Picture of wooden beer mug
This instructable is for making a big wooden beer mug.
I made it 15cm x 22cm.
It is not so suitible for drinking beer (pallet wood can be toxic) but for decorative purpose or ,like me as a trash and beercaps bin.
If you wanne make one you can drink from ,there are some suggestions in the comments.
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Step 1: Cutting the wood

Picture of cutting the wood
For this mug i used some pallet wood i had laying around.
You will need 15 sticks cut at a length of 22 cm and at an angle of 12 degrees.

Step 2: Tape it

Picture of tape it
Put the sticks around something round and tape them together ,but leave one opening.

Step 3: Glueing

Picture of glueing
Now take the whole thing and put it on a flat surface and put some glue between the sticks .

Step 4: Tourniqueting

Picture of tourniqueting
Now fold it together again.
I used some rope and a pair of screwdrivers to tighten the sticks together.
Now you can let the glue dry.

Step 5: The ear

Picture of the ear
Now you can make the ear.
Mine is approx. 20cm x 8cm.
I did all the sanding with an angle grinder.
When the glue of the mug has dried ,you can also sand this.

Step 6: Decorings

Picture of decorings
To make it  look better i've put some rings out of sheetmetal around them.
Best is to screw these behind the handle  into one piece of wood.
You could also use some rope to put around the mug.
With the angle grinder i made some grooves and glued the rings in.

Step 7: Putting it together

Picture of putting it together
Now put the ear on it ,
I made the mistake to put the bottom in before screwing the ear on from the inside.
Next glue the bottom in and do some more sanding
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guru93521 month ago

length= 220mm, breadth=31mm, what is the thickness??

Any, it doesn't actually matter, however if you want more capacity then I would suggest making it thinner, about 15mm or so, but remember, leave room for sanding as this will take off a few millimetres (on each side).

darknss1 made it!1 month ago
I staind mine and wanted to get more creative and made a lid for it I put a strong guy on top but probly going to make it a cross instead

How much liquid does it hold if you follow the instructions correctly and to every last detail. I am planning to make this for my GCSE Woodwork project and need to know how much it holds so I can write my specification accordingly.

dude...just as he said...pallet wood may be if you used another type of wood i wouldn't drink anything on it if i where you '-'

I am going to use Oak and Beech, then coat and seal it with a non-toxic organic finish of some sort. I am thinking about using a salad bowl finish of some kind.

FYI, You can safely use just about any oil or water-based polyurethane, varnish, lacquer, shellac,
or wipe-on finish. Once the solvent that carries the "solids" part of the finish has evaporated and the finish is
fully cured (no more finish smell when you take a whiff with your nose next to the finish), the
coating is safe to come into contact with food or the mouth.

Thanks, that's helped me out quite a bit.

Jodex3 years ago
I thought that I could make a little barrel, about 35 cm tall. The problem is that I don't have any table saw or a bandsaw so it's kinda hard to get that right angle. Does anybody have any suggestions what to use? I have a skill saw, but I don't think that I am able to change the angle of the blade.

low budget/lazy would break the "medieval" style of the mug...but...yeah...if you're short on can just buy a cheap plastic/glass cup...and glue it inside the mug...

There are some very good videos on YouTube on making a table saw from a skill saw.

Izzy Swan makes some very cool jigs!

flamekiller3 months ago

I like this. We've been roped into a mug exchange for Christmas this year despite my protests (we are overloaded with mugs). I think mine is going to be a sort of Mugception, like those Russian nesting dolls. I'll start with a huge one of these and end up with a little dollhouse mug.

I think I'll use red or white oak finished with salad bowl finish.

LnPMarklar3 months ago
What should I use to make this safe to drink from

How much does it hold if you follow the intructions correctly

erikthered213 made it!5 months ago

Thanks for the idea and instructions. I used douglas fir for mine and finished with mahoney's oil then wax. also made mine 10 in tall which may be bordering on insanely large but on the bright side it holds about 4 pints.


Ten points to Gryffindor

ctuck3 years ago
Thanks for the informative instructions. Also found a lot of info in the comments. I made one following your instructions and am now modeling some other designs by making minor changes to angles and lengths:

Attached my results from my build. I used fresh clean wood found a leak in a knot hole. I plan to give it a bee wax treatment.
craig3 ctuck3 years ago
I know it's a while off, but I'd like to ask about your bee wax treatment for your wooden mug, Do you brush it on or dip the mug into the wax?
antioch craig31 year ago
There is natural beeswax, rather solid unless molten, and there are a thousand of commercial products that come with thousands of additives making it liquid, sometimes toxic. So, depends on the form the wax comes in, I'd guess. Dipping it in sounds best, for maximum seal use it in an ultrasonic cleaner (they're cheap, for cleaning glasses but not worth buying one for just a mug or two. for some odd reason people throw them away a lot, too. i see many in the streets. age of the contact lense, maybe?)

