Instructables

Ten Green Wee Shelving: small shelving unit using beer bottles

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A shelving unit constructed from found timber and used beer bottles. This shelf unit is designed to sit upon a kitchen counter or desk, or built up from the floor. It is a compact system that is easily assembled, adapted and disassembled - ideal for those who move residence often. All you need once you move in is a raucous housewarming to provide the empties!

The prototype was built with the Coach House Trust in Glasgow, using bottles from their recycling centre, and wood from the maintenance of their own sites. You can use any found timber, and adapt the dimensions to suit the wood you are working with.

Some examples are for sale at our shop here.

Design is released under a share alike/attribution CC license by Zero-waste Design.

Step 1: What you need.

Some timber or other shelving type material (see next step).

Hook and eye strainers / turnbuckles as they are sometimes called (1 per shelf). I used the smallest I could find, which are 14mm OD a the buckle, with M5 (ie. 5mm diameter) threads. Such as these from Screwfix, or there is a greater variety at absoluteindustrial as suggested by Kroner78. These should have a minimum reach of 160mm ideally, but this can be extended with ess hooks or some chain perhaps.

Screw hooks (2 sturdy hooks per shelf - 4mm diameter ones are best, such as these from Techni-cable). Depending on the height of your bottles, you may need some ess hooks too to help the strainer reach between the upper and lower hooks (such as these at Warehouse Direct, although they're cheaper in a regular hardware shop).

2 x 32mm Glass plates such as these from Best are handy for securing the top shelf to the wall if you are going 4 shelves or higher.

Beer bottles (2 per shelf). All the same brand/height/shape preferable. Wash them thoroughly in hot soapy water - the longer they soak the easier it will be to get the glue off. Allow to dry.

You will also need a 32mm flat drill bit or, better still, a Forstner drill bit and a power drill.
 
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wbeaty10 months ago
This is what I came up with
13, 1:26 PM.jpg
sprout_less3 years ago
Put the tensioners in the bottle's. It looks a lot better.
Kroner784 years ago
I had really long shelves and founrd that if I used eyelets rather than cup hooks they were stronger whereas the cup hooks just start to straighten under any kind of tension. This did mean that I needed hook to hook tensioners. Also it will only work with good wook- too much tension on a sheet of MDF and you'll just rip the eyelet out.
royshearer (author)  Kroner784 years ago
It all depends on the quality of your ironmongery really. The tensioners do exert a lot of pull so I would recommend good quality steel hooks made from circular section in the region of 3-4mm diameter, and similarly with the ess hooks. If using chipboards or MDFs, yes, you will have to scale up the ironmongery slightly to ensure a good hold. You ideally want a good 20mm of thread biting into the material. If you are getting biting problems the other option is to go for eyebolts that fit right through the shelf. I have found it hard to source hook-hook tensioners at a reasonable price. Therefore when using two eyelets on the shelves, I also use an ess hook on the eyelet end of a hook-eye tensioner to effectively make a hook-hook tensioner.
I should have said "next time I will" I actually bodged it with the cheapest caribenas ever to exist (5 for £1). I could have sworn that there were some hook to hook fittings on the screwfix site... apparently not or at least not anymore.... I couldn't find sturdy cuphooks for love nor money though (I didn't look on the screwfix website to be fair!) Still I've now found these: http://www.absoluteindustrial.co.uk/products.php?category_id=11 I meant to say that I love the design. They are versatile functional and beautiful! Keep up the good work!
royshearer (author)  Kroner784 years ago
I love them pound shop caribenas! That rigging supplies website looks fantastic, will definitely give them a go in the future. You might have more luck with hooks searching for 'screw hook' rather than 'cup hook'?
the tensioning member is what makes this one the best to me thought it could be beter if it was done with two holes in each board and a coat hanger threaded through and twisted up like a spanish wimbaltin (twist it up in the midle until it is tight. would look less chuncky that the turnbuckel and eye screws.
wow - you lost me at Spanish wimbaitlin?? can you elaborate on your method or upload pic, or even do your own variation on this great idea as another instructable? Ta for the alternative btw, love it royshearer!
benjibenji5 years ago
wow..this is so coooollll!
chaostherie5 years ago
I wanna see these coming out of the wall from a side.... not al would have to be on the wall either
royshearer (author) 6 years ago
My brother made this version of the shelves for his kitchen:
Picture 012.jpg
powers7 years ago
I like these shelves but I am confused about one thing: why would you be drinking Corona beer in Scotland? Yuck.
Kiteman7 years ago
I like the off-balance look you can get with the strainers, but isn't it too unstable with single bottles? Wouldn't it be steadier if you combined this idea with the pairs of bottles in the first version you posted?
royshearer (author)  Kiteman7 years ago
It is indeed less sturdy than the modular shelving units, but its easier to get timber for these ones! Plus I just wanted a thin neat set of shelves for the kitchen, so have them on the counter up against the wall, nice and safe. They can also be bracketed to the wall to make a wall mounted set of shelves.