Carving tools #7: Wood cup / Kuksa - or just a wonderful way to drink a cappuccino in nature...

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Blog entry by mafe posted 02-24-2016 02:19 PM 18064 reads 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Carving knifes from old plane iron - spoon knife from jig saw blade Part 7 of Carving tools series Part 8: Carving tool edge protection - so simple it takes only one picture. »

Wood cup / Kuksa
or just a wonderful way to drink a cappuccino in nature…

After a walk in the forest with Filiz I came home with some wood…
Just could not resist since I just worked on my carving tools.
So it was time to put some of these tools to work.

I had no plan for the green wood when I brought it home, but I realized that this one had the size to become a fine little cup, so I cut the wood up for this one.
Last time I made a cup I was in Scotland:
(As you can see behind I also work on some spoons).

Was considering to use a hand drill for the initial hollow out, but thought it would be more fun to test different hollow out methods.

First the gouge and some good tobacco.

It is quick and easy with a fair weight mallet.

Also easy to control direction.

So I finish the rough shape with this method.
Quick and clean.

Then a dogleg gouge for thaping the lowest part.

And finally spoon knifes, nice and sharp to finish up the shape.
I do like these knifes, they cut like a knife in butter.

I use a band saw to help me up a little.

Rough shaping the outside.
The rest of the shaping was done by hand with knifes and a sharp chisel, was so much into the process that I forgot to take pictures. ;-)

Then I worked the bowl with scrapers, like this I could get a wonderful surface on the inside.

I do like scrapers and like to have sizes that fit the job.

A few spots was taken with sandpaper, some of the hollow spots was not easy to reach with the scrapers.
Here you also see the two new knifes I just made and brought to the test, they worked like a dream, sharp and holding the edge.

We gut a cup!

Since the wood were drying out relatively fast I decided to soak it 24 hours in raw linseed oil to prevent it from cracking. It would have been better if I had the patience to wait with the outside until the wood was dry I guess.

Do love the linseed oil.

Next day I decided to polish it up to make it more waterproof, don’t know if it was needed but I did it.

It did look like it makes the surface more dense and at least it makes it even more beautiful.

The outside also get a wee polish, this just for the joy and to make it more easy to clean.

Some bees wax and I think it must be enough.
(Before using the cup I will clean it in hot water, so I don’t get all that in my coffee.

Yes I am happy, perfect size for coffee.
Especially I look forward to a field espresso:


So I put my brand on it.

Not perfect, but full of life, just like I try to be my self.

Perhaps I will rework the handle, think it will look beautiful if I can make it into a ring shape, but this will be when sitting in nature.

Time to test it after a good cleaning.
Coffee time.

Wauuu that is wonderful, drinking coffee from a self made cup, the wood against the lips are like silk.
Yes I can recommend every one make them self a cup, I had a wonderful time and will now have a unique pleasure drinking coffee when enjoying the beauty of nature.

Hope it can inspire, who knows, perhaps a few cups.

The best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

12 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8703 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 02-24-2016 02:43 PM

Ah Mads you are nothing if not full of life!
Well done, enjoy your field espresso.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View bch's profile


303 posts in 3743 days

#2 posted 02-24-2016 02:46 PM

Mafe: Inspiring indeed! Now I just need to acquire some gouges. Thanks for sharing!

-- --bch

View thecarpentershands's profile


80 posts in 3251 days

#3 posted 02-24-2016 02:55 PM

Amazing as usual!

View lew's profile


13332 posts in 4809 days

#4 posted 02-24-2016 02:58 PM

I can smell the wonderful aroma of the coffee from here!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4388 days

#5 posted 02-24-2016 04:32 PM

Very nice Mads. I have to admit that I’m lazy so I would probably turn the cup part on the lathe and then carve the handle, but I do like the carving marks on yours which give it a lot of character.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Brit's profile


8308 posts in 3896 days

#6 posted 02-24-2016 07:35 PM

You beat me to it Mads. I have the stuff to make a couple of kuksas but I haven’t had time to do it yet. Seeing your lovely cup full of coffee made me remember just how good your coffee is.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3858 days

#7 posted 02-24-2016 07:56 PM


-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Schwieb's profile


1916 posts in 4515 days

#8 posted 02-25-2016 10:30 AM

well done Mads.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View CFrye's profile


11217 posts in 2893 days

#9 posted 02-25-2016 01:11 PM

The grain inside the cup is beautiful, Mads, like swirling steam from your coffee. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View mafe's profile


13083 posts in 4143 days

#10 posted 03-01-2016 10:58 PM

Hi LJ’s,
CFrye, I also had a big smile on my lips after scraping the inside, how the wood revealed its spirit to me.
Ken, smiles and drinks coffee.
Roger, Cheers.
Brit, I will look forward to see what you come up with, I am sure it will not be my last, it was pure joy.
stefang, yes I think I will try that also at one time, just for the challenge.
lew, me too. ;-)
thecarpentershands, big smile.
bch, yes tools seem to grow here, one fine day I will not be able to get out of the shop, but a few gouges are always useful.
shipwright, I often think I don’t get anything done… Then I look at LJ and realize it’s not true, must be because I feel like playing and not like getting things done… Feel so much alive these days. Thanks.
Thank you all for the wonderful words.
Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Brit's profile


8308 posts in 3896 days

#11 posted 03-01-2016 11:49 PM

Mads – If I remember correctly, don’t you have a lot of birch trees in Denmark? You should see if you can find a nice bit of birch burl and make a traditional one, then you wouldn’t have to worry about the pith splitting on you further down the road.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View mafe's profile


13083 posts in 4143 days

#12 posted 03-01-2016 11:55 PM

Yes Andy we have quite a lot of birch here, will love to find a good burl for it at some time.
I am always keeping my eyes open, but don’t really have contacts for wood here.
Just made a small blog on DIY scrapers, may be interesting for you on your carving journey.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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