Introduction: DIY Test Tube Shot Rack
One of the easiest and best elements for any home and bar is a nice shot rack. There are a lot of varieties out there for sale, but today I'm going to show you how to make a simple shot rack that still looks great.
The idea for this project came to me literally the morning of a party. Everything was constructed from materials I had laying around the house. I'll admit the green UV plexi glass isn't a very common one, but it can be found online easily enough!!
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Step 1: The Prep
- Plexi - This will have three layers. I chose to go with a clear middle layer, and 1/8" thick UV green for the top and bottom layers.
- assorted bolts and nuts (five nuts to each bolt, one of them should be a nice finishing nut.) This project uses four bolts. I chose 4: bolts.
- Plexi cutter
- Drill / Drill Press
- 1/4" drill bit
- 5/8" forester bit
This is actually a pretty simple design. There will be three sheets of plexi glass. The first two sheets will have holes for the test tubes to fall through, and the third will be solid, to catch the tube. The nuts and bolts will be used to position each of the layers. In my project, i'm creating the top and bottom layers out of UV green plexi, and the middle layer out of simple clear plexi.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Plexi
The first step in this process is to measure out your plexi glass and measure out the cuts for the shot glasses. I happened to have a number of test tube shot glasses laying around, so I used those. If you don't have any test tube shot glasses, you can find them at most local party shops, or in abundance online. Mine have an outter diamater of 5/8".
Trace out your cuts. You'll want to remove the paper or plastic film from your plexi, but don't!! First, it makes it easy to trace your cuts, second, when you do cut it, this provides a nice protective cover incase your cuts are messy or the bit jumps.
Your cuts should go as follows.. You can see in the next image how I made my cuts.
Top Layer: Shot cuts and Bolt cuts (bolts are the supports)
Middle Layer: Shot cuts and Bolt cuts
Bottomr Layer: Bolt cuts
Now you're ready to cut your plexi squares. The easiest way to do this is with a plexi cutting tool. This is almost a large knife with a light hook. You drag the cutter across the plexi enough to create a nice deep scratch. Then you can snap your plexi glass. The break should happen cleanly across the scratch.
Step 3: Start the Drill
Plexi is nice and flexible, but it will want to crack on you once you start drilling your holes. The first holes I'd recommend drilling are your supports. These will go through all three pieces. This is what the nuts and bolts are for. My shot glasses are about 6" tall, so I bought six 4" long 1/4" diameter bolts. So our first cuts will be for these. As I said, plexi likes to snap, so I recommend drilling pilots. These help ease that tension, they also help prevent your cuts from wandering (especially if you're drilling these free hand). At all the drill points, use a very small drill bit and drill your pilots.
Now that your pilots are drilled, you can start drilling everything else. In the previous step I mentioned the 1/4" bolts. I started with these. There's no reason for this, but I did drill them first on each of the three sheets of plexi first just so I didn't have to change my drill bits constantly. Next is the 5/8" cuts for the shot glasses. These are easy, but you want to take your time. They're large cuts, and you don't want to crack the plexi. Depending on the material you go with as well, this can gum up your bits a bit. In the many times I've done this, it always pulls off easily and never leaves anything behind permanently, so there's no need to be worried if you notice that.
If you have them, forstner bits cut plexi extremely smooth and leave a very clean cut. If those aren't available a small hole saw would work. I haven't tried it, but i imagine a spade bit would even do the trick.
Step 4: Clean Up and Assembly
The clean up. Now it's time to take the plastic/paper film off. depending on your plexi material, you might notice ridges around the drilled cuts. These should be simple enough to chip off. If necessary, you can file them off as well. Next check the edges. The score and break method for cutting your plexi glass can give a really nice clean cut, but you might still want to smooth it down incase it gave you any sharp edges.
The Assembly... This is actually pretty easy. Start with the bottom layer and feed your bolts up from the bottom. Take your nuts and tighten them down, holding the bottom layer in place. Take another set of nuts and screw them into position. If you have something to match their height across all of them, then that's even better. Now slip your second layer of plexi on and tighten it down with another set of bolts. Finally, take another set of nuts and screw them on maybe a half inch or so, you don't need to be exact with these ones because you'll be coming back to them. Take your top layer and put it in place. Then screw on your finishing nuts. I chose an acorn nut. It's clean looking and caps the top of the bolt nicely. Now take the last set of normal nuts and tighten that top piece of plexi to the final finishing nuts.
And there you have it, your very own test tube shot rack.
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