'Moon Lander' Mug (no Welds, Hacked Hardware)




About: I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.

In heaven there's no beer. That's why we drink it here.(Belgian proverb)

I love mindbreakers. Some people play chess, others solve sudoku's, few learn extinct languages, and the real die-hards trie to understand IKEA-manuals. Haha.

I'm not into all that stuff. Too much too painful. But I love to solve makers-related-problems. 'How should I do this?' 'What would I do if?' - an attitude that has resulted in a lot of I'bles, yet...

I love those moments when I'm installed comfortably with a pen, a sketchbook and a strong cup of smelly black coffee as my best friends, designing, thinking, sketching. Every year there are a hundred pages full of ideas & projects. My favorite present? Just give me a virgin sketchbook. And a loaded pen.

So when member doodlecraft came up with her beautiful mason jar hack, I started thinking how I would hack such a thing. Thanx natalie, you gave me hours of pleasure - I like your project, by the way. 'Yes, I made it. Although not exactly as you described...' ;)

So after some designing and some making I came up with a decent successor of my 'Viking' beer mug: a largely overkilled 'moon lander' mug. Enjoy!

Step 1: Why & How

Since the initial idea was to entertain my mind, I tried to push the idea as far as possible.

I wanted ...

  • to integrate a mason jar (or just an ordinary jam jar) in this project - see intro
  • it to be simple to make and thus do-able for everyone (no complicated custom hardware, no welding)
  • to use ready available metal harware (I've done the wooden stuff, time for a change)
  • it to be bbq-proof (cover needed to avoid our beer-sipping dog to live his instincts - and to prevent close encounters with dust & wasps, or meteorites)
  • it to be super stable (even when I am not, or not anymore)
  • it to be really cheap

So all this resulted in a kind of crossover between a moon lander and a traditional german beer mug ('beer stein').

All you need:

  • a jar with strawberry jam (other flavors work also, normally)
  • a few shelve-supports (that kind you mount on a rail)
  • a hinge
  • a few bolts
  • and some metal workers gear

That's it!

Total cost: around 10 euro, or $, whatever, or one million ancient italian lires.

Step 2: Building the Backbone

The concept of this mug is rather simple. When you lift the mug, one leg will fall down (thank you so much, gravity!) and lever the arm which holds the cover.

As 'backbone' you can take one half of a large hinge (solid metal) to which you'll fix two small shelve supports. An alu rod (from my old tent, RIP) is linked between them to make the parallelogram complete.

Triangles are solid. Parallelograms not. Having been to school is useful.

Waking up early is not the most important. What counts most is being awake. (grandpa's proverb)

Some drilling, some grinding and you're done.

Important: use anti-slip nuts (those with a nylon ring inside) in this part since the bolts are acting as axis.

Step 3: Adding Leggs Without Welding

Since I wanted it to be do-able for everyone - and I don't have a welder anymore (which is the reason why I'm entering this metalworking contest, haha) - I'll give you my secret to do it easily without.

To add two more leggs, start bending two V's (120°) from a few 90° corner pieces, which you'll fix with a large bolt to the backbone (temporary fix). After having drilled a few smaller holes straight through those three layers you can screw a few self-drilling screws through the three layers, which you'll just properly grind at the end (both sides). Solid, nice, and no welding needed.

Agreed, it's not that solid as a weld, but it's for a jar. Not for two astronauts.

A third V makes the legg-fixation complete.

Step 4: Handle Time

With a larger shelve-support and a clock-drill you can fabricate a nice handle. Some adjustment-grinding (to make space to move the upper arm correctly) and the job's done!

My advice: use lubrifiant to cool the clock. Or just a brush & lineseed oil.

Step 5: Jar Holster & Cover

Bend a hoop with a scrap piece of light metal and fix it directly to the backbone. This will hold the jar in place.

Add some self-adhesive foam later on the inside of the loop (obviously) to buffer the jar.

Put the cover on the jar (don't screw it) and drill a hole through the upper arm (there's likely already one in it) and through the cover. You'll bolt both at the end.

Step 6: Sanding & Oiling

I didn't want to paint it, so I sanded all the pieces with a sanding-disc, mounted on the grinder. While the metal was still hot I soaked it all in lineseed oi to give it a minimalistic anti-corrosion protection.

Raw, but enough for what it's build for: the moon.

Step 7: Assembling

Once the excess of oil wiped off all the pieces can be mounted again to the backbone. No doubt, this is the funniest step!

Step 8: Houston, We Have a Beer

Yeah, I forgot this one ;)

Hope you like it guys, I'm looking forward to your builds!




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    19 Discussions


    4 years ago

    great idea


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Project is AOK. Urine sample ready for launch back to Earth. 10...9...8...


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome mug- I was hoping that it was rigged so that the legs folded out and the lid came down automatically when you set it on a table- guess I know what I'm doing this weekend...

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm planning to interconnect the three legs to make them move together - instead of only one. Don't have the right solution yet but I feel this prototype isn't finished yet...


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome. Well done and as always, well documented. A part that you always stress that I really like is the idea/sketch phase of a design. Not enough people do that and I myself don't do it as often as I should.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanx Jobar, nice compliment btw! You know, I love to rush through a project, but initial to that stage I just enjoy that period of intense brainy creativity where the great outlines are set. Details are solved during the build, that's why there's almost always a difference between the original sketch and the final result...


    4 years ago

    I love the use of found objects, from the finished picture I had no idea I was looking at a bunch of shelf brackets

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanx, there's something subversive in using objects for what they were totally not designed for... ;)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hahaha! Awesome! Glad I could help inspire this creation! It's fabulous, love the brass knuckles look of the handle! :)

    1 reply