Headed for a tailgate, a concert in the park or just an evening of visiting with the neighbors, it is always nice to bring along your beverage of choice to sample during the event. Now you can show up with your favorite bottle of suds in style with the 6-Shooter 6-Pack Caddie!
There are many different styles of bottle caddie available to buy or make, including plenty of them here on Instructables, but none that I could find like this one, that would perfectly hold a 6-pack and a glass (or 2 if you stack them) to take and enjoy. Now I know, some of you will say that your beer will get warm, but IMHO if you start out with your beer chilled, they will be just fine for quite a while, especially craft or homebrew beers, which tend to taste better when served a bit warmer. Your mileage may vary!
Step 1: Material and Tools
- 1 ea – 1”x12”x24” board (3/4”x11-1/2”x24” actual)
- 1 ea – 3/8”x4”x7” square u-bolt – can usually be found at your local home fixer-upper store
- 2 ea – 3/8” nuts
- 2 ea – nylon insert lock nuts
- 1 ea – 50 caliber bullet bottle opener (optional, I went with this one to keep with the 6-Shooter theme)
- 3 ea – rubber screw on feet (optional)
- Leather scrap 3”x12” minimum (optional)
- Contact cement
- Wood glue
- Wood screws
- Stain of your choice – if desired
- Polyurethane – if desired
- Spray adhesive
- Jig saw with fine wood blade
- Band saw (optional but very helpful)
- Drill press (although a drill press is recommended, this can be done with a big enough hand drill)
- 4” hole saw
- 2-5/8” Forstner bit
- 3” Forstner bit
- 3/8” wood bit
- ¾” wood bit
- ¼” wood bit
- 1/8” wood bit
- Various clamps
- Heat gun
Note – A hole saw or even the jig saw can be used in place of any of the Forstner bits, you will just need to clean up the bottom of some holes with a wood chisel and do some additional sanding on the sides.
Step 2: The Mash
First off, this project involves the use of various power tools, please be sure to wear the proper personal protective gear and understand the proper way to use the tools before you begin.
Since I plan on making several of these caddies, the first thing I did was make a layout template on some ¼” plywood. You will notice this is not in the material list, just my choice to make one but not required if you are only making one. What you will need is a couple of printed hard copies of the attached plan view pdf file. Please make sure and print it ACTUAL SIZE, not TO FIT, on 11”x17” paper. Trim the print to the outside edge of the circle and use spray adhesive to glue it to your 1”x12”x24” piece of wood. You can refer to the attached cut sheet to see a possible layout for cutting all the pieces from one piece of wood. If you have a jigsaw with a cutting depth of greater than 1-1/2” you can rough cut both circles, stack and screw them together (2 screws minimum, only inside the 3” circle area but not in the very center, you’ll see why soon) and cut them both at the same time, just watch out for blade deflection. Don’t cut the large circles out yet! Rough cut the wood at least 1” larger than the final diameter of the big circles, so at least 9-1/2”.
Next, mark the center of all the holes to be drilled. Don’t forget the 3/8” holes for the handle and the ¾” hole for the opener, if you choose to use one. At this point you can use the heat gun to remove the paper from the wood. Finally, use the 4” hole saw to cut the four disks needed for the center column out of the rest of the piece of wood. The 4” saw should give you pieces roughly 3-3/4” in diameter. Working over a scrap piece of wood will again reduce the chance of chip out on the bottom edge of the cut. Take care when removing the disk from the saw as it is this piece you want to save and use.
In hindsight, I will probably cut the disks with a jigsaw or band saw next time; the edges created by the hole saw were very rough. It could be that I used a carbide tipped saw rather than a bi-metal one, which should give a smoother edge. Just an observation.
Step 3: The Wort
Load the 2-5/8” Forstner bit into the drill press and prepare to drill the bottle spaces. You will want to drill all the way through the top board and 1/8” into the bottom board to give a nice recess for the bottle to sit in. It is not required to do this but it gives a really nice look. This is the main reason the Forstner bit is the better option, otherwise you will need to chip out the 1/8” piece if you use a hole saw. Next, drill a 1/8” hole through the very center of both the top and bottom. Flip the attached pieces over and, using the hole you just drilled as a guide for the template (or use another printed layout), mark the outside edge of the 8-1/2” circle. Now cut both pieces from the back side. This is where the band saw really shines, otherwise be very careful of blade deflection with the jigsaw.
