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Making "Usable" Tankards and Goblets

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Joe Atkinson, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Joe Atkinson

    Joe Atkinson

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    I've made a few tankards and goblets but when I drink from them the smell of the wood affects the flavor of the wine or beer I'm drinking (not in a good way). Any suggestions for a finish that's not just waterproof but also eliminates, or minimizes the odor of the wood.
     
  2. Curtis Fuller

    Curtis Fuller

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    In our last zoom meeting Jay Brown demonstrated a product called Glue Boost. It's a CA product that is used in the guitar making and repair business but is becoming popular with wood turners. The reason I mention this is that part of his demo was showing us a small bowl that he had finished with the Glue Boost that had been holding water for 30 days continuous. The water was still basically beading up on the wood and the finish had shown no signs of deterioration. Jay will be an AAW board member in January so I'm sure you can find his contact info if you are an AAW member. His demo was excellent and I'm sure he would be willing to help you if you get ahold of him. https://gluboost.com/
     
  3. Charles Cadenhead

    Charles Cadenhead

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    I used alumilite in the interior of mine. It's held up well (no flaking or pieces breaking off) and it doesn't affect the flavor of the drink and it's food safe once it cures.
     

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  4. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Germans use a piece of Birch log/about 6 to 7 inches in diameter x 10 inches high and mill out a cavity for beer and even leave a natural edge on the wooden tankard from about 2/3 height to the bottom. They are called Birkenkrug as I recall. The one I examined had no lining and didn't seem to affect the beer. The link I had for one of the sellers no longer works.
     
  5. John Walls

    John Walls

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    I googled "Beer Stein Mug BIRCH WOOD MUG STEIN TANKARD" Came up with some interesting pictures. Wish I had access to some Birch! It also came up with one on ebay fairly inexpensive but you get what you pay for.
     
  6. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Yep I found three or four examples. But unlke the one I used, those all have finishes/wax coatings. I suspect the ones I saw and drank out of were turned and used green immediately, sort of a throw away. but this one looks the most like what I saw. https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-VINTA...484249?hash=item3fea752099:g:gl4AAOSw7Q1fdezF
     
  7. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    I'd be curious what sort of woods you used. I expect that choice has something to do with the odor.

    I've made lots of shot glasses (and a few tumblers) from white oak - I don't notice the smell of the wood, but I do char the inside (no other finish) and drink whisky from them so the charred oak blends well.

    I also have made a few Kuksa-like drinking cups that I use backpacking, from birch and aspen (I do use walnut oil on these, but one or two cups of coffee/tea/wine/whisky and that is pretty much gone). I don't notice the smell of those woods either (but they do retain a bit of history of what I drank previously).
     
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  8. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I'm drawing a blank on the mans name at this moment but one of the members of WOW did a test to see if he could make a shot glass that would hold alcohol and not discolor or leak. What he finally found that worked was to soak the inside with CA glue and then melt Carnauba wax and pour that in and then pour it back out and wipe it down good. As I remember he tried a lot of different concoctions before arriving at this one.
     
  9. Joe Atkinson

    Joe Atkinson

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. This gives me several options and I’ll give them each a try.

    Dave, the wood I used was cherry. Although I’m not certain, I suspect it will have more of an odor than lighter woods such as ash, birch and perhaps white oak, but cherry is such a beautiful wood I’ll try the finishes suggested by others to see if they work.
    Your practice of charring the inside of your whiskey cup is intriguing. I’m quite fond of the smoky taste of Isle scotches. I’ll have to give your approach a try.

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  10. Joe Atkinson

    Joe Atkinson

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    Sounds like a variation on the "Glue Boost" suggestion by Curtis. I'll give this a try too. Thanks.
     
  11. John Walls

    John Walls

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    This is the one I was refering too. My german is lacking from lack of use so I don't know if they used anything on it but it looks raw to me.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bierkrug-B...-Hohe-14-cm-/323482703567?hash=item4b511256cf


    I'm going to try to find some birch on my travels to do this one up. Add a handle and I think it would be a cool mug to drink my German style homebrew from.

    s-l1600.jpg
     
  12. John Walls

    John Walls

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    I use Red-Oak and char the insides and burnish the outside by spinning them somewhat fast and using steel wool, puts on a nice satin sheen. I also turn 3 bands on the outside and spin/burn the bands black with wire. I saw that on here from someone, apologize for not remembering who it is. You? Whom ever it was, thank-you very much, everyone here loves them, especially with my single malt scotch I drink. :) If anything, it adds flavor and ambiance.

