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post #1 of 13 Old 04-09-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Wood for Mugs/bowls

Lately Ive taken an interest to Kuksa cups for camping, But finding a raw burch burl seems to be impossible! So while I search for one i want to make a regular boring cup, What are woods that are safe to use in a drinking cup, that are soft? And do you use some sort of sealer to seal all the gaps in the wood so the dust doesn't contaminate the water? I want to make this cup with a hook knife.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 13 Old 04-09-2019, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner.Michaux View Post
Lately Ive taken an interest to Kuksa cups for camping, But finding a raw burch burl seems to be impossible! So while I search for one i want to make a regular boring cup, What are woods that are safe to use in a drinking cup, that are soft? And do you use some sort of sealer to seal all the gaps in the wood so the dust doesn't contaminate the water? I want to make this cup with a hook knife.

Thanks.
Hi Conner,

Well that's a nice hobby to get into!!!

As a "green woodworker" I'm always pleased to find another person coming over to that style of woodworking...

I'm not sure about "burch burl" unless you meant "Beech" or "Birch" for the species and can say that most Kuhsa,
Guksi, Kåsa, and related Nordic and Eastern European style drinking vessels like "shrink pots" are not made from burl...That is a rather uncommon practice for them...

Most (not all) are made from hardwoods (Birch, Maple, Beech,) yet any wood that isn't of a toxic species will work and some cultures do use softwoods for these also...

Yes, the are typically finished with beeswax, and/or a blend of pine rosin and other plant oils...but not all of them are...

When your close to that stage we can go over that, or you could just do some "advance searching" here on the forum and learn a lot from other posts with similar topics...

Good luck,

j
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-09-2019, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Jay, thanks for the info. Yes I meant Birch, For some reason I'm always spelling it wrong, I read somewhere that Kuksa cups had to be made out of a Birch burl for it to be a real Kuksa, But its good to know that I can use other wood I'll get a few pieces of birch and make a few.


Should I use raw wood for this? And where would you recommend getting some raw birch wood?

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post #4 of 13 Old 04-09-2019, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Conner.Michaux View Post
..Jay, thanks for the info. Yes I meant Birch, For some reason I'm always spelling it wrong,. ...
Hi Conner,

You are most welcome...and I promise I was not correcting your "spelling"...LOL...

If it wasn't for spell checker and outer "helpers" you would not be able to read what these silly old fingers bang out on a keyboard...LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner.Michaux View Post
... I read somewhere that Kuksa cups had to be made out of a Birch burl for it to be a real Kuksa, But its good to know that I can use other wood I'll get a few pieces of birch and make a few. ...
I can believe that...and if you find the literature you read that in, I would love to see the reference...

These vessels (and those like them) are often very..."culturally specific"...to a region and/or culture. As such, there are huge variants in styles and traditions surrounding them. Even within the same country and culture (and different subcultures) there can be different traditions and beliefs in regard to the means, methods and materials they are crafted.

I can say that carving anything out of a burl is going to be about ten times more difficult to do physically. Burls also are notoriously full of "reaction wood" and thus can blow themselves apart from the stresses inside them. Know and understanding "burl wood" is not something I would recommend to someone just starting out, but if you get your hands on some, I do promise you will learn a lot about wood from it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner.Michaux View Post
...Should I use raw wood for this? And where would you recommend getting some raw birch wood? ...
Yes...raw wood.

These cups (and related) are almost often (I don't know of any that aren't?) fashioned from...green wood...which means freshly cut. I imagine you have watched some of the "youtube" videos about them (be careful not all of it is good information!) so you can get some ideas of the means and methods.

Wooden vessels and utensils are a key feature of green woodworking. If you do a search here on the forum you will find more on that topic...

As to where you find it...typically (with landowner permission of course) you harvest it yourself. That's part of the fun and learning process. You can also ask Tree and Landscape companies for cut offs, as most of them are willing to help.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-10-2019, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Here is the article i was talking about, https://finlandnaturally.com/other/k...al-wooden-cup/

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post #6 of 13 Old 04-10-2019, 08:43 PM
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Thanks! Here is the article i was talking about, https://finlandnaturally.com/other/k...al-wooden-cup/
Hi Conner,

Thanks for the link...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joonas Talka of Finland Naturally
The saying goes something like this way, that every self-respecting outdoorsman should craft their kuksa by themselves and that the only acceptable material for kuksa would be birch burl...I see this more like my own personal maturity rite as an outdoor adventurer and less like “the only real way” of doing outdoorsy things. There just isn’t one right way of enjoying outdoors and it also applies to kuksa, no matter what that old bearded outdoor crank or some internet warrior tells you about the only right way of blah blah.
I think Conner (???) from the words of the author themselves, there is a lot of "artistic license" being taken in their perspective, and they even suggest clearly, "...there just isn't one right way..." which I can more than agree with...

To that point, even there description of how these should be carved has a lot to be questioned...It is..."a way"...of carving one, but far from traditional or original. It will work and those are some great tools, yet I can share that when I would "field teach" making bowls and cups, there was only stone and fire tools to use in making them. Most students are done in about 3 to 5 days of evening work. I only share that, as it is but "another way" to make them and probably a lot closer to "original ways" than specialty carving tools...which just make the job of it "different" not necessarily better or even easier...

Food for thought...Look forward to more post from you and your project's progression...
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-25-2019, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Would this work for a Kuksa? I found a website that sells raw woods, and I found some birch,
https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...1ed22fa4OEIVPZ

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post #8 of 13 Old 04-25-2019, 05:53 PM
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Would this work for a Kuksa? I found a website that sells raw woods, and I found some birch,
https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...1ed22fa4OEIVPZ
Hello Conner,

Tree species wise, yes that would work...

Unfortunately..."Alibaba.com" is mainly for bulk purchasers, and wholesalers (for the most part.) I'm fairly certain that you would have to purchase 250 cubic meters to get that price, and no less volume...

A landscape or tree service company is still probably your best option, short of you harvesting your own wood someplace....

Good Luck,

j
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-25-2019, 06:42 PM
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I used to belong to a renaissance club and made a lot of mugs. I used mostly white oak and live oak. Those woods are very hard and slow to turn.
I figured if they were good enough for beer and wine casks over the centuries, they should be good for beer, wine and coffee today.

I would be leery of soft woods thinking that they may be too porous.

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-21-2019, 03:35 AM
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hello Conner.Michaux,
Do you make your own wooden drinking cup?
Or You are looking for some wooden workshops too?
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-21-2019, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ElizaBrown67 View Post
hello Conner.Michaux,
Do you make your own wooden drinking cup?
Or You are looking for some wooden workshops too?
Conner did indicate they were wanting to make the drink cups themselves. They indicated they were planning to whittle the cups out by hand. A much easier method and perhaps more fun would be to purchase a small lathe and turn the cups. Something that small could be done on a mini-lathe which is small enough that could be packed away when not in use if shop space was limited. It's also something that could be done in your backyard on a nice day.
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-17-2019, 02:33 AM
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Thank you so much steve.
How to use router table to make this type of cups? Do you have any DIY video?

Last edited by BigJim; 08-16-2019 at 04:13 AM. Reason: Ad removed
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-06-2019, 09:34 PM
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Thanks a lot

I have been following your website for 2 months and you always add quality stuff. Do you have any video on how to make these cups using a router table? It will really help me, for my upcoming projects :)

Last edited by BigJim; 08-16-2019 at 04:15 AM. Reason: Ad removed
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