The prototype I made of this design was done by cutting the 8-1/2” circle first then drilling the 2-5/8” holes, which resulted in very uneven and chipped edges at the openings on the top piece, that is why I recommend drilling the holes first and then cutting. It came out SO much better the second time!
Now you can remove the screws and separate the top and bottom so you can drill the remaining holes in the top piece only. Just to clarify from the drawings, the center hole in the top piece is 3” in diameter.
Step 4: Fermenting
Now we need to drill out the center of some of the 3-3/4” disks to make a well for the glass. The large top piece should already have a 3” hole in it, but three of the disks need a 3” also. You have two options here, first is to glue the 4 disks together and drill as a whole, or second is to drill them individually then glue them after. I went with the first option so I was sure all the holes would line up. This also gave me a bigger surface to hold while drilling.
Stack the 4 disks up making sure to align the grain for a uniform look, apply wood glue to the mating surfaces and clamp until dry. It helps to run a ¼” rod through the pilot hole made by the hole saw to align them. Once dry, drill through the top three disks with the 3” bit, although you could go shallower if you like, it just means the glass will stand taller in the well. Guess what? The drilling is almost done!! The only thing left is to increase the hole size in the center of the bottom piece from 1/8” to ¼”.
I forgot to take a good picture of drilling the disks, but the biggest issue is making sure they are well clamped since the large bit has a lot of torque. This is also a case where the jigsaw may be the way to go to cut the 3" holes in the future, just have to cut them before gluing them.
Step 5: Bottling
This is probably the easiest time to sand all the surfaces to your liking in preparation for staining, if you so desire. Then we can move on to assembly, which basically involves gluing the top, bottom and the stack together.
First, take a ¼” rod (or drill bit or screwdriver, whatever you have) and temporarily run it through the hole in the bottom piece, then apply glue to the bottom of the stack and align the pilot hole made by the hole saw on the bottom of the stack over the drill bit to make sure the bottom and stack are perfectly aligned and clamp together. If you wanted, you could even run a screw through the hole instead which would help in the clamping process.
Once that has dried, apply glue to the top of the stack and line up the 3” holes, also making sure to line up the bottle spaces with the bottle recesses in the bottom piece, and clamp.
Don’t try to glue the bottom and top to the stack at the same time, this makes alignment of the bottle holes very difficult while trying to align the glass well hole. Ask me how I know this…
Step 6: Conditioning
Once all the glue has had ample time to dry, do some final sanding to remove any glue residue and prepare for staining. Follow the recommended coat times for your favorite stain and again allow ample time to dry, and then apply at least 2 coats of a clear polyurethane to provide beautiful protection to your finished piece.
At this point I determined that because of the rough edges left by the hole saw on the stack of disks they did not look good or take stain well so I decided to cover them with a piece of leather. In my case it took a small piece of scrap leather, 3”x11-3/4” to be exact, and some contact cement. I think it gives the piece a really unique look and I am glad I went this way.
Now you can install the handle by running a regular nut on the U-bolt then inserting it in the holes you drilled. Follow that by a lock nut from the bottom of each side and finally tighten down the top nut. My original idea was to make a custom U-bolt with a small amount of threads at the bottom and only put nuts on the bottom, allowing the handle to ride down when not being carried. It turns out that I am not any good at bending or threading metal!! The purchased U-bolt was my second option and, even though it still looks OK, I might just do a nice leather wrap around the handle to dress it up.
Last step is to install 3 rubber feet on the bottom to help avoid scratching the counter.
Step 7: Aaahhh!!
That’s it! You are now ready to load it up and enjoy a cool one in style. Thanks for taking the time to look at this build and be sure to leave comments and pictures of your version! As always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions; most of them make me realize there was a better way to do something than the way I did it! Instructable On!!