The Drink Tally

Many days I’ll have a drink or two between dinner and bed. My go-to drink — some variation on a whiskey and soda — is one I tend to make at half-strength, so I might have more of those. But some nights, I’ll get engrossed in binging a TV show or watching a great movie and start to lose count over the evening, especially when staying up later and transitioning from full-strength to half-strength beverages. And suddenly, oops, I’ll have the equivalent of three or four. For health reasons, I should be cutting back anyway (and returning to yoga and biking more and walking more and and and). Honestly, I’ve made good strides in cutting back, with non-alcoholic cocktails and beers. But I’m forgetful and need to keep myself honest about counting. I’ve been, with limited success, using a system of just coins as a tally system. When I remember to do it, it works great, but it’s not in-my-face enough. It’s a little too abstract for me to always remember.

To solve this, I’ve use the laser cutter to make something a little more direct and visible:

On the edge of the bar is a strip of laser-cut walnut with pockets that accommodate coins to count up drinks. I ordered some fancy Chinese-style coins because I thought the metal and enamel looked distinctive and beautiful. The pockets fit two coins, so two people could track intake.

Additional coins can be stacked on the bar edge, behind the pockets, but it’s not terribly elegant.

But so far, so good. Having a physical tracker is better than juggling random coins and a whole lot better than relying on faulty memory.

You can download the design file SVG. Green are score lines, black is etch, and blue is cut. It’s designed for coins that are 30mm × 2mm, if you’re able to find them.

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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