How to get 60% more bricks into a Pick-a-Brick tub

Right at the back of the lego shop there’s a wall of assorted bricks, and you can have as many as you can fit into a PaB tub for £11.99 (£11.24 if you bring your tub back from last time).
This note was suggested by NB member Luc, and it shows you how you can get 60% more lego into the tub by packing it carefully.
Interested? Now read on…

This note is about a large PaB tub, and for the sake of argument we’ll assume that you are filling it with 2×4 bricks.

A large tub has a volume of 1.8 pints (950 cm3) and a 2×4 brick has a volume of 2.93 in3 (4.9 cm3) so in theory you should be able to fit 193 bricks in the volume available.
That’s just not possible, as the bricks are oblong and the tub is curved.

So what happens if you just pour 2×4 bricks, loose, into the tub? You can get 101 bricks in (includes three in the lid).

If you stack them vertically, in columns of 15 bricks, a lot of empty space will appear, and you’ll realise you can get more bricks in the tub. There is still empty space though, because the sides of the tub slope outwards while your columns of bricks are vertical.

NB member Luc has come across a Youtube video that lets you get 169 2×4 bricks in a tub – over 60% more than with loose bricks.

It works by stacking the bricks in horizontal layers, with the long side of the bricks arranged vertically. You get slices of bricks, with a different number of bricks in each layer, as the tub gets wider towards the top.

Bottom layer: 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3
Second layer: 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3
Third layer: 2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 2
Fourth layer: 2, 4, 5, 5, 6, 5, 5, 4, 2
Fifth layer: 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 5, 5, 4, 3
And in the lid: 2, 2

Total 169 bricks – that’s 6.6p a brick.

Have a look at the video.

Please try this at home! And if you have a different approach, please send us your ideas.