Hammer Time: The Beercone: A Material Study – Part Deux – Cans

Continued from Part I

As the old saying goes, “if the tape is the skin, then the can is the meat.” Where is that an old saying, you ask? Have you ever been to Jaipur? No? Then its an old saying in Jaipur. Almost lyrical in the original Hindi. Now, can we move on? Great!

The beercone requires a solid core of well crushed, de-burred, and properly stacked cans, or else it quickly becomes a flaccid, squishy mess of garbage bound up in some tape. Proper technique is essential to quality construction, but that is outside the scope of this article. Equally critical, and a part of assembly that requires the most forethought, is the selection of beercan.

All beercans are created equal, after all they all contain beer, but some beercans are more equal than others. Imported beers and most “Premium American Lagers” tend to be of the international standard can variety. 4.83 inches tall, with a 2.13 inch lid diameter, and weighing in at 14.2 grams. The MolsonCoors “12oz Sleek” can stands 5.628 inches tall, with a 2 inch lid diameter and weighs only 12.35 grams.

The Silver Bullet, the ideal can dimensions.

The international 12 oz can is a design that was invented by true genius and innovator Norton Robert Goldberg, and was granted a US patent in 1997 (US5645190A). The sleek can, a product of then MillerCoors, was introduced in 2003 and since has became the standard can for the entire MolsonCoors family of products. So what does any of this mean? Well, The original Beercone was constructed of a mix of Tecate and Coors Light cans of the International Standard Variety. This continued to be the case, until the “Sleek 12oz” started dominating the MillerCoors section of American Shelves. Now thats not to say theres anything wrong with Anheuser Busch cans. Its just that they’re garbage, and your’re better than that, thats all.

But I digress, the beercone saw a massive uptick in survivability around the time of the introduction of the “Sleek 12oz”. Why? I think there are multiple reasons. In the 2010 – 2012 timeframe, when the new can was becoming prevalent, Tapey Beercone was just getting going. The process of creating the beercone was new, and needed refinement. Also, the larger cans have a tendency to blow out their sides when crushed. This produces sharp edges and that is bad for tape, BUT the large cans have a lower profile when crushed due to a smaller weaker neck plug (the top of the can, where the lid joins the flange). This causes a wider, flatter beercone, and indeed, the early beercones were much more pancaked than their modern brethren. These structural problems were directly addressed by the “Sleek 12oz”.

Exhumed cans from a game used beercone.

The adoption of the “Sleek 12oz” as the prefered can of Tapey Beercone allowed the ballsmiths to create a more compact ball that, when completed, was more cube shaped than anything else. This beercone provides a much smoother, cleaner area of contact for our next segment.

Next Up: Part 세: Tape

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