Wooden Coffee Cup

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Forum topic by leonmcd posted 04-17-2008 06:06 PM 13327 views 2 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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204 posts in 3064 days

04-17-2008 06:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: coffee cup coffee cup

I got this crazy idea to make a wooden coffee cup and ACTUALLY USE IT FOR HOT COFFEE.

Did an Internet search but didn’t come up with much.

Any ideas on what wood to use? (Something non-toxic that doesn’t move much)

How to seal it? (Mineral Oil, Epoxy?)

If I don’t seal it, will it …
  1. leak/seep
  2. make the coffee taste bad
  3. kill me over time

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

25 replies so far

View Thuan's profile


203 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 04-17-2008 06:25 PM

I’m sure the Asian wooden lacquered bowls can be used for coffee,
try this link.

-- Thuan

View Toolz's profile


1003 posts in 2835 days

#2 posted 04-17-2008 06:58 PM

Mountain men, colonial settlers and other frontiersmen used wooden cups. They were called “noggins”

I made a few of these and sold them to re-enacters. I used acrylic tile sealer on the inside only. I was told that it was a “food safe” finish. I also made leather bottles and lined them inside with the acrylic tile sealer or for those who were purists with brewers pitch.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Eric's profile


873 posts in 2876 days

#3 posted 04-18-2008 03:49 AM

Awesome idea! Please be sure to blog about it and post pictures too!

-- Eric at

View Don Niermann  's profile

Don Niermann

211 posts in 3065 days

#4 posted 04-18-2008 03:57 AM

I think Woodcraft has a stainless steel insert for mugs.

-- WOOD/DON ( has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

View sharad's profile


1102 posts in 2897 days

#5 posted 04-19-2008 07:06 PM

A real crazy idea, please check any health hazards in doing it

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View bonzo's profile


17 posts in 2874 days

#6 posted 04-19-2008 07:12 PM

resin infuse any type of wood.

View pashley's profile


1031 posts in 2810 days

#7 posted 04-21-2008 03:47 PM

Can you make me one? I really need my coffee in the morning…I’d need a 3 quart size, please…. :)

-- Have a blessed day!

View Ghrrum's profile


16 posts in 1581 days

#8 posted 08-03-2011 03:14 PM

I make something like this as a hobby. Generally I take the insert out of a travel mug and clad it in wood.

View Bertha's profile


12982 posts in 1786 days

#9 posted 08-03-2011 03:15 PM

Ghrrum, that first one is Viking, man! If I someone toting one of those at Starbucks, I’d probably be extra polite. These are really great.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2078 days

#10 posted 08-03-2011 04:02 PM

I’ve been considering doing this too and have personally settled on getting a small metal insert for it. But that’s mostly so I can be lazy and take the insert out occasionally to dishwasher-blast it.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5172 posts in 2805 days

#11 posted 08-03-2011 06:32 PM

DO NOT USE EPOXY! My Dad used epoxy to fix a tea cup and after it cured for quite a while decided to drink from that cup. It tasted horrible and almost instantly made him nauseous. I suppose there are different kinds of epoxy but I’ll never try it ;-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Ghrrum's profile


16 posts in 1581 days

#12 posted 08-03-2011 07:03 PM

These are actually pretty easy, there is some math involved to get that near perfect continuous look to the wood on the outside, nothing too complex, mostly it’s basic x,y,z geometry.
The mugs I work with are pretty cheap too, they are stainless steel inside and sell for 2 for $6 at Big Lots. Pretty much any travel mug that has a lid is a candidate for doing this, if you are like me and don’t want to depend upon an adhesive to hold em together I suggest doing a metal band, copper, brass, or bronze, avoid steel as it rusts pretty well.

Here’s the math part
you need to find the circumference of the top and bottom of the mug, you do so with the following
circumference = 2 x pi x radius
then you figure out the width of the slats you are going to be working with and divide that by the radius at the top. You can fiddle around with dimensions a bit, but usually I round up and use a bench sander to get them finished into the final width.
so, for the mugs above, lets say that I’m working with a mug that has a diameter of 3.25 inches, that means that the circumference is going to be approx 10.21 inches. (diameter x pi = circumference).
so if the slats I’m working with are .75 inches I come out with about 13.6 slats, so round up to 14 and I’ll be using the sander to get everything neat and tight.
same math type stuff for the bottom, so the diameter of the bottom is about 2.75 inches, so the circumference is about 8.63 inches. From here you can figure out the taper you need to get everything nice and neat.
The bevel for the slats is really easy 360/2(number of slats) = angle of the bevel for each side.
So 360/ 2×14 = about 12.9 degrees, so I round up to 13.

That’s pretty much all the math side of this done.
Normally I’ll fudge the numbers a bit further so I have a void between the insert and the wood and will backfill that with an expanding foam.
You will likely need to bevel the top and bottom of the slats to get them to fit neatly under the bands you are working with (unless you are using an adhesive).

To get everything tight I use hose clamps, I’ve got several of different sizes and they are by far the best thing I’ve found for getting these to fit together nicely.

I’m planning on doing a few more this weekend if all goes well. If there is enough interest I’ll be happy to journal and post the process.

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3283 posts in 1654 days

#13 posted 08-03-2011 08:45 PM

Ghruum – I’d be interested in seeing them

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View darinS's profile


616 posts in 1960 days

#14 posted 08-03-2011 09:05 PM

Ghrrum – I’d be interested in seeing this done as well.

-- Rule #13: Never, ever involve lawyers.

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202 posts in 1969 days

#15 posted 08-04-2011 05:58 PM

Leon, I toyed with this same thing last year. I do segmented turning and wanted a cup I could really use. Thought of all the usual suspects. Acrylics, epoxy etc. Then made a cup that holds regular 8 oz styrafoam cup. Just taper the inside of your wooden cup to hold the styrafoam snuggly . I leave the bottom of my wooden cups open so you can push the old styrafoam out with no problem. You could probably do the same with any hot drink cup.

-- Don, North Carolina, Working full time at retired.

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