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
Small Nails/ Tacks
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.
Runner Up in the
Trash to Treasure Challenge
sir_ghattas made it!