    Thank-you for this thread, I find it interesting. :)
     
  13. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    height of 14 cm is only about 5.5 inches. It can't hold very much. However that is the exact thing I used. I got the idea that these things were milled out on a drill press type machine with a giant cutter. (similar to the round tenon cutters sold by Veritas for making cotton wood furniture.) A Lathe would work as well. That one appears to be European White Birch. I have turned some European white birch (from a firewood bundle at the box store.) I have some black birch here on the farm Don't know if that would work as well.
     
  14. Joe Atkinson

    Joe Atkinson

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    Interesting that you and Dave both char the inside of your whiskey cups; I’m itching to give this a try. What do you do to “clean” them before using it so you don’t have charcoal bits floating in your drink?

    I was surprised to see that you use red oak. I’ve found red oak to be so porous that I never tried using it for liquid vessels. I have turned boxes from red oak and when I hold the lid (end grain) up to the light I can see right through it due to the open structure of the cells. I assume you must seal it somehow.
     
  15. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    I have made about 50 white oak tankards modeled after the ones retrieved from the wreck of the Mary Rose.
    The originals were coated on the inside with pine tar so I did try that on one and it does work but it is difficult to apply.
    The ones I made were coopered that is 15 tapered staves each. Due to the fact that white oak has a closed cell structure they will hold liquids unfinished without leaking, where as red oak would never work. I used walnut oil on mine but that does add a taste to the drink. I did prepare an article for the AAW journal but the editor rejected it however it did appear in the members gallery.
    BTankardxDW.JPG This is my take on the Mary Rose tankard
     
  16. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Oak barrels for aging whiskey are charred. I don't believe much past the "scorched" stage and normally of White oak in the US.
     
  17. Joe Atkinson

    Joe Atkinson

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    Nice looking tankard; I believe I remember seeing it in the members gallery. I always figured white oak would be a good choice for the reasons you mention but I have no white oak in my stock; Although, I do have a rather large white oak on my front lawn. Hmmmm.
     
  18. John Walls

    John Walls

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    My Red-Oak shot glasses do work but I char the inside pretty hard. Yes, if you leave the scotch in it for very long, you can get wet fingers, have that happen every so often. Trick is, pour/drink, not pour and chat for 20 minutes before shooting it down the hatch. :) I'll have to pick up some white oak sometime.
     
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  19. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Birch works for one piece cups or a shrink box type. The cups are made from small trees with solid pith which is left in and the wood fresh not dried. The one piece is quick and easy, just turn a goblet form with maybe 1/4" thick walls and a 3/8" to 1/2" diameter stem. The cup on the right is a Pythagorean cup if you want to know how it works look it up on the internet. The cup without the trick was requested by a reenactor and can be carried on your period garments by tying a thong around the base. The cup on the left is the shrink box type where a cylinder is turned from green sloppy wet wood. The bottom has a groove around the inside and a disk of dried wood is made with an edge to match the groove at a slightly larger diameter then the inside. The bottom disk is popped in place and as the cylinder dries it will grip the bottom tight enough to be hold water without leaking 101_0744.JPG .
     
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  20. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    We have a small cooperage in the nearest town and I have viewed the charring process and it is definingly more then scorched. The scorching and the wood itself add flavor to the product as it ages.
     
  21. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    I hold a propane torch in my "shot barrels", with the lathe turning as slow as it will go, until I see yellow flame coming out of the barrel. Not sure what that means, but it works for me as in indicator that I have a good enough char.

    After I char them, I spray/mist the inside with water (mostly to cool things off) and wipe them out with a paper towel. I do test my shot barrels two or three times before selling them. I fill them with water, and let them sit for several minutes. That's a leak test, but it also serves to rinse them out a bit.

    Agree about the red oak. I make mine about of white oak, and it holds up pretty well. A few will weep a bit out the end grain, but most hold water or spirits for a good long time without any drips.

    The finish I use on the outside of my shot barrels does help to seal them a bit. It's adapted from an old wooden boat finish. I mix pine pitch (resin) nuggets with walnut oil in a double-boiler - just enough walnut oil to make a honey-like consistency. Apply it when warm, on the lathe, and rub it in. Seems to help, especially with weeping out the endgrain.
     
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  22. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Being from MA I would think that there would at least be a historic Cooperage that you could visit. The white oak that I use is generally low grade but when the staves measure1.25" X 6" you can cut around many blemishes so you might want to reach out to a local wood workers guild for sources.
     
  23. Joe Atkinson

    Joe Atkinson

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    Thanks again everyone for the additional feedback and suggestions; it gives me a lot to experiment with. I've already ordered some supplies and will start trying these approaches in the coming weeks and months. I'll let you know how I make out.
     
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