Saturday, November 9, 2013

Copper Mug

Some time ago I was asked if I might be able to make a set of Moscow Mule copper mugs.  A quick google search for what that actually meant told me that yeah I would probably be able to handle that.  The actual order for the set fell through, but I figured I might as well make a prototype anyway.

I decided to start with a crimp for this one.  The disk was a 6" piece of 18 gauge.

The crimps then get hammered out and "trapped" up at the edge.

Here's what I get after it's all hammered out.  Definitely faster than sinking it down into a whole and then raising.  After this I'll go through my regular process of raising.  After each course I'll regulate the form and reset the bottom so it stays nice and flat.

This is about halfway through a course.  I'm working with a hammer that has a fairly thin face, which has the benefit of stretching the metal as it works up the face.  All said and done the walls of the cup stretched about an inch and a half over each successive raising course.  

The top of the walls were starting to flare out a bit after this course, so I started the next course about an inch from the bottom, which helped flatten them out a bit.

Here I've worked over the whole form with a planishing hammer to smooth the form and regulate the metal.  After all those raising courses the thickness gets a little uneven as all the hammermarks stretch and deform the surface.  Planishing helps even that out.  

I forgot to take pictures of the intermediary steps, but what I did was give the piece one more light course of raising, but I made sure to be extremely thorough about covering the entire surface with hammer marks.  Using a hammer with an extremely narrow face this took a long time, but it gave the cup a great texture that I wanted to keep.  After that I trimmed the edge with some snips so it came to an even height all the way around, and rolled the edge back down over a piece of steel wire.  I then made the handle out of some 6 gauge copper wire by flattening the end and curving it to fit the cup.  That got riveted on and the cup was finished.

It's a pretty handsome little cup.  It holds about 6-7 oz of liquid, so its not very big, but its got a great heft and heaviness to it.  I would love to do a set of these, only took about 10 hours to do 1.  In the future I think I'll start with a bigger disk of a thinner gauge copper, that should speed it up a bit and give me a larger capacity.  


  1. Hello,
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  2. This Looks great can I get more information on how you did the crimp at the start I'm interested in making a set for myself.

  3. I made this drink for the third time now, and it is so good and so refreshing. Now, I want to get the copper mugs, too, which I am finding to be available at a number of online shops. Question for you: Most of the mugs are 16 oz. or more, the recipe comes out to about 8 oz. with ice. Did you double the drink in the mugs in the photos or are they smaller mugs? Thanks for sharing the recipe!