Beer Mat Boxes

When Lez came to visit for the UK Instructablers meet up in July, he brought with him a bag full of beer mats that he’d picked up from a car boot sale for £5. Among the 50 or so mats are some of the early Guinness ones, one from the 1972 Munich Olympics and several from the 1976 Moscow Olympics. Also in the bag were some nice sets of old mats with cartoons and jokes on the rear.

With all these awesome old sets of mats to almost double the size of my collection I thought it was time to find somewhere to keep them that would protect them a bit more than the duffed up old cardboard box they’ve been living in until now.

I’ve been obsessed with the laser cutter ever since Steve bought it and I had some acrylic left over from the chess board that I made for the Instructables gift exchange. This was the perfect opportunity to a) use the laser cutter again, and b) try out Oomlout‘s acrylic joining method.

Here’s the finished box I made, there’s a longer description of the process below.

Laser cut beer mat box

Here’s the design in Alibre. Once the parts were made they were added to an assembly, aligned, converted to a 2D drawing then exported as a .dxf file for the laser cutter. (don’t use the following picture to cut a box, it won’t be the right size)

Beer Mat Box Screenshot

The 5mm acrylic needs a slow speed setting of 4.5 on our HPC laser cutter and a power setting of 98 (out of 100). Here are the parts laid out next to each other after being cut and before assembly. The laser seems to cut acrylic really nicely and it needs no finishing once cut before it can be assembled.

Beer Mat Box Pieces

I’ll upload a picture of the finished box with mats in it in the next couple of days.

  1. It looks like the bottom is unsupported and will fall right out of this box. How does it hold any weight?

  2. The acrylic is quite a tight fit and the screws in the sides squeeze the sides against the base. But you’re right… I overlooked that. Having a quick play with it I can’t push the bottom out if I push it with my hand, so hopefully it’ll be fine to hold 50 or so beer mats.

    Thanks for the comment!

Leave a Comment