Looking to throw the ultimate winter party? It won't be complete without one of these! Straight from Colgate's 18 Pine St. Winter Carnival, I'll show you how I built my wonderful ice/snow beirut table, complete with custom cup holders carved (in a way) directly into the table's surface!

OBVIOUSLY, this is a pretty exclusive instructable, as you'll need to live in a cold climate with plenty of snow for this to work. There was a little blizzard that had moved through Hamilton this past winter ('07) that gave me the material I needed to make this a reality. Having temperatures at 20 degrees and below at night helped as well, especially with freezing the table's top surface. Where you are geographically (and thus what type of snow you normally get) will impact the process involved in making the table as well; I'll explain more about different approaches to dealing with that factor later on in the instructable.

The instructions here for the top ice surface are based largely on Wisegeek's Introducing Table Hockey on Real Ice tutorial, which is definitely a good thing to check out in its own right. The snow base & cup moldings were modifications I made on my own design, as well as the fact that my final table doesn't have a piece of plywood wedged in it. :)

Ready to start playing beer pong like Eskimos? Bundle up, and let's get to it!

Step 1: General Overview & Materials List

Before we being, let me just say that I have a tendency to write a lot (I suppose it comes from being an English Major, eh?). That, and my recommendation that you should read through the entire instructable before you begin to construct it.

Here's the general outline of what we'll be doing, and the approximate time frame you'll need to complete the project:

1. Buy Materials / Do a snow dance (however long it takes you to do that; my snow dances might take days--like speaking Entish--but yours may be shorter/longer).
2. Compact the snow base (this took me several hours, but it will depend on the type of snow you're working with).
3. Setup the ice rig (for the table surface; a few minutes tops).
4. Layer the table (I did this over the course of 3 nights, adding a new layer each night; the process can be sped up tremendously if it is particularly cold--10 degrees F or below--but it'll still probably take you at least one night, unless you're an Eskimo insomniac).
5. Transfer the table surface to the table base (hardly any time at all, if you have the right manpower).
6. Engrave the cup molds (a few minutes)
7. Drink and be merry in inebriated frivolity (many, many hours)

Here's a list of the materials you'll need: you may need to adjust depending on your circumstance, but these are what worked for me.

--> SNOW!! & Cold Temperature (this project won't work without them!)
--> Snow shovel
--> Ice scraper (like the one for your car; helps if it has a brush on it too)
--> 2 large trashcans
--> 2 large pieces of MDF (4' x 8'...thick is good, but too thick is unwieldy. We'll be reinforcing one with the other so whatever thickness you get will be doubled for the table-top construction. MDF is a type of wood sheet, as I understand it...forget what it stands for...but you can basically go into any hardware store that deals wood and say "I need a plank 'o' wood" and you'll get something that'll work) *1
--> 2 smaller pieces of MDF (4' x 2.5'...thickness not as important here, but don't go too thin or it'll warp) *1
--> 2 2"x4"x8' wood beams *1
--> 2 2"x4"x44" wood beams *1 *2
--> A level
--> 2-3 saw-horses, or suitable supports (for holding the MDF & ice - must be strong & weather-resistant)
--> A water-spritzer bottle (I used an old Febreeze bottle; well, actually it still was in use, but I dumped it out into a temporary container, washed it, and used it anyway)
--> 2 smaller planks of wood (like shallow shelves; dimensions don't really matter...see the section on making the ice surface for visual example)
--> Plastic sheet (4 mil)
--> Suitable weights (I used paint cans)
--> A bucket ( for ferrying water; if you have a hose you can use, by all means! Your back will thank you)
--> Red Solo Cups (none other! If they're grooved on the side, you can have them lock into place in the cup molds)
--> Strong friends (to help you transfer the ice top to the snow base)

Optional Materials, for that extra pizazz:
--> Icicle lights (blue looks really cool)
--> Halogen outdoor working lights
--> A work buddy (Thanks be to me housemate of old, Mr. Ben!)
--> About 8-10 large C-clamps
--> Food dye

*1These measurements are dependent on what size table you want to build. 4'x8' was precut at the lumber mill I went to, so it was easier to get that then have them cut it. As far as beirut goes, it's a little on the big side, but I prefer a bigger table (better contest of skill, in my honest opinion).

