Introduction: Beer Mug Dry Toilet

About: Failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success.

Freedom is a subjective concept. For the one it is being able to move without asking permission from A to B. For others it's having the possibility to speak without fear and for some it's just not living behind bars.

For me, it's the sensation of Calling Gravity where I want it.

Pooping in paradise. It can be perturbating for many, messy for some, difficult for others.

I just love it. Also because I'm really good in it.

At home, this behavior isn't always possible and this for a lot of reasons. Whatever.

But beside being skilled, I'm also quite creative.

Guess what? I found a way to get close to my freedom without the risk of being tracked by the neighbours.

Instead of starting a nursery of lemmings, or guinea pigs, or mice, or just horses, I've decided to use those mountains of wood chips I'm generating while building Sooky You into a new, ecologic, low cost project in our house.

Into a dry toilet, for example.

Dry toilets are - contrary to their 'wet' cousins - a clean, cheap & durable way to manage the things toilets are generally used for. They're called 'dry' because there's no water involved - obviously. No need no plumbry or canalisations, no septic tanks or whatever.

Only wood. Small wood. Sawdust or chips.

Pooping into the trees, literally.

So this summer, we broke out our 'wet' toilet & installed the alterantive. We did a lot of test-pooping, of course - and lost most of our friends, btw - and since the concept worked just great - at least for us - we decided to continue the project untill the apocalypse comes.

But, loosing your friends isn't funny. In particular for something rudimental as a non-conventional toilet.

We could have chosen other friends, of course, but 'good friends' are hard to find and just like in every good relationship, efforts need to be made in both camps.

Our conceptual toilet - a bucket placed on another bucket - tricky because ugly and slightly unstable - really needed an upgrade.

Welcome at my 100th Instructable, yay!

Real poop talk. Again.

Step 1: Talking About Concepts

Dry toilets are fun. Really.

The most complicated versions are the all-in-ones - input & output in one integrated system. Poop goes in at side A & compost comes out at side B. Since gravity is the engine, side A needs to be higher than side B.

This system involves quite a bit of engineering, though, and so we choose the most simple of all simple versions - the one where not gravity but manpower is the engine.

This project needs only 3 ingredients:

  • a recipient - if that is a Japanese tea cup, that's your business & also your problem
  • something that looks like a garden - if that isn't yours, also that is really not my problem
  • another recipient, filled with sawdust or wood chips - homemade, bought, spit out, whatever


Cover your deposits with a fistfull of wood after every Bucket Challenge.

No need no water - unless to wash your hands. Common sense.

The wood will gently absorb moisture and in our temperate climate odors will stay below tolerance level - in particular if you're using pine, since the resin will neutralise at least a few percent of the odors.

Tested. Approved.

Once the bucket's almost full - the word 'almost' has a big importance, here - you'll remove it & carry it to the garden I talked about. A few pallets, some chicken wire - wire made from chickens - and you're done.

Once that pallet box is filled, start another one & let the first rest for a year or two.

The result is called compost - the thing used to make your potatoes grow strong.

No need no Monsanto & Bayer. Only ood chips & natural deposits. We also mix our kitchen waste in the whole, btw. And the cat litter.

Strong they will grow, those potatoes.

Yes, you'll need to walk with your magic bucket from the P-spot to the compost-area. So what?!

Yes, no need to say that the whole thing isn't completely odor-free. There's a tricky perimeter of a few meter around the landing spot - depending on parameters as exposure to direct sunlight or meteorites, temperature, wind and the presence of fun loving criminals like mammals or chickens - or elephants, rino's or monkeys.

But honestly: this perimeter is smaller than you'd expect. Nothing to do with a fulmar colony.

Talk to your neighbours. Common sense.

Like I said, dry toilets are fun.

Step 2: Introducing...

All toilets are ugly. Or, lets say, all 99% of all toilets are ugly.

They don't invite you to poop IN it, the only thing you really want to do is to poop ON it. My opinion.

