I hope you weren't getting worried that this blog had turned into all motorcycle videos all the time. If you have been missing the woodworking content, this post is for you.
For this year's family Christmas exchange, I drew the name of someone I've shared many cocktails with, now that we live much closer to each other. So, to broaded their bar's capabilities, I made them a cocktail smoker.
I have very limited experience turning, and no lathe of my own, so after preparing my pieces of wood, I borrowed some time an guidance in my father-in-law's shop.
The body is hard maple. I wanted the body to be a single piece, so that I wouldn't have to worry about fire degrading a glue line. Maple is the only stock I had thick enough to make that happen. I've since learned that I should have glued additional sacrificial stock to the piece. That both pushes the lathe's supports farther apart, to make more room for the tool rest, and also makes it easier to remove the bits of wood that the lathe's attachments chew up.
The handle is a multi-way lamination of walnut and purpleheart. The segmentation of the walnut isn't quite as visible as I expected it to be. The purpleheart, though, is a surprise. In low-light, it's hardly noticable. But when a glare of sunlight hits it, it shines brightly.
I added some glassware to the gift. The gift receiver is an artist, and has drawn many nautical settings, so when I saw these at a local antique store, I knew they were the right choice. They fit the smoker so well, and give a great view of the swirling smoke.
The finish is a simple beeswax and mineral oil blend on the outside, and torch char on the inside. I didn't want something that would smell or release toxic fumes under fire, but thought it should still have some environmental protection.
It also needs something to fill the smoke well with! I packed a few small jars with hand plane shavings of my own favorites: hickory, maple, oak, and cherry. If you make smoked cocktails, let me know what wood you like to use!
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