This month our club’s challenge was to turn a kuksa. What’s a kuksa? It is a drinking vessel from northern Scandinavia often carved from birch burl. However, I prefer woodturning over carving.

My kuksa is from walnut. Since my wood is less than three inches, I glued some pine to its top and bottom to give me room for tenons.

The process I followed was:
1. Glue waste wood (pine) to augment its thickness.
2. Mount between centers to rough turn and cut a tenon on the end opposite the sphere.
3. Remount with the tenon and turn the sphere using the octagon method to guide my eye.
4. Press the sphere end against the chuck jaws with the live center.
5. Cut a tenon on the sphere.
6. Remount using this new tenon and hollow the sphere into a cup.
7. Turn off the foot. There are alternative for this. I used my wooden chuck jaws.
8. Shape and sand the handle
9. Since this could be used as a drinking vessel, apply a food safe finish such as mineral oil and beeswax mix.

My kuksa is 3 inches by 6 inches and is 2 inches tall.


Music: Traumerei by Shumann performed by Becky Schlappi. Used with permission.

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