What If You Made a Beer Mug From Recycled Coasters




Introduction: What If You Made a Beer Mug From Recycled Coasters

About: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary widely, and I have no clue what I plan to make next...

When I first approached with this idea it seemed like it would be a simple project. That should have been a warning sign right there, but my brain just thought, "Make a functional pint glass from discarded beer coasters? I wonder why no one has ever done anything like that before." I now know the answer to that rather naive question.
33 coasters and 5 pieces of scrap cherry

The first trick was actually sourcing the material. Since the spirit of the 'glass' is a recycle project, buying new paper coasters was out the question. So I did what any logical person would do. I sent out several emails to bars that no one responded to. So, then I just started walking into places and asking for their coasters!

Getting all this glue on is under 5 minutes was quite tricky! "Wait. You want to take our customers used coasters and make them into a glass?" "Yeah, pretty much." "I'm sorry, we're not interested." "Uh, why not?" "Please leave now..."

At this point, I wasn't sure this was a good idea I was just on the verge of bringing a baggy pair of pants to happy hour, when I received an email from the first place I had emailed. Turns out they did get it! They didn't have many for me, but at that point I was just thankful to have any. So I got to work!

Not quite my original vision! I'm very pleased with how it turned out (that it turned out at all) and I learned a lot. If I had to do it again, I would just use a hole saw, or scroll saw to cut through the paper coaster rather than turn them on the lathe! Regardless, the outcome is quite a conversation piece!

The glass was completed in August 2014. It's epoxy finish has completely cured and totally 'safe' to drink from



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    21 Discussions

    I remember you as the guy who glues things together and then makes holes in them. :)

    Not that it's bad of course, I like your creations! Is there anything to have in mind about epoxy and food safety?

    3 replies

    Not the worst thing to be know for! :)

    Yeah, the epoxy in the video is not rated food safe by the FDA. Which means it isn't BPA free. I would recommend getting a food safe epoxy for sealing any drink containers.

    I read an article on BPA and Triton which is the replacement for BPA.

    The problem with the material is that it has estrogenic properties and mess with human hormones on a nasty level.

    According to the article, Triton, the replacement for BPA, is far worse than BPA.

    This problem of replacing one dangerous chemical for worse chemical persists due to the fact companies are not required by law to provide valid testing and results thereby preventing manufacturers from being able to develop plastics that are truly safe for human use.

    This is one area that needs regulating so that our dollars can purchase products that don't mess with our health.

    I eat and drink almost exclusively out of BPA laden containers, I microwave food in them, and I am still a 100%, Grade-A, all American slab of prime masculine beef.
    In the time it took to type this I had to shave twice, in fact.

    A small warning on epoxy resin. With some people if you get it on your skin in liquid form it can cause you to become allergic to powder/dust from set epoxy (when you sand). I found it in the literature on epoxy from either west (good stuff) or a competitor.

    So do not do this without gloves.

    then there is the food safety issue is this stuff food safe? would make a nice vase though.

    I really like your procurement method! funny how people weren't interested in helping you out, though.

    1 reply

    I got one place that told me, they didn't want to advertise with me. I just went, "uh... Okay?!"

    could you use epoxy as a laminate for each of the coaster stacks instead of glue, and do you think this would make it easier to shape on the lathe? I imagine it would be difficult to get the epoxy to permeate the coasters completely.

    1 reply

    I think that would have worked better. At the time I was worried about the glue saturating into the coaster, but it really didn't do that anyway!

    How fun! I think I'd have just as much if not more trouble putting this together though. It would probably end up fire wood. haha ;)

    1 reply

    That's a fine looking beer mug!

    The idea to use coasters is clever and original. Nice work!