Buying furniture makes no sense. I’m moving in a year. And yet, I need a place to put things. My furniture doesn’t have to be rock-solid or last forever or even look good. So making furniture makes sense.
But it’s hard to get tangible materials. You can go to Home Depot and get a bunch of wood and drill it and screw it and stuff but that requires a trip to Home Depot and a lot of tools, which I don’t have. It’s easy to get cardboard or paper, but you can’t make a real weight-bearing thing out of them. I want giant legos, but alas, they don’t exist, and would probably cost more than a table. So what do we have a lot of that is heavy and sturdy and cheap?
Beer bottles! If you just stop recycling them, you’ll probably be surprised how fast they accumulate. So I made a Beertable. (pronounced “beer-TAY-ble” or “BEER-tuh-ble”, either way.)
1. Collect bottles. Sort them by brewer. (seems like every brewer has a different bottle size. it will be easier if you drink a lot of the same brewer. unfortunately, I like variety.) Over about 6 months, friends and I saved the following:
New Belgium: 21
Sierra Nevada: 15
Red Hook: 12
Blue Moon: 12
Dogfish Head: 8
Great Divide: 6
Beer Lao: 6
Reed’s (ginger ale): 4
Flying Dog: 2
2. Make them into pyramid shapes, like this:
Measure the table to know how many levels you’ll want. I used 6 levels here (9-8-7-6-5-4) and it was about 13 inches tall. So add or subtract about 2 inches for each additional layer. (check the width too; 7 levels would have made it a bit too wide.) You’ll probably want each level to be all the same brewer on both pyramids, or at least a very similarly sized brewer. And alternating thin with fat bottles is necessary, starting with fat ones. (if you start with thin ones, the fat ones on top of them won’t fit.) Finally, make sure you pick good beers, because people will judge you based on them.
I went with:
Bottom layer (9 bottles each, so 18 total): Hale’s, a Seattle brewer with particularly good Kolsch and brown ale.
8 layer (16 total): New Belgium, as Fat Tire is the best plain ol' beer.
7 layer (14): Sierra Nevada, for a historical note, as they were frontrunners of the craft beer movement in America.
6 (12): Widmer, meh, I needed something to fill space here. Could have gone with Red Hook, but honestly, I’m kind of meh about them too.
5 (10): Lagunitas, who makes beer that is more interesting than most 6-pack beer. Hairy Eyeball and Censored copper ale made it into this beertable.
4 (8): Dogfish head, The Best brewery in America, as far as I’m concerned.
3. Gorilla Glue them together. (this stuff is pretty magic. the pyramids are solid like boulders now. I can pick them up and not worry about them collapsing.) Point the labels out on the sides so it’s pretty.
4. Put a big piece of wood on top. (I’ve used a door from my apartment’s closet. Ssshh!)
5. Marvel at how cool your table looks.
6. Recycle all the rest of your bottles. Then stop collecting bottles. Depending on how obsessive you are, this may be the hard part.
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