But most of the time, you just don't have the choice, since it's the only recipient in our over-asceptic society available. You just can't run forever.

And so, there you are, sitting on a thing you don't like, doing the thing you just can't skip.

I'm not that guy, definitely.

Instead of buying a new 'dry' toilet, I decided to make one. Custom.

Introducing MUG SHOT - our Beer Mug Toilet.

You didn't see thàt coming.

Step 3: Never. Throw. Anything.

A friend of mine gave me a lot of inox steel aeration tubes. Waste from a worksite.

My father learned me to never throw anything 'valuable' away, and unless the fact he never learned me 'real skills', he managed to give me enough ingredients to brew my own beers in this life.

And to make me see the value of a lot of things.

One of those things he learned me is that 'waste' doesn't exist. Conserving things is not a crime. You only need space to store them. And a good working memory. And a wife who understands.

So, when my friend gave me those dozens of pieces of inox tube (!), I felt it was a smart idea to keep them.

I do have a wife who understands.

Now, 3 years later, I felt a use for it.

Talking about those tubes, of course, not about my wife.

And I'm pooping in them.

Step 4: Sparks. Everywhere.

Pooping in a recipient is natural.

Pooping in a giant beer mug is simply awesome.

Beers are inspiring. Always.

Bernardus 12. Rochefort 10. Chimay blue. Duvel IPA. La Chouffe. Made in Belgium.

I've also been inpired by these plant pots - thank you, noahw - and the concept has kind of fermented a few years in the caves of my troubled mind.

All you need for this project is a piece of big tube - inox or plastic, whatever, some scrap wood and a fistful of button bolts.

You also might need a good quality 8mm inox drill.

Or 24 cheap drills - one for every hole.

And clamps.

Cut the tube at about 50cm - or 500cm, depending on the seat level you desire - and smooth the edges. That kind of tube is razorsharp. The keywords are gloves & common sense.

Step 5: Never. Throw. Etc.

Grab a few planks - I used leftovers of grooved floor planks - and cut them to length.

Never throw anything away. Remember.

Drill 2 pilot holes in every piece - 10cm from the edge & well centered.

Step 6: Building a Barrel

Building a wooden barrel that really looks like a wooden barrel is fun, also.

Clamp plank. Drill through tube. Attach plank with button bolts.


Notice that I cut the inner side of the 'female' groove to get the circle done.

If your toilet is going to have a diameter or 5m, forget what I just said.

Trim the planks at the end.

Step 7: Hold It, That Beer

No beer mug without a beer mug handle - I managed to levitate it once, but I just can't remember anymore how I did it...

Grab a few more pieces of scrap wood & assemble them to make a real heavy board.

Design the most awesome handle ever, reinforce with plugs & cut it out.

Routing & sanding. Business as usual.

Step 8: Assembling

Like I said, it's not because it looks like a barrel that it IS a barrel.

Since the last plank was too large, it had to be cut.

Since it had to be cut, it didn't look good.

Since it didn't look good, I decided to camouflate it behind the handle.

Plane the barrel, screw the handle.

What doesn't know doesn't hurt.

Easy peasy.

Step 9: Hygiene Issues

Yes, I could have made a custom seat to make this project complete.

But, since it's never been the purpose to neglect basic hygiene rules and I really didn't want to spend hours to make a custom hardwood or epoxy coated softwood seat, I decided to add an easy to clean bamboo piece of modern design.

If you want to push this project to the limit: go on, feel free & let your imagination go wild.

A piece of composite alubond covers the mug and since it's been mathematicly customised it holds the recipient of relief.

Walnut oil finishes the job.

Step 10: Practice!

When Gravity's calling, you will answer like a boss.

You already were a boss in paradise, but from now on, you'll also poop in style inside the house.

Place it where you want - dry toilets can be placed everywhere.

Prepare yourself for a long list of discussions whith your partner - but keep in mind that different sexes have different opinions about the perfect location for this awesome piece of furniture. Talking about experience.


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