42oz Wooden Beer Mug

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Introduction: 42oz Wooden Beer Mug

About: I'm a High School Physics teacher who loves to design and build stuff while listening to Led Zepplin at volume 11 in the garage.

This idea started while sitting and watching the Hobbit movie. When I saw these bearded dudes standing around with their wooden beer mugs in hand, I thought, "I've gotta design one of my own to hold a lot of beer!" Because of a previous wooden drum project, I already had a Rocker 11.25° Chamfer router bit [useful for making barrels, drums, etc...], so I thought it would be perfect for this project. When using this specific router bit, you get 16 staves that fit together into a mug. Works great. While not exactly the angled Hobbit mug from the movie, my mug still gets the job done! They have been great gifts for my friends and family for Christmas and for a friend retiring from 38+ years of teaching. Since they take a wee bit of time to make, the present has been well received indeed.

[ Note: If you are going to attempt this project, may I humbly suggest making two mugs [or more] so that you can raise a Wooden Mug with a close friend. When I make these mugs, I usually make about four at at time and do the 'assembly line' idea. This saves a tremendous amount of time rather than taking one mug all the way through the process. Total time for one mug: Not sure, but probably ~20+ hours.... The fun is in the process. Go slow, It's not a race. Enjoy the build and the sawdust....].

Quick Overview:

  1. Cut strips of wood on table saw
  2. Rout the strips w/ the 11.25° chamfer bit
  3. Plane down the strips
  4. Miter cut the strips to length
  5. Glue up the strips and wrap with screen spline to hold
  6. Scroll saw the bottom and glue/insert into mug
  7. Seal bottom with beeswax [inside/outside]or Brewer's Pine Pitch
  8. Sand mug [bottom/sides]
  9. Rout bottom and upper rim [inside & outside]
  10. Scrollsaw the handle
  11. Rout the handle
  12. Drill press & insert dowels into handle
  13. Glue on handle
  14. Stain mug [if desired]
  15. Apply leather strap & carpet tacks to mug for decor
  16. Seal mug with Butcher Block conditioner
  17. Fill with 42oz. of your finest Brew and Enjoy!

Materials Needed for 1 mug

  • Piece of 3/4" Red Oak ~5” x 4’ long [for 16 strips, handle, and bottom]
  • [2] 1 ½” x 5/16” wood dowels
  • MaxiCure [Cyanoacrylate glue]
  • Zip Kicker [cyanoacrylate accelerator]
  • Titebond II wood glue
  • ~33-34" of Tandy Cowhide Latigo leather strap ¾” wide by ~1/4” thick
  • Decorative Furniture tacks [Home depot]
  • Howard Butcher Block conditioner [Rockler] for final sealing on inside.
  • Blue masking tape
  • A bag of screen spline from Home depot [make loops to hold the glued strips together in a cylinder]
  • Old rags [to wipe away glue]
  • Food grade Beeswax or Carnauba wax bar [to seal the bottom and inside of mug] or.....Brewer's Pine Pitch

Tools Needed

  • Tabletable saw [for cutting the 16 strips of wood]
  • Router table [for chamfer cutting the strips and rounding the top/bottom of mug]
  • Miter saw [for cutting the strips to length]
  • Planer [for planing down the strips of wood]
  • Spindle sander [for shaping sand sanding the handle]
  • Rockler 11.25° Chamfer Router Bit - 7/8" Dia x 7/8" H x 1/2" Shank Item #: 24784
  • 45° chamfer router bit
  • 1/2", 3/4”, and 1" Roundover bits
  • Drill press
  • Cordless hand drill
  • Small hammer [to tap in the Antique furniture tacks]
  • ~1/64” to 1/16” drill bit [pilot holes for the furniture tacks]
  • 5/16” drill bit [pilot hole for wood dowels]
  • Scroll saw [for cutting the handle and bottom insert]
  • Marking gauge
  • Xacto knife
  • 4”x 36” belt sander w/ 80 grit
  • 100/150/220 grit sandpaper

Step 1: Cut Strips of Wood on Table Saw

For this project, I had a very old oak bookcase that my parents wanted to discard...... so I used that 3/4" oak from the bookcase [notice the stain]. When you go to make your mug, if you use the ~5" wide x 4' long oak board suggested, you will want to miter cut [cross cut] this board first at 30" before cutting strips on the table saw. The piece that is 18" long that you just cut, set aside for later [beer mug handle and bottom]. With the 30" long piece, set your table saw to cut the wood24mm wide. [Note: You can make/design your mug as big as you want. If you want it to hold more than 42oz of beer, then make the staves wider. If you really want to geek out and custom make your mug for exactly a particular volume, may I suggest this site from Rocker: http://www.rockler.com/how-to/woodworking-math-tables-formulas-calculators-iii/ . Another note: I typically measure in metric...so, if you don't want to do that, 24mm is close to 1 inch. If you do that, you will hold more beer: win-win!] So, cut up the ~5 x 30" oak board, 24mm wide in strips. You will have a few extra for sure.

