DIY Mason Jar Mugs
August 6, 2010 1:55 PM   Subscribe

So, I've been saving all the nice mason jars that Classico pasta sauce comes in for sometime and decided I could do with a nice set of mugs. But I'm unsure of how to best attach handles.

For handles I'm going with drawer pulls which from mock-ups I've done look really nice.

Originally I was going to try and use some epoxy (bought JB weld for this)
and just adhere the metal handle to the exterior glass. But there is very limited surface area on the handle side, as well as the fact that the the glass is by no means perfectly flat.

I'm now considering carefully drilling mounting holes for the handles to be properly attached via two screws. However, I'm worried about how to screw the screws into the handle since the head would be inside the glass. Maybe one of those drillbit extenders? Also worry-some is possibility of rust on the screw head contaminating the liquid in the drink. Might need to use silicone for sealant...

Anyone have any other ideas on how to make this happen?
posted by gzimmer to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How about using Sugru? Get different colors and your guests will be able to tell which one is theirs. If you're not into that, epoxy should work pretty well, I'd think. It can handle the curvature and minimal surface area - especially if you let it set up a bit before you start.

(BTW, that jar thread fits Osterizer blender bases, so you can have a classier version of the Magic Bullet idea out of this.)
posted by richyoung at 1:59 PM on August 6, 2010

use Mighty Putty, just like in the commercial

Honor the memory of Billy Mays
posted by Mesach at 2:21 PM on August 6, 2010

"However, I'm worried about how to screw the screws into the handle since the head would be inside the glass. "

Use a stainless bolt with hex head. Then use a food safe o-ring under the bolt head to seal things up. I'd use some light duty locktite on the threads to keep things from getting loose. The hex head can be eaisly turned with a 1/4" ratchet and a socket to match the hex head; even in a jar.
posted by Mitheral at 2:25 PM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: Drilling through the glass is going to be a pain in the ass, especially drilling a small hole for a screw. If you happen to have a drill press that will make it a bit easier.

I would go for the epoxy route. Let the JB weld sit for about 20 min and it will thicken up, then apply the handles. I'd use a clamp to hold the handles in place for at least 6 hours. For all practical purposes this should be just as strong a connection as drilling and using screws.
posted by anansi at 2:49 PM on August 6, 2010

Don't try to drill through glass jars with the intention of putting load-bearing screws through the holes and still using the jars to hold liquid. There are a thousand different ways for that go wrong, and the result won't be as durable as the epoxy. If you're concerned about the surface area either get different handles with more area, or screw the handles you have into strips of wood or other material that can be formed to fit the curvature of the jar, then spread the epoxy on those.
posted by contraption at 4:27 PM on August 6, 2010

Response by poster: Lots of useful information here, thanks guys! I have two jars and two different handles curing now.

I don't have a vice around, but I'll see how well gravity works for my first try.

JB Weld is messy messy stuff.

I'll post in around 36 hours from now when I get back from a trip and hopefully the JB Weld will be all set and cured.
posted by gzimmer at 5:01 PM on August 6, 2010

how about attaching the handles with copper wire wrapped around the glass?
posted by HuronBob at 5:50 PM on August 6, 2010

Drilling holes could theoretically be done with a diamond core drill but practically it isn't a good approach. Large rubber bands are sold as clamping devices. Bicycle inner tubes can be used also. A shop that sells stained glass making supplies could provide advice on working with glass.
posted by llc at 6:42 PM on August 6, 2010

I wonder if you could do a variation of a Russian tea glass holder? Essentially it's a base and handle that the glass, or mason jar in this case, sits in but is not attached to.
posted by platinum at 8:06 PM on August 6, 2010

Another way to attach the handle is with two metal straps that go around the jar and hold the upper and lower part of the handle tight to the jar. You could go as fancy as brass or copper bands, or as simple as large hose clamps from the hardware store.
posted by exphysicist345 at 12:46 AM on August 7, 2010

Response by poster:
Good news everyone!

So after an excellent trip I come home to find both handles still attached to the glasses.

Unfortunately, the handle with the smaller surface area for adhering broke off after a decent amount of testing pressure.

However, the higher surface area handle survived force from several angles.

Here's a pic of the surviving mug.

The handle didn't protrude far enough for my liking, so I had also JBWelded in two spacers made from wooden dowels that about matched the diameter of the handle. Unfortunately, it was my first time working with JB weld so there's a lot of excess that surround all the mating surfaces for me to clean up.

As I was typing this post I decided to test the "surviving" mug some more and after a significant amount of force I did manage to snap it off. That said, the spacers are still attached well and I intend on cleaning up all surfaces, finishing the spacers with some stain, and trying again with a clamp. Not discouraged, just needs more work, and I really enjoy this project.
posted by gzimmer at 6:29 PM on August 8, 2010

Any excess JB weld can be sanded off. Takes a bit of elbow grease but it will give you an even smooth finish.
posted by anansi at 8:11 AM on August 10, 2010

Response by poster: I don't know if anyone is still following this thread, but I've made several attempts at this, three since purchasing a clamp specifically for this purpose and nothing survives testing.

As it stands I had my smaller surface area handle (not pictured) attached (via JB weld which all connections were) to two short wooden dowels to give the handle more protrusion for better gripping. The handle-dowel connection was my longest lasting weld which had been set for a few weeks. Additionally I surrounded the wooden dowel with JBweld to keep water from getting to and shrinking/expanding the wood.

With my latest attempt I clamped the extended handle to the glass with plenty of JB weld between and surrounding the connection. ~24 hours later, I take the clamp off, test it some, and the connection between the dowel and the handle breaks...and I yell expletives.

My last idea is to drill out the now well attached dowel and the holes in the handle where the screw would go and JBweld in either a smaller dowel or chop the head off the included screws and use them. However this just increases the points of failure...

...and here I thought I'd have a nice easy project to show off the strength of an epoxy...
posted by gzimmer at 2:15 AM on August 30, 2010

Thanks, I like updates.

The wooden dowel is attached to the glass and not the metal handle ? Sandpaper or a file can be used to make the handle clean and flat. I don't follow why the head of the screw would be removed. A screw would make the joint stronger. (Drill a pilot hole in the wood to prevent splitting.)
posted by llc at 3:09 PM on August 30, 2010

« Older No clever pun as costume, I need freakin' scary!   |   Can the unemployed take a vacation and not lose... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.