|Project by stefang||posted 05-12-2009 03:11 PM||3273 views||20 times favorited||27 comments|
Another old project from 1998. This is my one and only beer tankard. It was a birthday present to my son. It was on display in his kitchen for about 10 years until a recent remodeling, I have temporarily taken it out of retirement for this post. It has been used only once in a successful test for water tightness.
The design is entirely mine, but it is pretty much a generic type of tankard much in use in Norway and I assume many other countries in the past. In Norway you can find many beautifully done historic models both turned and coopered with staves. I think the stave types were probably more commonplace because deep vessels were hard to turn on pole and treadle lathes.
The secret techniue
While turning the piece I had to figure out how to make it water tight so no beer would be wasted. This was a little difficult because it was an end grain piece and I knew if I turned a bottom in it the beer would just run right through it. Using glue also didn’t appeal to me and neither did using some kind of unsightly reinforcement underneath. In the end I turned all the way through the piece creating more of a beer tube than a beer tankard. Next I cut a 1/4” wide and 1/16” deep grove into the inside bottom all the way around. Then I cut a side grain piece about !/4” thick and dried it a little in the microwave oven. After drying, I cut the piece to about the same diameter as the tankard inside bottom diameter. Then I placed the bottom in where the edge matched the location of the groove and taped it it place. After a couple of days (or maybe the next day) the tankard had shrunken in around the bottom piece. Like a coopered barrel, filling the tankard with liquid swells up the bottom area and presto, you have a watertight joint!
For about two minutes, this was a very ego enhancing experience. After thinking it over though I realized that many smarter and more experience woodworkers before me had figured this out a long time ago. But I was happy anyway that I had figured it out on my own. I doubt too many woodworkers have thought of this particular use because there aren’t really many needs for it. I am well aware that chair makers use the very same principle every day using wet seats and dry leg tenons and have done so for centuries. Anyway, I hope some of you will like the idea and find some interesting ways to use it. Thanks for taking the time to look at it.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.