Woodturning A Travel Beverage Mug
Hi, Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns dot com.
I appreciate viewers who make project suggestions. In fact, two viewers , John Jackson and Larry
McCafferty, made the same suggestion, a travel mug. In fact, John reports that every Saturday,
he enjoys his cup of morning joe while he watches my weekly video.
Now I need a travel mug also. Mine will be for chocolate. So let’s make a travel mug.
For this cup, I’m using red oak scraps from a friend’s stairway remodel. I used two pieces.
On one piece the glue joints were failing, I split them on the glue joint. I hope his
stairwell is ok. This mug will use stave construction. Each
piece is about 8 inches long and 1 7/16″ from long point to long point. The cut angle is
22.5 degrees. I Normally use an zero clearance insert for the table saw but don’t like to
use it for angle cuts — they would make it Definitely non-zero clearance. I made a sled
to make cutting the staves safe. It has a replaceable insert, front and back fences
to bridge the saw blade; a blade guard on the rear fence; and an adjustable fence with
a hold-down clamp. I didn’t get fancy with the fence. I use spaces between it and my
normal fence to ensure parallel and to make width adjustments.
For glue up, I’m using Titebond original extend for the first time. It’s supposed to have
a more rigid glue line that I’m hoping works better for segmented work. I’m gluing these
staves four at a time into halves. I’ve spread tape glue side up on a board and placed the
staves on the tape. I masked off the outer sides to prevent glue contamination. Then
I spread glue liberally; rolled up the set of staves and wrapped it with more tape. Duct
tape seemed to work better for the upside down strips than plain masking tape. After
the glue dried, I sanded the face of each half cylinder flat. Then glued the two halves
together. For the initial roughing and mounting tenon,
I’m using the cone faceplates from my bracelet chuck. I like tools that have multiple uses.
I have to be very gentle as there is very little grab in this setup.
With the cup mounted in a chuck, I’m more free to be aggressive and finish the rough
cut. Now it’s time to bore out the center. The
insert requires 2 7/8″ and 2 1/8″ forstner bits that I don’t have and that cost about
$50 each. I’m not going to buy them just for this project. So I’ll bore it out with my
largest bit — a 2 inch forstner bit and use a round carbide cutter for the remainder.
This has a bit more risk than just drilling it out — so I use my DIY steady rests to
secure the work piece. The hollowing is a tough go, especially when 5 to 8 inches deep
in this hard red oak. Next time, I would hollow from both ends. I’m having to test the insert
many times to get the fit right. This depth was tough. My carbide tip came
off once and loosened 3 or 4 more times with all the vibration.
After a final test fit, I can shape the exterior. Not much I can do with this cup to decorate
it. I’ll rely on the wood. I’m using one of my ball turning faceplates to secure the tail
stock end of the cylinder. One fit perfectly. After some gouge work, I’ll switch over to
a skew to finish up. Finally, I’ll mark for a shallow rabbet 3/8″
from the top that fits under the lip of the insert. And make some final adjustments for
fit. Then on to sanding and finishing. I started
with sandpaper on a block to remove any ridges and valleys. Since the exterior is a smooth
convex curve, this worked fine. Then on to finer grits and finishing with wipe-on poly
for better moisture resistance. My cup’s bottom is still an open hole. The
insert’s guide suggests filling it with epoxy or leaving it open. Not for me. I’ll drill
out the bottom, turn a plug & glue it in. Then finish the bottom and glue the insert
into my wood shell. I glued up this plug with vertical grain to
match the grain orientation of the exterior. I don’t want expansion differences cracking
my mug. This plug is glued to a threaded wood faceplate with CA glue. I need to be careful
to allow enough space for the insert. I’ll part it off — Didn’t I do that already?
Yes, but now the plug is glued in. To finish the base, I’ll invert the shell
on my 4 jaw chuck in an expansion hold. Jaw marks on the inside will not matter as long
as I don’t split the mug shell. Next time, I would turn tenons on both ends
and bore out the middle from both ends. Going in 3-4 inches is far easier than going in
7-8 inches. Maybe I could try building it with segmented rings so I could hollow the
center as I build it. Meanwhile, this one is quite nice.
Now, here’s to you, John Jackson and Larry McCafferty. A spill proof cup from which to
enjoy your favorite Saturday morning beverage while you watch my woodturning videos. Here’s
mine — the rest of you will have to make your own.
Be sure to like this video; subscribe to my As Wood Turns website AND YouTube channel
– so I can keep you updated. Have fun and be safe — always wear a full face shield.
You never know when you’ll be happy you did. This is Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns dot
com. We’ll see you shortly on the next video.