Dead Tree to Beer Mug – Gale’s Mesquite Project 1


 Could have been firewood.

The process:

Find a dead tree

Cut it to length

Mark approximate centers for lathe

Make certain your last will and testiment is up-to-date, don your face protection and body armor, adjust the lathe to the slowest possible RPMs and mount the future beer glass in the lathe.

Finding that lowest speed is important.

Change tools and readjust as the cylinder size is reduced.  Gradually the RPMs can be increased.

Trim off everything that isn’t a beer mug

When it approaches the shape you want prepare the end for the talon chuck.

The talon chuck holds it by the end so you can begin hollowing out the vessel.

Note the protrusion at the base to serve as a grip for the talon.

If your material is mesquite some filling might be needed at this point.

Gale’s been using chrysocolla for that job lately

Now you’re ready to begin hollowing it out.

A closer view:

Gale prefers to use a drill press to take out part of that center plug because it’s awkward and the speeds of the material vary and directions reverse at the center.

Then back to finishing the rough mug.

The rough part of the job done, cheated death and any more of these one more time:

Other finished, or near finished vessels:

There’s not much money in it for him, though he sells a lot of them.  But you have to admit there’s something magic about turning a dead tree into a wine glass or beer mug.

Sometime soon I’ll show you some of his silversmith work.

Old Jules


10 responses to “Dead Tree to Beer Mug – Gale’s Mesquite Project 1

  1. wow….beautiful work there….!!

    where do we find these for sale?


    • Morning bill m. Thanks for stopping in. I don’t have anything to do with that end of things, but you can email Gale at and I’m sure he’ll be glad to send pics of what’s already done, or make one custom for you any way or size you want it. Gracias, Jules

  2. great craftsmanship!

  3. Those are beautiful. “Trim off anything that isn’t a beer mug” Love it! 🙂

  4. Nice post. I love the pictures. It suddenly rekindle my memory – I am able to relate to the entire process because at one point in my life I was involved with woodworking and machine tools. I am looking forward to more ……..

  5. Someone with this ability is as much an artist as one who paints or sculpts. It’s a real gift.

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