Pythagorean Goblet – Woodturning a Practical Joke

The Pythagorean Goblet, big brother to the more infamous Pythagorean Cup (but really the same thing) is an item that both demonstrated the siphon effect as well as the user’s propensity for practical jokes. Though frankly, I doubt it would actually be effective as one because the concept is pretty well known by now and the knob in the center is a dead giveaway that something fishy is going on. Still, this is a cool project for the lathe, and I hope it inspired you to make your own!

If you want more in-depth information about this project check out the Instructable for the Pythagorean Goblet I wrote over on Instructables.

And as promised in the video, here is how it works. As the water rises in the cup, it also rises in one of the holes of the center knob which is connected to the goblet via a side hole. Nothing happens until the water level reaches the top of that hole. As soon as it crests the bent there, it will start running into the downspout.

Now, because the system is closed and no air can come in to interrupt the flow of water, it will continue flowing till the cup is empty, or at least till the level reaches the intake hile in the goblet. It is the same principle that allows you to siphon liquid from a tank using a hose and sucking the liquid to a point below the initial water surface.

If you liked this project check out the other turnings I have done. In addition, there are a number of not-round things I made to inspire you. And if that is not enough, check out the weird stuff I can offer.

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