Step 2: Rout the Strips W/ the 11.25 Degree Chamfer Bit

Now, set the height of the router bit so that the bearing is lined up with the very top of the wood as shown. Dial it in. Rout the strips of wood on both sides with the Rockler 11.25 degree chamfer bit as shown.

Step 3: Plane Down the Strips

Next, orient the strips wood so that the top [the part hugging the bearing on the router bit] can be planed down to an overall thickness of 12mm. See drawing. Make darn sure you are planing down the top side only!Once planed, now cut to length with your miter saw in the next step.

Step 4: Miter Cut the Strips to Length

Next, take your planed strips and now cut them to the desired length with your Miter Saw. The length of my strips are 17.8cm or 7" exactly. Again, you can make this mug as tall as you like. Taller mug = more beer....therefore, good! Bottom line: design it how you want!

Step 5: Glue Up the Wood Strips and Wrap With Screen Spline to Hold

Assemble the following: wet rags, titebond II glue, 16 oak strips [7" long], blue tape, and about 8 to 10 screen spline knotted loops [smaller than the circumference of your mug--see photo]

Next, take your 16 oak strips and lay them [widest side down] onto 2 [or 3] long strips of blue tape on a work table. Make sure the 16 strips are as tight together as possible [with the short width side up]. Once firm on the blue tape, now brush Titebond II glue in all of the seams. Now, carefully roll up the wood into a cylinder and secure with the screen spline loops. Wipe away any excess glue with a wet rag. There may be a lot of glue leaking out and dripping. It's ok...just wipe it up. Let stand for 12 to 24 hours [I know it can be less and this is overkill...I just like to take my time make darn sure the cylinder is very dry before working on it].

Step 6: Scroll Saw the Bottom and Glue/insert Into Mug

Next, take off the screen spline from the glued cylinder. Now, lay the cylinder over your excess piece of oak. Use a pencil and accurate scribe the inside of the mug onto the oak for the bottom. I highly recommend putting a couple of tick marks on the inside mug and the bottom so you can orient it easily when you glue it in. Next, scroll saw all the 16 sides carefully for the bottom. It probably won't fit exactly [unless you are a superior cutter with a scroll saw]....dont' worry....fix it by sanding off a few edges if necessary to get a good press fit. [Note: all holes will be sealed with beeswax so no beer will leak out. It will be 'beer tight' for sure!] The picts are taken right after I glued the bottom in. Notice I smeared lots of titebond glue in the cracks. All the excess glue will be sanded off soon.

Step 7: Seal the Bottom [and Inside] With Beeswax. Sand Bottom.

Next, heat up your beeswax sealant [beeswax/carnuba wax] with a campstove and schmear it with a cheap brush into all the holes [post gluing] on the bottom and inside of your mug. Try not to get too much excess on the inside of the mug. Next, sand the bottom [with the grain] with a belt sander when finished to check the seal....if still holes, fill em with more wax.

****Note: MichaelT177 suggested I use Brewer's Pine Pitch instead.... I went with his suggestion and tried it out. Yes, this works much better than beeswax. The beeswax could break down over time and may leak. Using the pine pitch from now on! Thanks MichaelT177 for the tip!

Step 8: Sand the Sides of the Mug!

Next, sand down 15 out of the 16 sides of the mug to 'round' the mug. You can do this with a belt sander or hand electric sander. It's important to mark which stave you want to place the handle on....for this one, don't sand down the edges. Leave it sharp. If you sand the whole mug round, it will be difficult to attach your handle. You want a flat surface on that one stave for the handle.

Step 9: Rout Bottom and Upper Rim [inside and Outside]

The next steps involve routing the mug. Please make sure you have a firm grip on the mug and wear proper eyewear. Carefully rout the bottom of the mug with a 1" roundover bit. Next, rout the outside upper rim with a 3/4" roundover bit. Lastly, rout the inside upper rim with a 45 degree chamfer cut bit. You are trying to make an an upper rim that fits comfortably on your lip. Next, sand the lip, sides, and bottom with 150, then 220 grit sandpaper.

Step 10: Scroll Saw the Handle

Next, design a handle that will be a good fit for your hand. This by far, is the most complicated step. You're going to have to probably just make several and see what is best for you. I used a curved ruler for this step with graph paper and glued it to a manila folder for some stiffness before cutting it out and tracing on the oak. Once traced, cut it out with a scroll saw.

Step 11: Rout [or Sand] the Handle.

