It’s been a while since we’ve seen some good woodturning projects here on SolidSmack, so let’s take a look at something you can actually use: a coffee mug.

Using an apple log as the basis of the project, woodturner Matt Jordan starts his morning by carving out a container for his cup o’ Joe.

YouTube video

The actual mug is made from an apple log with plenty of burl and bumps. Jordan carves from the outside going in to give the wood a uniform, cylindrical shape.

Turning Log Into Mug 

apple log mug

Once the log is carved down, he flips it over and hollows it out with multiple different drill bits to make the mug’s inner walls.

apple log mug

There’s still some tree bark and burl left on the outer walls, so Jordan chucks the log into a toaster to heat it up. This makes it easy for him to chisel and drill out the imperfections afterward to prepare it for a good resin casting later.

Can’t Go Wrong With Resin

apple log mug

Seeing as there’s a giant hole in the middle of the log, Jordan fits some turned scrap wood inside to keep the resin from filling the mug. He keeps enough space between the scrap and the mug for the resin to seep through before fitting a custom mold around the log and filling it with his metallic-looking resin mixture.

Back to Turning

After the resin has dried, it’s time to remove the log from the mold and get it back on the woodturner. Since a new layer of resin has formed around the wood, Jordan has to chip it away to attain a fine mix between wood and resin. He then starts carving out the final shape of the mug – increasing the diameter of the outer rim while making the bottom part smaller.

apple log mug

Once the outside is finished, he drills out the scrap wood in the center and finely shapes the inside of the mug. Sand the whole thing down and the mug is nearly complete!

The Mug Handle

apple log mug

It wouldn’t be a proper mug if it lacks a handle, so Jordan shapes one out on some extra apple log burl. He makes two wooden handle pieces and uses them as stencils to carve out a mold onto an extra piece of wood.

apple log mug

This mold is where he’ll place some soldered pewter which will serve as the center of the handle. Once the metal has cooled down, he removes it from the mold, files, and sands it down, and glues it to the two wooden handles he made.

apple log mug

With the handle complete, all he has to do is give it another sanding, file down the sharp edges, and drill some holes for wood screws to fit into the mug.

Adding Some Finish

apple log mug

With the main parts in hand, Jordan applies some pure tung oil finish to both the mug and the handle. Not only does this make the wood and resin shine, but it also makes it food-safe, waterproof, and toxic-free. Jordan mentions this finishing process takes five coats and about four weeks to fully cure, but the results are worth it considering the mug can hold hot drinks without falling apart.

apple log mug

All he needs to do now is screw on the handle, brew some coffee, and add it into his mug. Bam! Instant morning gratification!

Matt Jordan’s YouTube channel has tons of woodworking and woodturning content, though he specifies there is way more woodturning. If you like seeing different materials mixed with wood art, you should definitely peek at his channel!


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.