Stainless Steel Jigger/Pony Shot Glass




About: I want to build everything

Using 1.5" Dia. stainless steel shaft stock from a marine pump, I lathed out a Jigger/Pony Shot Glass, which is a bartender's measuring glass for shots. Jigger = 1.5oz, and Pony = 1.0 oz. I do not know what kind of steel it is, but I imagine it had to stand up to saltwater, so Im just going to assume its good enough. Its the only stainless steel we had laying around in the shop anyway.

The walls of the shot taper from ~1/32" to 1/16" to lessen the weight and give it a bit of depth. Also, 1/4" wide shallow groves were machined in it as well to make it look nicer. The concave cut in the middle gives your thumb somewhere to hold on to, and it drastically lowers the weight.

I apologize for the dirty paper, I used it while I was machining to make sure I took the correct cuts.

Step 1: Cutting and Drilling

I am sorry about not having any pictures for the drilling process. I decided to document this after I finished drilling.

-Obtain 4-6 inch section of 1.5" dia. stainless steel
-chuck the piece in a lathe, face one side to make it flat
-take an array of drill bits, starting around 1/4" up to 1-3/8", with increasing increments of 1/4".
-Drill out the cylinder with each drill bit, going up one step (this makes it easier on the bits and prevents the bit from possibly catching in too much metal and thus turning the piece within the chuck, BAD.
-Lathe speed should be between 100-215 rpm

Step 2: Machine Center Concave Groove

This step was kind of eye-balled.

Blue dye was applied and three lines scratched into the dye. The outer two lines represent the boundaries where I can not make any cuts, and defines the area of my concave groove. The center line is so I can make my first deep cut with a rounded bit. Then work down at the edges by hand while trying to match the paper.

-Use a rounded lathe bit to machine the center groove. This cut will require you to back out after every 1/16"-1/8" and machine down the edges around where the rounded bit has cut, the out edges of the rounded bit have a harder time cutting. The tool will stop cutting at a certain point and with too much force you risk warping the piece.

-The depth of the cut was checked with a caliper
-Once the proper depth, use the same rounded bit and machine down from the two outside lines straight down to the center.
-Then eye-ball how concave the grove should be. This is why the drawing is dirty. I refer back to it constantly to make sure I have my head around how each cut affect my thickness.

Step 3: Machine Out Inner Surface

The drill cut from before was rough, so a bit which allows me to machine out the insides of surfaces was used to take down the inside surface about 1/32" of an inch.

Step 4: Cut Taper and Shallow Grooves on Outer Surface

-To taper the walls of the shot, a taper angle of 1 degree was used.

-once tapered enough, sand, sand, sand.

-Then use a sharp pointy bit to cut in the shallow grooves to make it kind of fancy. I was originally going to knurl these but since I decided to take so much of the wall off, knurling would have been a bad idea.

The depths of these shallow grooves were just eye-balled, but as you can see in the first picture, not very deep at all. Somewhere between 1/32" - 1/64", probably closer to the latter.

Once one side is done, and you double check to make sure, then you can remove it from the chuck. It will never go back in the chuck the way it originally was, so always do as much work with one chucking to maintain a precise center-line.

Step 5: Now for the Other Side

Repeat the process with this side, but unfortunately this is one of the most difficult parts. The reason is, the taper is difficult to chuck and the piece will have a very difficult time aligning with the original center-line. To combat this, hold the end of the piece you are going to cut over something else that is tapered which slides into the traveling piece of the lathe opposite of the chuck. I forgot the name of the piece, but usually there is a pointed cone piece which is meant to help support the other end of something being cut.
By inserting the end of the piece to be cut onto something tapered, we can align the center of the piece with the center line between the lathe ends. Then slowly chuck in the tapered end of the piece (be sure that the chuck grabs onto the edge of the taper and not somewhere in the middle). Once the chuck has a firm hold on the piece, the other lathe end can be slid out of the way to allow you to make the taper cut.
Blue tape was wrapped around the taper to compensate . . .well, for the taper. This is probably not necessary.
Blue dye was used to mark out where I wanted to cut the shallow grooves.
More sanding! and polishing!

Step 6: Done & Clean Up

Clean up!



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    14 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great too! Done with his own hands - it's cool! Some interesting models can peep here.
    Good luck waiting for new developments ;)


    9 years ago on Step 6

    Nice, and the masking tape will help stop the teeth from digging in and ruining the finish on the completed side. Wonder if you have access to a milling machine and would be willing to test this out. Would defnitely be easier - maybe you should make a heap of them and sell them if their easy to bore with the milling maching. Just do the outside bit with a lathe, wack it into a milling machine vice, bore it to the required depth, and your set.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, would you mind if I added your project to my site -

    I'm always looking for fun projects to add to the site and I think my readers would get a kick out of yours. You can let me know by clicking on my name here and sending me a private message, or by visiting my site and filling out the contact form.

    Thanks in advance!


    you don't "lathe" things. The verb that describes what a lathe does is "turn"
    I turned out a Jigger/Pony Shot Glass


    11 years ago on Introduction

    i buy one in a store, it has a wood handle, and it's made of nickel-plated brass but yours it's much cool and much better quality. the problem with the wood handle it's that the jigger glass can be stand up.nice job, i´ll made one.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project and well done ible, but I see a safety issue I was taught at the Institute where I learned much about machining. Wrapping the emery cloth completely around a work piece can be very dangerous. I have seen a man loose most of an arm when the cloth grabbed the piece and wrapped his hand around the piece. Always use two hands and never wrap the cloth over and under.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I did not use a steady rest, although I probably should have tried, because we had one, I just didn't think to use it, ha. Usually i'll just chuck it by hand and put a dial indicator on the side of the piece and hand turn it to see my run-out, then re-chuck until im satisfied with tolerable run-out. To smooth out the inside surface I had to run in reverse because the bit I was using would only cut that way, but i might not have understood your question? Chatter while doing the inside surface wasn't that bad actually, I did have to re-sharpen the cutting bit though, that did help. The steel, im not sure what kind, was very machinable. Making very long ribbons of metal shaving by hand was not very hard, which tells me that the material was very uniform and somewhat soft, but not fragile. Being that this was small, thin walled piece, ringing was always a problem. Though, lots of oil on the inside helped a bunch to dampen that out. how large were the cruise ship drives? Im about to graduate from a maritime academy in galveston, TX. So i've spent some time on ships, but never been on a cruise ship.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    If you have a live center, it will help to stop the chatter when you're doing the exterior cuts. a steady rest will prevent chatter while you're boring... i see you ran in reverse while boring, did it help with the chatter, or do you always run in reverse out of habit ? i ran huge cruise ship drive shafts in reverse with 3-4 steady rests to help prevent chatter, it was the only way. nice instructable, very cool tool you've made there :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I wish I HAD a lathe....I like the rings you did on the "flats"

    Rob K

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I thought about doing something like this for the USB can chiller. I just don't have access to any thing. I would like to actually use it for drinking out of, but it might get that metaly taste. Unless stainless is better for that.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Ooo...! I want one, but don't have access to the materials... :(