Next, carefully rout the handle with a 1/2" or 3/4" Roundover bit. BY FAR, this is the most crazy step. Every time I do this, a few drops of pee come out......... This is very scary indeed. Probably darn near stupid. Not for the faint of heart. Yes, I still have all my fingers [thank God]....If you don't want to use a router table, simply sand the edges down by hand. [Note: If you choose to rout the piece, please wear a face shield...and make damn sure no one comes up behind you while you are doing this. Finally, make sure your router bits are very sharp or it will catch and throw the piece...If it catches, yes...it will be a missile in your garage for sure. Been there, done that.] UPDATE! A new word to the wise: many folks have suggested I use a Wooden Handscrew clamp to hold the piece. I totally agree. While I've never had an accident, this is just the best and safest way to go. Use a clamp to hold this piece while using the router. Wise.

Step 12: Drill Press & Insert Dowels Into Handle

Once your handle has been routed/sanded, chuck the handle into a drill press vice and drill a 5/16" hole into each end. Next, glue in the wood dowels with either Titebond II wood glue or CA glue and Zip Kicker [this is just an accelerator].

Step 13: Glue on Handle

Next, mark the sanded mug so you can drill the holes. Carefully drill the 5/16" holes into the sanded mug. Don't punch through the mug! Go slow with your hand drill. Test fit with the handle to get it flush. This is tricky...so take your time. Once you have a good fit, glue with either Titebond II glue or CA glue & Zip Kicker.

Step 14: Stain Mug [if Desired]

Next, use whatever stain you want for the mug. NOTE: Don't stain the entire mug.....you really don't want stain on the upper rim [where you are going to place your lips] and you don't want stain inside the mug. We will seal the inside of the mug later with food grade Butcher Block conditioner.

Step 15: Apply Leather Strap & Antique Furniture Tacks for Decor

Next, get your [33" to 34"] 3/4" wide leather strap and cut it precisely to go around your mug. I use a Marking Gauge tool to scribe a line around the mug to help glue on the straps in the right location. I used an Xacto knive to custom cut the strap in and around the handle so there are no gaps in the leather around the mug. Design it how you like. [I've used ~33 to 34" of 3/4" wide Veg tanned leather (and stained it) and Latigo leather. I prefer the already stained Latigo leather now. Staining the leather just adds a step....]. Once I have a good dry fit of the leather around the mug, next I carefully CA glue & Zip Kicker the leather down to the mug. Take your time with this step...... This can get messy for sure. Have some Qtips on hand to get ride of excess glue quickly. Once the leather is glued, I drill pilot holes [~1/64" to 1/32"] every other stave for the antique furniture tacks. Next, I pound in 8 tacks per strap of leather. See picts. To personalize your mugs, consider making a branding iron to burn your name or image from your shop. Mine is the sun design I created.....burned on the bottom of every mug.

Step 16: Finally, Seal Mug With Butcher Block Conditioner

Next, seal the mug with Howards Butcher Block Conditioner. I got this from Rockler. It's fairly thick at room temp so I put the bottle in a small pot of near boiling water to heat up the conditioner. Once it's melted, I squirt in a bit into the mug and schmear around with paper towels. Let sit for about an hour...and then reapply a few times....Wipe off the excess when done. This is food grade conditioner. This should be the only treatment necessary [besides the beeswax] on the inside to seal your mug. So far, zero leaks with all my mugs!

Step 17: Lastly, Enjoy Your Mug! Sláinte!

This is the hardest part: waiting 24 hrs.....I would wait 24 hours for your mug to thoroughly dry from the butcher block conditioner. Next, do a light wash with hot water to clean the mug and wipe thoroughly with a paper towel.

**Now for the BEST STEP!....add your favorite [ice cold] 42 ounces of *BEER to the mug and enjoy with great friends like Mark Rasmussen and Doug Schauer!

*GUINNESS, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Port Brewing Wipeout IPA, Firestone Easy Jack IPA, Karl Strauss Amber Lager, Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, and Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA to name a few good ones! Sláinte!

Wood Contest 2016

Second Prize in the
Wood Contest 2016

Tandy Leather Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Tandy Leather Contest 2016

Summer Fun Contest 2016

Participated in the
Summer Fun Contest 2016

1 Person Made This Project!

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54 Discussions

0
AndyD106
AndyD106

Question 1 year ago

Great mug, and I'm in the process of making one now

When sealing the inside, is it beeswax OR carnuba, or a blend of the two?

If the former is there a preference? if the latter what proportions do you use?

Cheers
Andy

0
AndyD142
AndyD142

Reply 7 months ago

Ah, cant seem to get that in Blighty unfortunately - I ended up just using bees.
As it happened I went t-total not long after, so this became a gift for a friend. I was really pleased with the result anyway, and thoroughly enjoyed making it, so thanks for writing the instructable! I've uploaded some pics - they're not very well framed so forgive the open dishwasher and box of cereal!

