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I salvaged these pieces of aspen from a pile of soon to be firewood. They had been drying for nearly a year at this point. Still quite wet.

I used my chainsaw to flatten one side of the log before moving to the band saw to cut the blank down to final dimension. It looks like I’m wasting a lot of material, but pretty much everything I cut off wasn’t usable. Lots of checking (cracking) and some rot. I chucked the blank up between centers to get it in the round and then cut a tenon on one side that would fit my 4 jaw chuck. The chuck holds the piece a lot better and allows the center of the blank to be hollowed out without support.

I wanted the pith (center of the tree) to run horizontally, right at the belly of the mug and that was my only design constraint. Everything else was just made up as I went along. I sanded everything inside and out up to 600 grit abrasive paper before wrecking the mug and doing it all over again. The second one turned out much more interesting so I’m okay with the extra work!

I used a scrap piece of wood from the log and a thin piece of cherry wood to make the handle. The cherry had an opposing grain pattern which gives the handle all its strength. I glued them up into a blank and let it dry overnight. The cherry compliments the darkness of the pith nicely. I sketched out the handle design on a piece of paper, applied a couple strips of painters tape to the handle blank and then glued the paper to the tape. This makes removing the paper template very easy and clean after cutting. I cut it out on the bandsaw using the wrong blade (it works, just can’t do curves) and then cleaned it up and rounded the edges over on the belt sander.

I scribed the handle to match the contours of the mug and sanded it down to fit on the drill press. I glued the handle to the mug and then coated the inside with Epoxy. excuse me one moment….

Once cured, the epoxy is safe to ingest because it is inert. Your body can not absorb the material, so if you manage to ingest any, it would just pass through your system. This is a mug, not a cutting board. It will not see a lot of abuse and it’s completely acceptable to use epoxy on the inside. FURTHERMORE! This was made as a functional display piece rather than a mug intended for daily use. Please don’t fill the comment section with rants about what is food safe and what is not.

Sorry about that… where was I? Oh yes!, I coated the inside with West System Epoxy in an attempt to stabilize and waterproof the mug. It worked quite well and the inside of the mug has a nice high gloss finish. For the outside, I applied several coats of natural danish oil.

The unicorn tears were in fact club soda. It was delicious.

—DeWalt Chainsaw –
—Drill Press Sanders –
—Danish Oil –
—West System Epoxy Resin –
—West System Epoxy Hardener –
—Titebond Glue –
—Glue Bottle –
—Ruler –
—Sharpies –
—Masking Tape –
—Forstner Drill Bits –
—Tape Cutter –

Shop Equipment
—Saw Stop –
—Band Saw –
—Rockler Stuff –
—Lathe –
—X Carve CNC –

Audio Video Things & Stuff
—Camera –
—Tripod –
—Lights –
—Microphone –
—Tripod –
—Adapter –
—Pop Shield –
—Computer –



  1. I find it hilarious that you take a round log. Make it square. Then make it round again…

    (yes, everyone else, I understand grain direction, blah blah, still find it funny.)

  2. Thank you. I appreciate very much the links to the equipment needed. I hope they pay you. Can you update the list? Some items are not longer available. I want to buy a small lathe to do projects like this one as a hobby.
    You are an artist!

  3. lmao love watching people make things but I really enjoyed your sense of humor and videography, nice work all around! I will be checking out more of your vids!

  4. I kind of half expected there to be a secret compartment in the bottom of the vase for some reason. Beautiful work as always.

  5. This video made me realize that my Woodshop teacher was using a metal cut saw for woodworking for 5 years now

  6. the trick with gluing the stencil to the painters tape is really cool I'm surprised not more people do it so many people have to spend their time sanding off the stencil that seems like it saves at least a little bit of time

  7. nice work! subscribed for more. is just a little dab of glue on the handle enough to be reliable? dont know how else to bond it but didnt expect just glue

  8. lol I would glue it back together and add a dark red glow in the dark pigment powder to a small amount of the resin, mix it really really well, I used foil tape on a bowl, I put the tape on the inside covering the cracks, then on the outside I created a small foil tape barrier around the cracks so the resin would only be where I want it. I've not turned it, I'll let it set a week before I try.

  9. I personally wooden work with that kind of wood, Its a bit of a Birtch to work with but the final result was far from medi-oak-re

  10. Hi Dustin…thank you so much for your videos. I subscribed and enjoying every bit of it. I like the speed you have it on. You are definitely very detailed and perfect. I wish I had all those tools and machinery. My daughter and I enjoy it thanks again.

  11. nice job! I'm new to this stuff. Is that epoxy you put inside the cup, and if so, is all epoxy non-toxic or did you use something special

  12. Nice mug, to bad about the first one though. At least this one has more character. Did you use a pressure pot to cure the epoxy or just let it air dry? I'm only asking because every video I've seen that shows epoxy being used, people use pressure pots to get rid of air bubbles. If you did air dry did you have any issues with bubbles? Thanks for sharing, nice video.

  13. Great work, but I thought for certain you'd go with Unicorn Tears Light, to save on a few calories. Neat project.

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