Maple and Walnut travel mug

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Project by Jaybird719 posted 01-03-2011 12:30 AM 1460 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Of all the Christmas gifts I turned this year, this one was – by far – the most frustrating and challenging piece.

I started by laminating maple and walnut squares in order to get a blank that was roughly 8” long.
The intent was to center the walnut on the blank so that when the finished piece was turned, the walnut would look similar to a coffee shop cup with one of the cardboard sleeves… ...I left the walnut slightly proud of the maple in order to accomplish this, but was not able to get the taper on the overall piece to look quite like a paper cup from the coffee shop. Its close, but not quite there.

The challenge for me was hollowing out the center for the stainless insert. A majority of the hollowing was done with a 2-1/8” forstner bit, but the insert tapered from 2-1/8” to nearly three inches at the top of the mug. I had never used hollowing tools, and luckily I had access to them at the local community college wood shop. With some help from the folks at the college, a little patience and a lot of luck, I was able to get the piece hollowed to a taper that would accept the insert.

I wish I had more time to work on this piece because there are a few things that I would do differently on the next one. I think it would be fun to do some carving and/or add some more detail to the walnut to make it look more like a coffee shop sleeve.

I made two blanks because I was afraid that I might make a fatal mistake and have to start over on it – and luckily I was at the drug store the other week and found a plastic travel mug on the clearance rack… was broken and I noticed that the insert was identical to the one I used on this piece. Since it was broken I was able to talk them down to $1.99 from $4.99 – which is a fraction of what I paid for the kit at woodcraft. I can’t wait to give the second blank a try… ...this time I will do it when I have time to carve and play with the design a bit. With so many other christmas projects to work on in addition to this piece, I just didn’t have the time to put into it.

Thanks so much for looking.

-- -Jay Hartman - Morrisville, PA

4 comments so far

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3710 days

#1 posted 01-03-2011 01:00 AM

Nice mug. I was wondering about these kits though. Do they insulate well with just wood and metal? Is there other extra insulation in the metal piece? I want to make one but not if my coffee cools off quickly lol.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View RKW's profile


328 posts in 3962 days

#2 posted 01-03-2011 01:00 AM

cool idea, and i think you did an excellent job

-- RKWoods

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 4113 days

#3 posted 01-03-2011 01:01 AM

I have never turned a mug but can only imagine how frustrating they could be. When I have thought of making one the same concerns and problems you had were what was going through my head. But you made a good show of it and it did turn out marvelous!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Ken90712's profile


17750 posts in 3703 days

#4 posted 01-03-2011 01:23 AM

Cool mug Way to stick with it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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