Interestingly the mug would only take 15 staves instead 16 - can't explain why. I used a soldering iron to burn in the motif - thought it came out okay.

IMG_20191214_103432776.jpgIMG_20191214_103358793.jpgIMG_20191214_103349809.jpg
0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Reply 3 months ago

WOW! Great lookin' mugs! Nicely done!

0
julianfoleyfineart
julianfoleyfineart

4 months ago

I have sent a private message to you Goodphysics. Great work! Very good instructions.

0
mastapanian
mastapanian

Question 5 months ago

I just spoke with someone from Townsend's, the company that manufactures Brewer's Pine Pitch. She said I should coat the entire inside of the mug. She said the alcohol or acid from beverages would eventually erode the pitch. Surely that can't be right. If nothing else, the pitch may adversely affect the taste of the beverage. I plan to cover the bottom 1/4" of the inside with pitch and apply cutting board wax to the remainder of the mug.

0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Answer 5 months ago

I think that's a good plan. Thats what I do. Coating the whole entire inside with Brewer's Pine Pitch is total overkill...and [would be] a complete mess. I don't actually think it can be done. I'm not kidding. It hardens almost instantly. If you pour in the bottom, do it quickly and call it a day. I don't see how you could put in the mug and coat the inside. There is no way to use a tool to do it...you would have to dump a bunch in and roll the mug. Complete mess, I would think. I think your plan is wise. I've been doing this with zero problems and no leaks. Best wishes!
0
mastapanian
mastapanian

Question 6 months ago on Step 17

I built a prototype mug and purchased the brewer's pine pitch. How do you suggest applying the pine pitch to the mug after the pitch has been heated until it is liquid? Do you suggest applying the pitch to the outside as well as the inside of the mug? If not, what finish do you suggest for the outside? Should I apply an even coat to the entire inside of the mug, i.e., from the bottom to top? Thanks.

0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Answer 6 months ago

The pine pitch is really tricky. You wanna pour it in slowly to the bottom. Just a little bit to just cover the bottom [~1/4" or so]. That's it. Definitely do not put on the outside. It will be game over. Just put your favorite lacquer or rub on the outside. I trusted my gluing with titebond for the inside sides and outside. Never a leak. If you are concerned, you could schmear pine pitch all over the inside. But! it's a serious mess and it dries very fast. Again, I just put on the bottom...all good. :) I hope this helps! Best wishes! post pictures!

0
mastapanian
mastapanian

Reply 6 months ago

Thank you.

0
mastapanian
mastapanian

Question 7 months ago

Great project and good instructions. Before I start, I was wondering if it would be easier to round over the top and cut the miters before assembling? Thanks!

0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Answer 7 months ago

You could do that, indeed. That said, it really is simple to router it when assembled for the top lip and bottom. Best wishes! Can't wait to see it when finished! :)

0
RalphD34
RalphD34

Tip 2 years ago on Step 11

I use double sided tape to hold the handle down to a work board. I then use a hand held router to route the up side. I then pry the handle up remove the tape, apply new tape to the other side and repeat so I get both sides routed. I use scotch mounting tape 9lb.

This is one case where it is less scary to do it with a hand held router than with a router table. Also if you drill the dowel holes in the handle blank while it is still square, before you cut the shape out, it seems like it is easier to get them where you want them.

Ralph

IMG_20180924_180149.jpg
0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Reply 7 months ago

so sorry for the late reply! Nicely done Ralph! Looks amazing.

0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Reply 2 years ago

Wow!! Nicely done Ralph! Thanks for the great tip! :)

0
Raum86
Raum86

4 years ago

Quick question, I have some pine laying around, would that be suitable to make a beer mug or do I need harder wood?

0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Reply 7 months ago

so sorry for the late reply....yes, use a harder, more dense wood like oak or maple.... best wishes

0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Reply 2 years ago

Sorry for the late reply 2 years later! Yikes...I need to check this website more often! I think Pine is too soft....a hardwood would be best like Oak, Walnut, Beech, Maple, or Mahogany....best wishes!

0
goodphysics
goodphysics

Reply 4 years ago

I personally would use a hardwood.....That said, I'm sure you can get it to work just fine with pine if sealed well. I only like to work with hardwoods....[Oak, birch, maple, beech, mahogany....] Best wishes!

0
andrewhazlewood
andrewhazlewood

Question 1 year ago

Wonderful tankard, thank you very much. A quick question from a less experienced router: since I haven't a planer, could I use a well-positioned fence when routing the 16 oak strips? Then I wouldn't have to use the guide bearing?