Introduction: Back Yard Drink Caddy
In the immortal words of Tom Lehrer,
"Spring is here, spring is here,
Life is skittles and life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring.
I do, don't you? 'Course you do!"
That's what I'd like to talk about today, beer and spring. Specifically, where to set your beer when you're outside. Even more specifically, where to set your beer when you need to make a shot in croquet, ladder golf, or bocce.
Do you hand it off to someone? What if they try to steal it for their own? Can you really risk it? How well can you trust these people, anyway? They are your opponents, after all. Should you haul a small table around the course with you? Seems a bit impractical.
The solution: with a quick trip to the dollar store and some elbow grease, you'll have a portable, purpose built drink holder to make sure your beer/soda/mint julep is always on hand and out the way when it's time to make that clutch shot through both the wickets and up to the turning post.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Okay, take a trip to the dollar store. In the garden/outdoor section they've had these shepherd crooks I've been looking at off an on for a while. I was thinking of hanging a solar light off of one, but then I spotted the wire mesh pencil holder in the office supplies and this idea came to be.
As to tools, all you'll need is a couple of pairs of pliers and either a rotary tool, a bench grinder, or a good metal file. A bench vise is very useful as well, but not required. I thought you'd need a torch to heat up the crook, but it's such soft metal you don't really need to.
To finish it up you'll also need some epoxy or JB weld and a bit of flat black spray paint.
Step 2: Bend the Crook
If you've got a bench vise, clamp the shepherd's crook down, if you don't you'll just have to hold on tight with the pliers. Put a ninety degree bend in the crook just below where it starts curving.
Using the two pliers, bend the crook into a tighter curve until it makes a loop. You can make the loop a little tighter than the size of the pencil cup, to help it hold on a little more firmly.
Step 3: Sharpen the Base
The crook was designed to be put into the ground once and left there, but we're going to be pulling it up and moving it around all the time. To make it easier to get in and out of the dirt, you'll sharpen the points at the base.
Using some sort of metal grinder or file (I used my dremel tool), make rough points on the bottom. Don't make them too sharp, you don't want to accidentally stab yourself or someone else in your ecstatic enthusiasm at having a portable drink carrier.
Step 4: Attach the Cup
If you've made the loop in the crook tight enough, you don't strictly need to use epoxy, but it's an extra bit of assurance that you won't spill your drink.
Run a bead of epoxy or jb weld (I use E6000 for nearly everything, it's all kinds of awesome) under the lip of the pencil cup. Then put the cup in place at the top of the reshaped crook.
Allow that to cure overnight, hit it with the spray paint to cover up the dings you've left in the soft metal, and you're done!
Step 5: Final Thoughts
All right! Once the paint dries, take it outside, press it into the yard, and enjoy!
I saw something similar on some site while stumbling a few weeks back and thought it was a great idea, but no way was a cheapskate like me going to pay twenty bucks plus shipping for something I knew for a fact I could build myself.
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As with all of my instructables, if you take the time to build this or something similar, post a pic in the comments below and I'll send you a digital patch!
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