*2The length of these pieces needs to be less than the other two, so they all fit together to make a rectangle. The wood beams need to fit onto the tables surface and not drape off the side.

Apart from the wood & plastic, I had everything else I needed laying around the house. All tolled, I only spent about $40, but that will vary depending on how many of the materials you already have (of course).

Got all that? Sweet. Let's move on to setting up the ice rig...

<p>What is a Beirut table? I know it sounds silly, but I have never seen one, nor heard of it!</p><p>If you are going to have good temps all day, but bright sun make a cover out of old political signage,</p><p>Duct tape sheets of the plastic material, then tape on sides so you cover it all day, the white of the non printed side will keep away the sun. You remove it at night, or after the sun dips past the tree line. I made a lean to over a small snowman to extends its life!</p><p>enjoyed this, but am not sure what it is though.</p>
I made a similar table for shuffleboard a couple years ago.<br> -Instead of making the table top seperate, I dug a wide channel down the center of the snow bank and lined it with a 6 mil painters plastic sheet. <br>-Then I filled it layer by layer by layer on a super cold northern minnesota night to about 4 inches thick. <br>-Then we trimmed the edges of snowbank with straight shovels, cut off plastic sheeting from sides, and used a clothes iron (ice carving trick) to smooth the ice edges. <br>The beauty was that the Ice was self levening, and as long as the original trench was halfway level (give or take an inch) it'll come out great with less physical effort.
errr... whats a beirut table??? all i know, is that the capital of Lebanon <br>(my country.... yes the one with amazing food) so wat differenciates it from other snow tables??<br>
Honestly, it looks like what we call Beer-Pong...
Uh. You mispelt English in this line:<br><br>Buy Materials / Do a snow dance (however long it takes you to do that; my snow dances might take days--like speaking Entish--but yours may be shorter/longer).
I don't think it was a misspelling. Think Entish as in the language of the ents (like tree Beard ) from lord of the rings. It took me a bit notice this but when I did it was good for a laugh.
or you can take spray -paint and while you are freezing the last layer spray it in . this will couse COOL swirly effects in the finnished &quot;table&quot;<br>
Couldn't you make a layer about an inch thick, put it on top of the table, then put the sides back up and finish the rest of the top while it's in place? Less moving and you could make it thicker.
you could also when compacting the snow put another board on the snow and then jump/pound the snow so that you get a smother surface without boot print in it
for those minnor imprefections and major cracks you could use a blow torch to melt them away, but a word of caution you need to to fast over the ice to not cause more imprefections it should create a little a big problem if you dont. and it will melt the ice together over the crack, and it will create a very clear and shiny smooth surface.
how is he going to get a blow torch?????
I know! The store :)<br>
use LED lights inside of a clear plastic hose to cut down on heat emissions. you could also add all kinds of things inside the ice layers. i.e. matchbox cars, ornaments, party favors, plastic place mats, beer bottle caps...ETC use your party theme for Ideas. Lastly, to create clearer ice use hot water, &quot;sand&quot; the surface (like a Zamboni) with warm/hot water and fine steel wool then apply 1 last thin layer of warm water with a washrag. This will make the process take longer but the end result is a clear sexy table.
Wow this is great.&nbsp;We just got a pretty good storm on the East Coast and hopefully it will stay cold maybe we'll even get some more snow and I&nbsp;can put one of these together for New Years. Possible paint a hockey rink onto a thin layer of some material for under the ice (with the NHL winter classic&nbsp; logo in the center) Would make for a great New Years Party at night and winter classic&nbsp; party during the day.<br /> <br /> I&nbsp;was thinking that I&nbsp;could possibly bury a wooden frame inside the snow basin that will support the heavy ice top slightly better than just 2 trash cans.&nbsp; The snow would come out a couple inches past the frame.<br />
