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Sharpen your end-grain hollowing skills.

Drinking from a wooden Goblet is a unique experience, because its weight and feel is distinct from goblets made of other materials. But is it practical? Of course! With the right wood and finish, it’s perfect for anyone who loves wood!

Tools and materials

Almost any lathe will do for this project—even a mini lathe. A four-jaw scroll chuck is a great asset for mounting the blank for hollowing. You’ll need standard spindle turning tools, including a roughing gouge, a detail/spindle gouge, a skew chisel and a parting tool. You’ll also need a tool for hollowing the cup. I recommend using a round-nose scraper (with either a side- or full-round profile) that’s 1/2″ to 1″ wide and 5/16″ to 3/8″ thick.

Steer away from really soft woods such as basswood, pine, cottonwood, etc. and look for harder woods such as cherry, walnut, maple and oak. Many exotic woods are also suitable. Finding large enough turning blanks may be the biggest challenge—I like to start with blanks that are 2-1/2″ to 3″ square.

A wooden goblet’s usability turns on the finish. With some woods the wrong finish can allow wine to literally seep right through the cup. Epoxy, pre-catalyzed lacquer (sometimes sold to turners as “melamine”) and varnish are good choices that seal the wood well and are not affected by alcohol.

Securely mount the blank

1. Securely mount a blank with a turned tenon into a scroll chuck. A secure mount comes from the tenon’s large gripping surface and its shoulder, which rests on the top of the chuck’s jaws.

Select a square blank that’s about 9″ long.  Mount the blank on the lathe between centers and turn it to a cylinder using the roughing gouge. Select which end will be the base and which will be the cup. Use a parting tool or a skew chisel to turn a tenon on the base end to fit the…

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