Kuksa advice

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Silverclaws2

Forager
Dec 30, 2019
207
103
53
Devon
My cousin used to make art funiture from Scottish Hard wood to offer a complimentary re- shaping service after what he had sold had 'aclimatised' to it's new location, to in eventuality give up making furniture because the problem with new hard wood products in centrally heated homes.

The cracking of the Kuksa, perchance is it kept in a centrally heated home?

If so .consider leaving it in an out building.
 
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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
785
594
yorks
That's a very nice little cup. If you're only going to use it occasionally I would follow Chris' advice and use a curing oil on it. If you're going to use it every day - well you have more choice :)

How big is it; It's a lovely shape to drink a wee dram out of but maybe it's too big for that?

Cheers Broch :) I think I'll get some tung oil for it, I'm not sure how much use it will get to be honest I'm hoping lots but I think the tung oil will come in for other bits too. The cup comes out around 180ml, I was sorely tempted to put a coffee in it today but didn't want to stain the unfinished wood! What is the usual dram glass size?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,603
3,863
Mid Wales
A typical single measure in Scotland is 35ml and a double 70ml (a landlord can choose to dispense spirit in 25ml or 35ml and multiples of either but not both in the UK). It is usually served in glasses between 150 and 200ml so your cup is ideal :)
 
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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
785
594
yorks
A typical single measure in Scotland is 35ml and a double 70ml (a landlord can choose to dispense spirit in 25ml or 35ml and multiples of either but not both in the UK). It is usually served in glasses between 150 and 200ml so your cup is ideal :)

Aha! Perfect!
 

Davey569

Native
Jun 18, 2008
1,185
82
Off the beaten track
I think the thing to remember is that wood is a natural product, and like all natural products is not totally stable and you can never guarantee it will last forever.

I do remember visiting a sawmill in the Netherlands though where they soak the logs in saltwater first in order to pull the sugars out of the wood which lessens the chances of warping and splitting.
 
Feb 19, 2021
9
1
56
UK
I'm back with another question. I noticed that my new Kuksa (expensive, from nordic_art_store) keeps on leaving quite a lot of condensation underneath when I drink tea from it. My old one doesn't do that at all. Is the new one faulty, should I send it back? I have until tomorrow to decide, as I got it from amazon. Thanks
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,921
1,814
McBride, BC
An oven baked oil finish is complete in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. It cannot be washed off. Takes advantage of the principle of Charles' Law of gas physics.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,921
1,814
McBride, BC
Charles' Law states that gases expand when they are heated. Also that gases contract when they are cooled. You can use this to suck oil down inside wood that cannot be moved by hot foods. Not my invention. Just takes advantage of a Law of physics to get the job done.

Pick the oil of your choice, I use olive oil because I have lots of it (3 liter tins) in my kitchen. I have done this with bees' wax, too.

Preheat your oven to 325F. On a cake rack, over a sheet pan, slather the wood with oil. Into the oven for 3 minutes and 30 seconds by the clock. Out it comes to cool.
You should see fizzy bubbling in the oily surface. That is heated wood air expanding. As the wood cools, the remaining wood air contracts and pulls the oil into the wood. Add more oil if you want. When cold, wipe it all off = done.

Hot food isn't hot enough to move the oil. You can't wash it out. Inside the wood, there's no interaction with the atmosphere so little to no chance of that oil ever oxidizing (going rancid.)

I carved 70 spoons and 30 forks in birch to sell in a local market. I needed a fast, simple and permanent finish to be cost effective.

NOTE: I have never carved a kuksa. I am a little concerned about the oven heat cracking the wood. Experiment on the already cracked one to see how it holds up.
 
Feb 19, 2021
9
1
56
UK
Charles' Law states that gases expand when they are heated. Also that gases contract when they are cooled. You can use this to suck oil down inside wood that cannot be moved by hot foods. Not my invention. Just takes advantage of a Law of physics to get the job done.

Pick the oil of your choice, I use olive oil because I have lots of it (3 liter tins) in my kitchen. I have done this with bees' wax, too.

Preheat your oven to 325F. On a cake rack, over a sheet pan, slather the wood with oil. Into the oven for 3 minutes and 30 seconds by the clock. Out it comes to cool.
You should see fizzy bubbling in the oily surface. That is heated wood air expanding. As the wood cools, the remaining wood air contracts and pulls the oil into the wood. Add more oil if you want. When cold, wipe it all off = done.

Hot food isn't hot enough to move the oil. You can't wash it out. Inside the wood, there's no interaction with the atmosphere so little to no chance of that oil ever oxidizing (going rancid.)

I carved 70 spoons and 30 forks in birch to sell in a local market. I needed a fast, simple and permanent finish to be cost effective.

NOTE: I have never carved a kuksa. I am a little concerned about the oven heat cracking the wood. Experiment on the already cracked one to see how it holds up.
Very interesting, many thanks for explaining
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,655
742
Vantaa, Finland
my new Kuksa (expensive, from nordic_art_store) keeps on leaving quite a lot of condensation underneath when I drink tea from it
That is kind of strange, I have never seen that happen so far. Have you checked that there is no crack or small faults at the bottom. If not, RV's treatment stops it.
 
Feb 19, 2021
9
1
56
UK
That is kind of strange, I have never seen that happen so far. Have you checked that there is no crack or small faults at the bottom. If not, RV's treatment stops it.
No faults at all that I can see... I'll sleep on whether I have the courage to try the heat treatment!
 
Feb 19, 2021
9
1
56
UK
Preheat your oven to 325F. On a cake rack, over a sheet pan, slather the wood with oil. Into the oven for 3 minutes and 30 seconds by the clock. Out it comes to cool.

NOTE: I have never carved a kuksa. I am a little concerned about the oven heat cracking the wood. Experiment on the already cracked one to see how it holds up.

That is kind of strange, I have never seen that happen so far. Have you checked that there is no crack or small faults at the bottom. If not, RV's treatment stops it.
No danger of it catching fire? Also the new one has antler bone on the handle - I guess that could crack/fall off?
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,655
742
Vantaa, Finland
It will not catch fire and I think the antler can take it for a short time, the adhesive between wood and antler might be the weakest point.
 
Feb 19, 2021
9
1
56
UK
It will not catch fire and I think the antler can take it for a short time, the adhesive between wood and antler might be the weakest point.
Yes, that''s what I think - I think the cracked one sadly is the more useable one, it's only a small crack at the lip - maybe I can find a way to fill that rather. I'd better send the fancy one back.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,921
1,814
McBride, BC
325F is hardly hot enough to fry bacon and far, far below the ignition temp for woods of any kind.

I was carving the spoons and forks about a dozen at a time, my double cake rack over a big sheet pan could hold such a unit.

Everything that I've learned about the kuksa of the Sammi people says they carved birch burl. Defective pieces of wood with very intense interlocking grain. There lies the secret to a lack of cracking which you might expect in straight grained "normal" woods.

I carve cedars, notorious for splitting and cracking. I won't touch any wood with less than 15 growth rings per inch. As high as 40-50 is kind of boney but workable like so many hardwoods.
 

Tonyuk

Settler
Nov 30, 2011
911
64
Scotland
Every single wooden kuksa i've ever owned has eventually cracked, even with oiling.

I stick to metal or plastic now, saves a lot of messing around.
 

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