You may be asking “what is a shotski?” I know I did when Mr. R&R first presented me with the idea of making a shotski. The true origin of the shotski is widely debated on Al Gore’s internet, but the item is as simple as the name suggests: a ski with shot glasses mounted atop. I have old wooden skis that I use as front porch decorations in the winter, (of course I do) but Mr. R&R had no intention of using my skis. He wanted to make shotskis using long narrow pieces of black walnut.
Mr. R&R did not hesitate in selecting the shotski boards. He wanted narrow boards with live edges all around. The boards that I originally said looked like bacon due to color and curves ended up being the perfect shotskis.
The black walnut went through the planer to create a smooth level surface on both sides. It was at this point that Mr. R&R fully realized that wood that has been sitting in a barn for 25 years will still have tiny dirt particles that need to be scrubbed off with a wire brush to prevent ruining the wood and the planer blade. The wood was then sanded for a silky smooth finish. Mr R&R claims that sanding is his least favorite part of woodworking, but the results are worth it. The grain comes to life.
The next step was to create a notch to fit the shot glasses. A hole saw drill bit was used to create 4 notches, 20 inches apart (18-20” spacing is the norm to allow shoulder room for the drinkers). The holes do not go all the way through the board, but just enough to create a lip to hold a glass. Both of these black walnut shotskis were designed to the specifications of the new owner; one requested that the glasses be glued into the notches and the other wanted Velcro. No matter your cleaning preference for the shotskis, chances are high that liquid will touch the shotski. To prevent damage, Mr. R&R added multiple layers of poly to the black walnut before adhering the glasses.
I am biased and think that the black walnut shotski is the most beautiful shotski I have even seen. It’s fun to use too!