Cider Cup

Cup attempt #1


I know the intrusive thought that keeps you up at night.  “I buy delicious 4 packs of Hemly Cider, yet my glasses only hold one bottle at a time.  I also become clumsy by the time I get to bottle # 4 and I keep getting glass everywhere.”

We got you fam.  Here in the Hemly Cider Flatware Technology Center we are in the R+D process of a revolutionary new drinking system.  Un-breakable, capable of holding four bottles of cider at a time, and (come the zombie apocalypse) suitable for melee combat.  Make no mistake, when they’re ready, you will sell your soul to drink from a Hemly challis.




I like to make things.  I want to make pretty things, but 'pretty' is a high bar to clear.  I settle for not ugly.

To get to not ugly, when I’m sketching out what I want to make, I use the golden ratio as much as possible.  The golden ratio is my cheat for hiding my lack of artistry, education, and ability.  The simple version of the golden ratio is you use math to size two things relative to each other.  Wikipedia is going to do a better job of explaining the golden ratio than me.

This draft cup is made of some scrap steel pipe that we had lying around the shop.  This 4 inch pipe had quarter inch thick walls, so the outside diameter of the pipe was 4.5 inches.  I wanted to make the cup taller than it was wide so I multiplied 4.5 by 1.618 to get a 7.281-inch tall cup.  I then rounded to the nearest quarter inch (7.25 inch) because there is no point in designing something more precisely than I can build.

For the handle, I wanted to make it smaller than the cup so I multiplied 4.5 by .618 to get 2.75 for the top then I multiplied 2.75 by .618 to get 1.75 for the bottom.

 This is how I used the Golden Ratio on a cup

This is how I used the Golden Ratio on a cup






There are three parts to the cup: cylinder, base, and handle.

The cylinder is the piece of pipe that I cut to length in the band saw.

 Pipe in a band saw

Pipe in a band saw


The base is a piece of ¼-inch plate that I cut in a circle ¼ of an inch proud of the cylinder.  This made a bottom lip on the cup and gave me something convenient to land my welds on.

 Base of the cup

Base of the cup



I “T” welded the two parts together with a buzzbox welder and 1/8 inch 6011 rod.  I tacked the four corners at 75 amps made a first skinny pass at 90 amps and made a third wide pass at 120 amps.  Between passes, I knocked the slag off.


 Obligatory close up of mediocre weld

Obligatory close up of mediocre weld



The handle was a piece of ¾ by ¼-inch flat stock.  I tried using great grandpa’s anvil to smash the big curve.  That was hard.  I usually bend stuff in the vice when we do this kind of thing.  I don’t know if it was my lack of skill that made the anvil hard to use.  Or if anvils are inherently a brutal way to make a curve.  I am definitely going to look at some you-tube videos before I try that again.  I then welded the handle to the cup.


 Blank cup with handle.  

Blank cup with handle.  




To take this plain-Jane heavy, metal cup and turn it into a proper Hemly Cider cup, I needed some decoration.  I added our star logo.  I figured that there were two ways to make the logo ‘Innie’ and ‘outie’.

 I tried to put this on the cup

I tried to put this on the cup



I tried ‘outie’ first.  I drew the diamond and the H parts of the logo with hardfacing welding rod.  I knew that the lines were going to be wide, so I made the parts as large as I could fit on the cup.  As you can see, the result was like the end of the first Indiana Jones movie when the Nazis got their faces melted off; it’s horrible, but a joyous horrible.  I stopped working on that side and flipped to the other side for plan B.

 It looks like the  guy  in RoboCop, who fell in the toxic waste, wandering around moaning 'Kill Me!'

It looks like the guy in RoboCop, who fell in the toxic waste, wandering around moaning 'Kill Me!'



I made the ‘innie’ with a variety of different dremmel bits.  Because I had more control on the weight of the lines, I sized the logo to the cup by the golden ratio.  I made the diamond and the H the same as I did on the hardfacing version.   I could not get enough contrast on the reliefs to make the logo read from a distance.  Crap.

 Just not   BOLD   enough

Just not BOLD enough



The sunny way to think of it: I did find two ways not to decorate a zombie smashing cider cup.


Lessons for the future


The saying “measure twice, cut once” should have a bit that goes before that: “Draw out thrice, measure twice, cut once.

One of the bigger goofs I made was a math error.  I fat fingered the .618 as .68 into my calculator, which made my cup length number come out too long.  I also didn’t take the height of the base plate into account so it is even 0.25 inches longer than it should have been.  Both of those were gross bonehead moves. 

More importantly, the cup is way too heavy.  It weighs more than 10 lbs. empty and 13 full.  I can’t drink out of it when holding the handle with one hand.  A cup that you can’t use isn’t much of a cup.

The next time I try this I’ll spend a couple more minutes looking for pipe that is closer to 1/8 wall.  That will weigh half as much and still last 10,000 years, even if it won’t kill zombies as well (But can you kill zombies anyways? Aren’t they already dead?).  The problem with 1/8 inch metal is I have trouble stick welding it without burning holes through it like face hugger blood from the movie Alien.  I’ll have to figure out mig.

The decoration stuff is going to take some fiddling.  The three things that I’m going to fiddle around with next time:

1)      The ‘outie’ approach using a mig wire that sits on top of the base metal.

2)      Plating the cup in copper, or something like that, so that once you scratch the surface the different types of metal would contrast each other.

3)      Inlaying the etched surface with some solder or braze to make the contrast stand out more.

Flatware is posed for the disruptive change that only a passionate and dedicated team, like us here at the Hemly Cider Flatware Technology Center, can bring.  We will bring that change.  You are in good hands – even if those hands aren’t strong enough to drink out of a 10 lb. cup.

I almost forgot.  This is a blog.  I had a ham sandwich today for lunch.  It was good.