Kuksa is a wooden cup used in certain parts of the world as a drinking cup. Till now, kuksa has found a lot of popularity among nature-lovers across the globe and is almost no substitute. In this article, we are going to introduce you to this interesting wooden project and teach you how to make a kuksa cup. Stay with us.
What is a Kuksa Cup?
Kuksa is a wooden cup made by the Sami people in Lappland or northern Scandinavia. Kuksa is also known as Guksi. Nowadays, kuksa has a lot of fans among nature enthusiasts around the world and wood art enthusiasts. In the early years of the invention of kuksa, the kuksa were widely used in the near arctic as a drinking cup made from wood and was the best choice for the weather in those areas. It was a brief history of kuksa cup.
These wooden mugs are widely used nowadays and have created a good market for woodworking artists. Selling the Kuksa cup is a great way to make money, and this project is known as one of the best wooden handicrafts for sale.
Best Wood for Making a Kuksa
What is the best wood for making a Kuksa? Choosing the right wood for making Kuksa is very important. If you think any wood can be used, you’re wrong.
Using Birch Burl in Making Kuksa Cup
Traditionally, kuksa is made from birch burl. Burl is a type of abnormality resulting from abnormal semicircular growth seen as swelling on the trunk of the tree. Burl is a tree defense response to stress and various environmental factors that occurs as a part of the tree trunk.
Burl can be compared to a tumor in the human body. The wood of the Burl section of the tree is quite different from the main trunk. Woods with Burl motifs have no annual growth ring and have a very dense texture. These different properties are a positive feature for making a Kuksa cup.
Other Woods for Making Kuksa Cup
Today, because burl birch is not available, other woods such as walnut wood, oak wood, beech wood or other hardwoods can also be used to make Kuksa. Typically varieties such as birch, sequoia, walnut, and olive wood have burl and are the best woods for making kuksa cup or wooden mugs. Of course, as it is said, you need a lot of time to find them!
Making Kuksa Cup – Step by Step Tutorial
We recommend making Kuksa Cup from a burl birch. But if you can’t find it, you can use other hardwood burl. If burl is not available, you can use any hardwood to make a Kuksa Cup. But naturally, your product won’t worth much. Here’s the step by step process of making a traditional Kuksa.
#1 Separating Burl From the Tree:
There are some points to be taken in order to separate burl from the tree so as not to damage the tree. If you want to separate burl from a tree, you should do this manually with a hand saw. Carefully cut the burl and cover the leftover wound with pine oil or other insulating material to heal the wound sooner. There are a few other things that must be considered when cutting burl from the trunk:
- When cutting burl, consider the Kuksa handle.
- Try harvesting burl from the tree in summer or fall. Because the sap flow in the winter is slow and the wound heals much slower.
#2 Drying of Burl
Fresh wood or Burl is softer than dry wood and is easier to carve than dry wood. But to prevent further damage, you must dry the wood. If you want to start with fresh wood, you can cover it with beeswax or polyurethane glue or any other insulator to slow down the wood drying process.
If the wood dries quickly, burl will certainly crack and the valuable burl will disappear. For drying, you should allow the wood to dry for a few months to a year in a well-ventilated place to be ready for work and then you can use it to make a Kuksa cup.
#3 Burl Hollowing
After drying, you can easily make a Kuksa or wooden cup using a woodturning machine or drill machine. To do this, you first have to draw the initial shape of a Kuksa on the wood and then completely hollow the wood.
The following video shows you how to do this. You can do it by hand and with the help of a chisel, but it will be harder to do so.
Next, using the disk sanding machine the original Kuksa form will be sanded and ready to be painted after final polishing. You can now make the original shape of Kuksa using sandpaper grit 80 to 120. After these steps, you can boil the Kuksa in concentrated water and salt solution to increase the resistance of your wooden cup.
#4 Applying Oil on Kuksa Cup
Finally, we come to the simplest step, which is to apply the vegetable oils (linseed or olive) on the Kuksa. At this stage, the oil is well massaged and the excess oils are removed. In better shape, we allow the oil to penetrate the wood well and we repeat it several times to achieve ultimate resistance.
After this, your Kuksa is ready to be used.
We tried to teach you how to make a traditional Kuksa cup. You can create new models of this product with the help of your creativity. After using these wooden cups, you can clean the Kuksa cup with water only. You shouldn’t use detergents for this, as we believe that it will harm the Kuksa.
We hope that with the help of this tutorial, you can make a Kuksa for yourself and enjoy it. Of course, giving a Kuksa as a gift is also a very interesting idea.
Kuksa cup is a rustic wooden project.
For other interesting projects, see 11 rustic wood project ideas.