This just for a mug with decorative purposes, of course. I would never dip a mug into wax or oil and later drink from it. Eurgh.

Untreated wood is antibacterial. Your only concerns are mold and bacterial colonies originating from larger remainds of organic matter (soup, broth, whatever you will drink from that mug that isn't water or schnaps).
Wash it out with water, a thorough scrub from time to time, and a mild detergent if the mug contained oil, hot water and mild detergent if it contained fats. This is mostly to remove other organic matter that clings onto them and which could breed unhealthy things.
The detergent is not really necessary though. The worst things that fats and oils could do to your mug are giving it odors. At best they will add sealage and a beautiful, natural patina.
Beeswax is a traditional sealant which I'm pretty sure is food-safe, melted on- and into the wooden and leather mugs to seal them. a good choice if you use it for alcohol, because it won't dissolve (unlike some more modern alternatives). If properly done, I think the beeswax will create a smooth surface that can be easily cleaned- maybe less hygienic than a brand-new plastic mug, but better than an old one with scratches, but glass would probably be the most hygienic.
hot food might damage the coating a bit, I guess
tim_n flamesami6 months ago
I use beeswax to seal leather tankards
flamesami tim_n6 months ago

Wow! I bet that smells amazing! Do you do one coat and soak it or several coats?

Hey, Check out the food safe finish I made with Beeswax and Mineral oil.

Beeswax is pretty hard but the mineral oil softens it to chap-stick like consistency, goes on nice and it 100% food safe. Also makes your skin very very soft.
I have been told this can go a long time in-between applications.
ctuck craig33 years ago
Hey Craig. I have not yet waxed it. The method I was going to use was to rub the wooden surface with bee wax, then place the mug in the oven (with something under it to catch any drips). Still researching a little what temp I want to warm it at. This should allow me to properly cover the inside and/or the outside of the mug without using a large amount of wax. It's also a lot easier to manage than dipping or brushing. The warming will melt the wax onto and into the wooden surface. I might need to do this more than once. I will post back if I get to it soon, seems like a good indoor activity for the short days ;) Let me know what you end up doing.
jmscotton10 months ago

mine is made from cedar and coated with an epoxy glaze. gave it to a friend as a gift. it holds 48oz.

dlck014 jmscotton7 months ago

Are you using the same dimensions as he was?

jmscotton dlck0147 months ago
Honestly, I don't remeber. I think I modified it a bit. As for the safety, all the research I did, it all says the once epoxy cures for a while it is safe. I let it sit for a couple weeks to be safe and my friend has had no problems.
dlck014 jmscotton7 months ago

Follow up question, is it safe to drink out of?

ctuck made it!11 months ago

Made mine back in June 2011 actually. Just now noticed the 'I Made It' button and well, I wanted to post.

For those of you wanting to learn more about basic coopering and to make a coopered bucket and basically this mug is nothing but a small bucket this book is a good introduction to coopering
How to Make a Coopered Wooden Bucket by James D. Gaster is evidently out of print and used copies are a tad expensive.... But this is a decent book on basic coopering....
Taunton Press has a series of books they printed about different kinds of wood working. in one of these books they talk about and show the very very basics of coopering ... If I remember to do so tonight I will look up the book and give you that information here...
In the book A Yankee Way With Wood the author interviews a modern day cooper this was in the 1960's early 1970's. The man made tubs of all different sizes and again gives some real basic information on making/ coopering tubs....
Foxfire book number 4 shows how they made a butter churn which might show you aspects on cooper/tub making as well. But I am not 100% sure about this...
Very cool what kind of glue did you use,,,? Some glues would be more toxic than others and would leach toxin into the liquids... Not a good thing to drink...
Also walnut oil is a good way to seal your wood with it takes some time for natural walnut oil to set and cure like 5 to 6 months.... but it is safe to use for wood that you are using with food and food preparation....
Country work shops have offered in the past classes on coopering if anyone is interested in it...
They also offer for sale a video on Swiss coopering that you could get some good tips from as well...
Here is their web site on tools, books and DVDS in which you can buy the DVD on Swiss Coopering...!!!
vayres3 years ago
So is this just a decorative mug, then?
I see nothing in the instructions that would safe guard it for beverage use.

Very neat project, though!
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