idea, I'll be making more for sure!!
mbaldwin12 made it!7 months ago
had to use powertools, but thanks for the inspiration! just tried them out last weekend

Hi there,

Do you have the instructions to make your mugs?

Thank you!

BrianB89 months ago

Looks awesome. I bought a wooden mug a few months ago at an arts festival. That has made me want to make a wooden mug for my self.

What is your technique on tying and securing the mug with the rope? I'm all about using power tools and glue (my go to when i'm working with wood) but i want to make a natural mug that is more hand made without power tools.

hector.monti.310 months ago

Hello! great job! I´m gonna try it.

One question, wich type of string did you use for it?

bricobart (author)  hector.monti.39 months ago

In this project I used polyester rope - used in sail repair & leatherworking - but in my future builds I'll use fine hemp cord (see last step).

Thank you!! once again excellent job!

NEC.METAL10 months ago

Hi! I'm from Argentina and I want to do it for my boyfriend (He look like a Viking in the pic haha). The question is, Wich percent of propolis did you use? I just can get 5%(concentration) and I don't know if its right... Almond oil make the same results? Sorry about the bad bad english. Wait the answer :)

bricobart (author)  NEC.METAL9 months ago

You need the real stuff. Two ways to get it: look out for some bee nests in the forest & good luck, or try to get some of a beekeeper. Most of the time they're not too happy to give you some, but I discoverd that a loaded crossbow can do miracles. Really.

dab6515sr11 months ago
Do you have any suggestions as to what I can coat it with if I don't know what type of wood I used? I've made 2, one for me and one for my grand daughter.
bricobart (author)  dab6515sr11 months ago

I'm quite happy with the use of walnut oil. Heat it in the microwave and pour it around and in to get high penetration. Wipe the excess & repeat. You also can use bees wax. No industrial coatings (varnish, epoxy, stainstuff etc.).

Looking forward to see your build, use the 'made it' button'!

So what % of mousture do you let the wood dry to? Or how long would you leave it to dry after splitting?

bricobart (author)  HerrBergmann1 year ago

No idea about that %, but it was harvested end october and set apart for only a month. My opinion: the fastest you split it the better. If you let it dry first, cracks will probably occur - unless you let it dry for a long time, unbarked and with the cutting zones sealed. Succes!

If you want real bushcraftery, use pine resin (or other tree sap) that you harvest yourself, no purchasing fancy bottles of anything.

bricobart (author)  AJMansfield1 year ago

Or harvest natural propolis with only a knife and a hatchet. Or a well trained grizzly. Or your younger brother, as a sacrifice to beer.

You know, saws have been around for like, 3000 years. Every good bushcrafter has a saw, there's no shame in using it.

bricobart (author)  AJMansfield1 year ago

Thanx, it was just a great challenge to do the whole job with only those two tools!

Groovy. (I mean, you are making grooves after all...)

bricobart (author)  AJMansfield1 year ago


For some reason, I see an Aussie version of this mug with barbed wire instead of the string around it. I don't know why, it just came to me.

Just get some of those plastic barbed wire they sell for halloween. I got some in bracelet form in a bag for a buck after last halloween. Now they will live out their lives on my new mug. Great idea.

Go for it, man!

bricobart (author)  industriald1 year ago
I'd like to see that!
Aussie beer is dangerous enough as it is :)
bricobart (author)  industriald1 year ago
Any recommendations? I never tasted beer from down-under!
XXXX Gold is always a good fallback. No matter what, don't ever let anyone talk you into drinking VB!
bricobart (author)  industriald1 year ago
I'll remember that! How much degree does that XXXX have?
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by degree in that sentence. If you mean the alcohol percentage, it's 3.5%
bricobart (author)  industriald1 year ago
Yap that's it, we call it still 'degrees' like in midieval times - man I'm gettin' old!
Only 3.5%?! So why should it be dangerous? In Belgian everything below 10% is called fruit juice!
Tell me you just put that komma at the wrong place and that I'm so totally wrong!!!
Ha ha, I guess it is a pretty low alcohol content! But enough of it and it is like a memory eraser from Men in Black...
FFalaschi1 year ago

I'm planning to open a "Viking" bar and i'll use this as the oficial beer Mug.

bricobart (author)  FFalaschi1 year ago

Whaaoow!!! Tell me where! Are you going to make them by yourself?

Yes i'll do it with a friend we live in Argentina. the only thing that we will add is an aluminium interior to the mug because of bromatology reasons.
bricobart (author)  FFalaschi1 year ago

So cool!!! You know what you have to do: posting some pictures, I'd like to see that! ;)

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