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Previous Episodes
July 17
July 24

Maverick engineers have only 48 hours to save a prize from complete and utter destruction.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN
Host Zach Selwyn
Engineer of Destruction Mike Senese
Creator Brian Knappmiller
EP Glenda Hersh
Steven Weinstock
Brian Knappmiller
Marcia Mule
Packager True Entertainment for Discovery Networks
Origins Southern California
Airs 10p Fri, Science
Available In High-Definition Where Available

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Beer Bunker
July 31

Men love beer. Men love explosions. Now if they can weather one, they get the other. But how can three renegade engineers possibly protect 672 bottles of beer from boom time? Let's find out.

The boomsticks being used today are PETNA, 20 percent faster than TNT, 10 times faster than a high-powered rifle, with a force equivalent to 24,000 firecrackers.

First, let's meet these builders...

- ZACH SWERDZEWSKI, a graphic designer and fabricator from Burbank, CA. You may remember him as one of the hamsters from Big Brother 8.
- FRANK CARIDI, a mechanic, carpenter, inventor, and black belt in karate.
- VON DEWITT, a co-worker of Zach's, who went from rocker... to metal fabricator... to custom contractor.. to law student at the University of Phoenix.

The prize this week: a year's supply of beer, 672 bottles. All you have to do is save it. Remember, you can't touch the prize of the charges. And you have 48 hours to protect the beer from boom time.

First, a little taste of what you're going to go up against... But it's actually one-third the power of what we're dealing with.

Forty-eight hours... starting now! We start with a design... They're dealing with compressive force, like Jupiter. What they're going to do is weld a template, then weld another one behind that. The best thing that they are going to go with is a concrete sandwich of two pieces of steel. A bunker, dude. Military. A steel cage... then 22 gauge steel... then rebar... then plywood... in the middle, concrete... And outside, a sphere of steel.

Now that they have a design, it's time to go to work. And for that, they're drawing on the floor.

TEST #1:  Material Strength.

An explosive charge is in a four-sided chamber. The sides: steel, plywood, glass, and lexan. Assessing the damage... 22 gauge steel is slightly bent. Lexan.. is not scratched. Plexi's looking kinda sexy.

They're going to stick with the general design... They're not deterred by the steel bending, because they're going to have concrete backing. When they measure the base... they find out that it's too small. Turns out that they were giving the measurements for the beer pyramid and not giving it any play. Woops. Well, with 43 hours left, it's a good time as any to start over. The new frame... is a lot better.

The speed of detonation: 27,000 feet per second. That leads Mike to ask a couple of questions... and his own solution. One material, one layer... steel.

Into the night, their measure-twice, cut-once is not working, and they have to start it over AGAIN. Von and Frank almost come to blows because of it, but they get it back. At 4a, the team decides to start breaking off into shifts. Von will be working the graveyard shift trying to complete the first three layers: steel, steel, and rebar.


Von has the rebar up, but before the others go back to work, Von has an idea... a second flat steel shell instead of a steel cone. But first... sleepy time. Meanwhile, Zach and Frank get to work on the plywood and concrete. But Zach & Frank think about scrapping the flat sheet altogether. Von says it's a protective barrier. They end up going back to the sheet metal. So it's back at the drawing board.

Mike goes with 3/16" steel in a composite design: a box on the bottom and a pyramid top.

Meanwhile, the challengers meet... the St. Pauli Girl!

TEST #2: Forklift Agility

How capable are you at driving a forklift with 1 ton of weight and two inches of clearance? Von elects to drive for the team... Big mistake. Not really. He's perfect.

Now to do some donuts. With those antics, the CI/KI construction supervisor decides to take him out of the forklift. Remember, folks... Safety is a paramount priority. And they're not union, so...

Meanwhile, the St. Pauli Girl is worried about mass and displacement. They're going to have to anchor that thing to the ground in order to save her beer.

Frank decides that they need three pairs of eyes. He tries to wake Von up. Can't. Zach tries to wake Von up. Can. The design comes together as they finally load the beer bunker into place. But with such a small clearance, there's a chance that any reverb will cause the bottles to shatter. So Zach is working on something that will anchor the rig to the ground.

Meanwhile, Mike's simple beer-a-mid is almost done.


Von gets one more inch at the top, but we can't get any more if we're to pour concrete. Glad to see he's finally cooled down. It's starting to come together as a team. They also decide to reinforce the concrete with... more steel. Will it hold up?


Last minute nerves have Frank making last-minute design changes. They decide to add water to the design using ziploc baggies and corrugated steel.


Mike preps his beer-a-mid. Simple. And everyone's done. Will it survive, though? Remember, a catch is 672 bottles in pristine condition. One bottle broken... and it's over.

Boom time in three... two... one... BOOM! Explosive pressure: 1740 tons/square inch... But is it a CATCH? YES!

Will Mike's Beer-a-mid befall the same fate? Yep. That's also a catch.

And while we toast our new engineering heroes, we look to our next challenge and our next prize for success. Remember... if they catch it... they keep it.

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