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Coffee Cup Holders

Randy Anderson

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candrwoodworks.com
Sometimes a practical need can turn into an item you can sell. I got tired of ceramic coffee cups collecting in my shop and then having to collect and carry them all in once there were too many. They were also prone to get knocked off the bench and broken. I also don't like sipping coffee from a little hole in the top of a tumbler or washing it either. Decided to make some disposable coffee cup holders for the shop. Made several to fit standard 12oz paper cups that you can find anywhere. I took some to a show and have been able to easily sell them. I've had people order 10 at a time for gifts. I give them a few paper cups to go with them. I put handles on the ones I use in my shop but most people don't want a handle. You can buy packages of the 12oz cups online for pennies each. Get a fresh paper cup, use it for the morning and toss it. Once you get an insert template made they're easy to turn to the right size inside with a scraper or hollowing tool. Handles can be cut out of scrap and glued onto the side. I've made glue ups out of scraps, even plywood, or from solid pieces too small for much else. If you're looking for something easy to make and add to your offering for sale these might be something to consider.

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Randy Anderson

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Eads, TN
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candrwoodworks.com
I should have posted this at first. In case interested here's the template dimensions. Thin 1/8" hardboard works well. Keep working inside until the template slips in and just barely drops below lip of cup holder. Good idea to test a cup before you cut it loose from the tenon. Drops in, paper cup lip sits on the edge of the cup holder, doesn't wiggle around but you don't have to pry it out is a good fit.

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Joined
Nov 11, 2021
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Location
Auburn, AL
Hi Randy
I'm brand new to turning, have done a dozen or so pens and I'm looking forward to trying bowls and other items. This is a great project - well designed, simple and functional. You're obviously an experienced and talented woodturning artist and I'm a green newbe looking for all the guidance I can get :). Would you mind if I impose on you and ask a few questions?
1. What wood is best for a project like this?
2. How did you finish the wood?
3. I am enjoying learning how to use my beginners set of tools (bowl gouge, spindle gouge, skew chisel), my EasyWoods set of carbide cutters, and a nice carbide parting tool - but I have a long way to go before I can consider myself experienced. Can your cup holder be turned with these tools, or do I need any specialized tools?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Glynn
 

Randy Anderson

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Eads, TN
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candrwoodworks.com
Glynn, glad you're interested in making them. They're quick, functional and make good quick gifts you can hand out to family and friends.

Wood - dry and stable. I've made them out of pine stock stacked up and glued together, high grade plywood stacked and glued, solid pieces that are big enough, etc. Whatever you have works. It's a mug so unique and different are good. A good minimum for OD on the top is 3 5/8, or thicker if you like. If you make it really thin you can get it out of a stack of 1x4 scraps glued together but the top wall edge will be thin. I've done it but the top edge walls are really thin and can break or chip. Thick is OK, it's a mug sorta. Height - most of mine are about 4 3/4 tall so plan for a tenon and some waste to shape. A 6" high stock piece is plenty.

Finish - I'm a walnut oil finish guy but anything works really. Some cutting board oil, danish oil, up to you.

Process tips - drill a large hole first with a forstner bit all the way to the bottom. I use a 2 1/4" bit just to save time and set the bottom inside dia. You can pick one up on amazon for a few bucks, not expensive and saves a lot of hogging out time. If you don't have one just drill the biggest hole you can to give you some room to work. The hole is deep so will need large easy wood tools or be careful setting your tool rest inside the cup as you clear out material or you'll over extend the smaller tools and fight it. Don't sweat making the inside a perfect fit to the guide or paper cup. Clean and even look nice and as long as the cup doesn't wiggle around and sits snug who cares that it doesn't touch all the sides. Better if it doesn't actually. The critical area to watch is the top lip. Guide should be just a grunt (TN tech term) below the lip. Test a cup from time to time, or a few since they are not a precision item, and you'll get a sense for how snug it feels. I sometimes shape the outside last. Mugs can be tapered, straight, fat, curve out, etc. Up to you. Just make sure you can easily pick it up to use it.

Tools - you're fine and it's what I use to make them. I started with the small set of easy wood tools and still use them. I have the big set and use them as well. Handy to have for certain tasks and you can go a long way with them. You can tilt the round cutter a few degrees counterclockwise to clean up inside wall cuts and use the square one to clean up the inside bottom rim/edge as needed. I leave the pin hole in the bottom from the forstner bit most often. Not worth dealing with.

Let me know if I can help along the way.

Stacked plywood. It's what I'm using this morning. I have three I keep handy. Plywood can work but it's hit or miss and needs to be very good grade.
 

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Joined
Nov 11, 2021
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Location
Auburn, AL
Thanks Randy for the excellent advice and quick reply. You have taught me some new things.
I'm trying to learn all I can from this forum, YouTube, and other sites that I find. I've done "straight line" hobby woodwork, CNC router work, cabinet making, etc. for a long time, but always wanted to get into turning. Wish I had done it a long time ago.
I had not thought of using stacked plywood - what a great idea. I might mix that with the ton of regular cutoff/scrap pieces I have.
I'll play some this weekend and see what happens.
Best wishes,
Glynn
 
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