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Mar 13, 2010
Saratoga Springs, NY
Here's another idea for quick projects that don't take a lot of material, yet result in useful items that can sell at craft fairs and that make good gifts.

Many of us are at an age where we have to take several pills each morning. I keep my pills in bottles that reside on a small wooden tray in our kitchen, and each morning my wife takes out one of each for me. She used to put them on a napkin next to my place for breakfast, but we found that it was too easy for them to wander about, drop on the floor, or otherwise get lost. Hence, the idea of the mini-cup.

Its just a miniature bowl - perhaps 2-2.25 inches in diameter, and not more than 3/4" deep. Just enough to hold the four pills that I take (for the record, a baby aspirin, two vitamins, and the inevitable statin).

Making them couldn't be simpler. I prefer to make them as face-grain turnings, but they could just as well be end-grain. I start with a scrap of wood about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inch square, and perhaps 3/4" thick. I hold it by the corners in a scroll chuck to turn a tenon about 1/16" long and with a diameter that will fit into the No 2 jaws of my chuck (and which I leave on as a foot). Sand and finish the bottom, then remount with the chuck gripping the tenon to hollow out the bowl. I prefer to give the interior a rounded bottom, but a square bottom could just as easily be done. Sand and finish the top. At most, 10 minutes (and most of that time sanding). I use either an oil/wax finish or a friction polish depending on what I feel like at the time.

These could also be used to hold ingredients for cooking (like they do on the cooking shows on TV), or individual servings of snacks like peanuts or cashews.


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Jul 4, 2007
TX, NM or on the road
I have done the same for making mini spice bowls. I ground a 1 1/4" spade bit so that it would dig a round bottomed hole. Double sided taped it to a custom holder. turn it round, drill hole the hole, sand flip it over and sand again, ready for a finish. Scrap wood from the cabinet shop, about 10 minutes of work.
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