One Meter of Beer




Introduction: One Meter of Beer

About: If you don't find me in my garage fixing, hacking and making stuff I'll probably be on my desk coding an arduino, raspberry pi or a fancy website. My best robo friend is my home build 3D printer, he is fanta...

Note: I promise to update the cover image so that the beer meter is actually holding beers instead of empty glasses. Of course I have beers in my fridge but at the moment I'm home alone and I'm not in the mood for drinking 10 beers in a row.

Here in Belgium we have many breweries (micro and big ones) which produce a lot of different beers with all the flavours you can think of. In fact Belgium is one of the most famous beer countries in the world and beer is a part of our culture.

In most Belgian pubs you can order a (metric) meter of beer which are 10 or 12 draft (Pilsner) beers served in a wooden holder. I thought it would be cool to have my own "beer meter" and use it at BBQs and take it to festivals. I made my beer meter from reclaimed pallet boards and an old wooden curtain rod that I was saving to use in a project. It only cost me a bit of wood glue, peanut oil and the electricity consumed by my power tools.

Step 1: Make Your Own Dowels From Cracked Pallet Board

When you disassemble a pallet it happens that the ends get cracks especially when you use brute force like I do. You can cut of the cracked part and use it to make a fire or you can reclaim your reclaimed board to make dowels. We will use the dowels in step 4, so hang on!

There are many techniques to make dowels but the easiest is to hammer a piece of wood through a hole. I drilled two holes in a L-shaped iron scrap and clamped it in my bench vise.

I first used a crafts knife to pre shape the wood and made a sharp point to one end. This will make it easier to hammer it through the first big (10mm) hole.

Then I smashed the 10mm dowel (yes it's a dowel already :-) through the smaller hole to get a 6mm dowel. I also kept two 10mm dowels (15 cm long) to attach the handle to our beer holder.

Next I sanded the dowels to make them smoother. They ended up not that straight but I was happy with them and figured it was time to proceed with the next step.

Step 2: Measure, Draw Guide Lines and Cut

Note: my pallet boards are approximately 9.7cm wide and 1.9cm thick. It really does not matter what sizes your boards have as long as they are minimum 1 meter long and wide enough to fit your glasses.

I selected two pallet boards that didn't have any cracks and cut them to length with a miter saw (100cm each). I drew a centre line and divided each board in 10 "squares". Next I marked the centre of each square. I used an other board to make 3 middle pieces (7cm long) and 2 side panels (30 cm long). The middle pieces will attach the top and bottom boards and the side boards will hold the handle (1 meter wooden curtain rod).

Top board

I used a 7cm (diameter) hole saw on my drill press to cut out circles. I did not went through the board immediately but preferred to turn it around and saw the second half from the other side. This will give a cleaner cut and it will be easier to remove the wood from your hole saw since it will stick out.

Bottom board

For the bottom board I used a smaller hole saw (5.5cm) and only went 8mm deep. The cuts are made to make it easier to free hand "perfect" circles with a hand held router (set your bit also 8mm deep).

Side boards

I made a (half) template from a cardboard piece and traced it's shape on the 30 cm long side boards. I used a jig saw machine to cut out the shapes.

Step 3: Glue and Temporary Screws

I first applied a good amount of glue to the joints and aligned them (on sight) on the top board.

I used the dividing lines as a guide to drill pilot holes 15mm from both edges.

I added temporary wood screws to clamp the pieces together. (don't you dare to look at my belly button!)

Note: do the same for the bottom and side boards. Every joint must be glued and clamped with two wood screws.

Step 4: Replace Screws With Dowels

Once the glue was set I removed all the screws and drilled 6mm pilot holes for the dowels (joint after joint).

Add enough wood glue and wipe of the excess after hammering the dowel in the pilot hole.

I used an iron saw to cut of the dowels and then sanded them flush with the board.

The handle is secured with a long 10mm (diameter) dowel at both sides. I also smashed in a small nail to reduce the rotational stress on the glue.

Step 5: Sand and Apply a Finish

I sanded the sharp edges down with a disc sander and a sanding block. I also had to sand the pencil lines away.

After the sanding I applied a coat of peanut oil (stolen from the kitchen) with a piece of cloth.

The oil will protect the wood from spoiled beer (or other drinks) without using poisonous chemicals. Also it makes the wood/grains more vivid. Of course you can finish the wood to your own liking but I wanted to keep it as natural and cheap as possible.

Final note: it took about 3 hours to complete this project. I did not have any plans when I started the project. In fact I started making dowels without knowing for what I would use them. I will probably make a second "beer meter" because I think I will give this one as a present to my father in law. I will not use "full" pencil lines again because they were not easy to remove. Also I will make the handle a few centimetres higher above the top board so there is more space to fit bigger glasses and bottles.

Update: this update is to tell you what happened with my beer holder. The day I posted this instructable I went to my favourite pub ("Het Stationeke in Olen"). After a few "Duvel" beers I made a deal with the bartender. I told him that I needed a full meter of beer to update the cover image of this instructable. He immediately tapped 10 free beers and I gave him the beer holder in return. So if you happen to be in Belgium (Olen) you may want to visit "Het Stationeke" and order a meter of beer! The pub is located on the railway platform in Olen. They even have their own railway inside the pub and have a small beer museum!

Pallet Contest

Participated in the
Pallet Contest

2 People Made This Project!


  • Puzzles Speed Challenge

    Puzzles Speed Challenge
  • CNC Contest 2020

    CNC Contest 2020
  • Secret Compartment Challenge

    Secret Compartment Challenge

12 Discussions


1 year ago

Lol I searched for "power meter" and found this. Now I might not worry about monitoring my home's energy consumption and just make myself a power meter instead. :)


4 years ago

I saw "1 meter of beer" and I knew you had to be from Belgium ;)

Awesome job!


5 years ago

Awesome project... Finally a practical way to transport 10 glasses of beer. I can't tell you how many time I have had that problem! Thanks for the ible

Tater Zoid
Tater Zoid

5 years ago

I had better get busy.


5 years ago on Introduction

Cool small project, now you just need to invite people over to drink :)


5 years ago

Could u add pictures Please?


Reply 5 years ago

Hi from what you want me to add pictures?

Awesome! I'm visiting the Country soon and will definitely order one to compare!