I would try carving benches into those walls. might add some extra seating for spectators!
Spectators?<br /> Of wha.. oh, Oh, OH!<br /> YAY! SNOW&nbsp;ORGY!
What does the sign on in the last picture say?
wow took me long enough to realize what it was
Just a pointer: --form the ice on a bed of deck lumber, or stronger lumber than what you used --to lift the ice, slide 2x4 or similar boards under the ice, carry it over to the table, put it down, and slide out the boards. --freeze LEDs in the ice for the lighting, because they give off almost no heat. But over all, great Instructable. I'm definently building one this winter.
Thanks for the pointers... the boards for carrying the slab wouldn't really work since the top of table is (albeit packed) snow; I was working with powder so the pack wouldn't be as thick as heavier snow. The sliding of the boards out from under the slab, with the pressure of the slab's weight bearing down on them, would've compromised the walls of the table. I tried several approaches like this, but couldn't find one that kept the snow base mostly intact. Good points on the LED's and the bed of lumber; I was kinda making this up as I went when I first built it, but second time around's always tend to be better. :)
Boil the water first inside then let it cool so when it freezes it will be more clear, and you can better see your logos or lights in it. Great instructable!
For lights, I bet you could use clear PVC pipe or tubes to shelter the lights from direct contact with the ice. Then you put any christmas lights you wanted in there.
I'm pretty sure cutting ice would be akin to cutting glass, in case you do want to know. Scour along the area in which you want to cut with an implement harder than the ice(i'm sure a metal ice scraper would suffice) and then apply quick pressure to that area. The scoured line should produce a pressure fault in which the ice would crack along because that would presumably be the weakest part of the sheet. I'm not an ice or a glass cutter by profession, but I've heard that same basic concept explained a seemingly endless amount of times.
Oh, or there's my favorite route... a chainsaw C:< just make sure that the chain doesn't get caught... nobody wants fly shrapnel chains.
Use a divider in the middle layer so you can have two different colored sides with use of food coloring in the water. Or you can spray paint stencils into it? I dunno about the spray paint I don't see why not, but you never know, as long as the freezing point isn't above the water's, or what the local temperatures is. If you want to incorporate lights and you have plenty of burly friends, you can freeze them into the last layer and then carefully flip it over, obviously using a thick bored on top as a brace(and maybe even clamp both sides just for measure).
you could just paint 3 or 4 2x4's white an freeze them into the ice,and you will have built in support against cracking, and plus it might be a little lighter, since it will displace a little water. Plus, painting them white will make them look like they were never there. EB
cool...but i didn't get snow this year
If you don't live close to snow you should try using clay or sand
Lovely presentation-The Midwest should be "due" a real winter soon-I hope to convince some friends to help me do this. One thing I would add to give it a little extra sumpin' sumpin would be to imbed in a lower to middle layer either metallic confetti, leaves, berry branches, golf balls, plastic fish, or? uh oh see what you started? THANKS LOL
This is brilliant!<br/><br/>just one tiny thing... Contrary to logic, hot water freezes faster than cold water (Mpemba effect ( <a rel="nofollow" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpemba_effect">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpemba_effect</a> )). Which is why zambonis always have steam coming from the back.<br/>
Huh - can't say I knew that. Thanks for the tip!
wow i wish we had snow like that here in the uk i would be whacking one of these together for sure (any excuse for a party lol)we only get that slushy crappy snow nowadays on account of global warming (i blame them bloody chineese lol).
That is so awesome! Im totally gonna do this. I like the idea of the party!
Great snow. Here in the Inland Northwest we normally get depths like that only on thew mountaintops.
Man.... good job!

About This Instructable




More by neezer:How to make an Ice/Snow Beirut Table 
Add instructable to: