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Picture of The Wooden 6 Pack

I'm not going to lie to you ... I like beer ... nay .. I [expletive] love beer!

Sometimes (all the time) I want to carry several of these divine nectars to a friendy gathering (or anywhere). On a good day (usually a Saturday), I can carry three in one hand, but I need the other hand to open/shut doors, pick things up, etc. Then there is the issue of a bottle opener. You'd think I'd have one on my keychain considering my aforementioned love for the liquid sealed behind such a barrier, but that ring is already crying for mercy. I also value my teeth and never perfected the trick using a house key .. there must be an instructable on that .. I better look asap.

 
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Step 1: Research And Layout

Picture of Research And Layout

I needed dimensions, so I needed beer bottles. They didn't need to be empty, but we don't need to talk about that right now.

Useful fact: 2 3/8" is the rough diameter of a beer bottle and the measurement I used.

Note: I'll list my final dimensions at the end.

Step 2: Box Milling And End Dadoes

Picture of Box Milling And End Dadoes
03 End Dadoes.JPG

I rough cut the sides on the miter saw and then dialed them in using the table saw.

The two end pieces needed centered dadoes to receive a 3/4" plywood panel, so I did that on the table saw as well. I set the blade at a 3/8" depth and snuck up on the cut until I had a good fit.

Lastly, I needed a groove on all four panels to receive the bottom (you'll see it in future pictures).

Step 3: Side Divider Dadoes

Picture of Side Divider Dadoes
05 Setting Depth.JPG
06 Routing Dadoes.JPG
07 Dadoes Done.JPG

I needed to make dadoes in the side panels, as well as the center panel, for the bottle dividers. I wanted them to be stop dadoes and I wanted repeatability. Since we're talking about 8 dadoes and I planned on making more of these, a jig was well worth my time.

The jig is made from scrap wood and has a center mark. The sides are then offset and attached so that a trim router can use them as a fence. It took about 10 mins to make start to finish ... and due to my OCD, I work slow.

I set my 1/4" straight bit at a depth of 1/4" and cut my dadoes.

Note: Go slow. You are dealing with some climb cuts here and depending on your direction, the router might want to wander away from the fence.

Step 4: Center And Dadoes

Picture of Center And Dadoes
09 Center Cut To Fit.JPG
10 Routing Center Dadoes.JPG
11 Center Dadoes.JPG
12 Square Off.JPG

I taped the box carcass together, so I could cut the center panel to fit. I snuck up on the cut and I'm leaving the panel long while I lay out the handle and overall height.

Once cut, I found center, clamped it in my jig, and cut the dadoes for the bottle dividers.

Then I got all fancy and broke out some new chisels to square off the tops. I rue the day these need sharpening (I hate sharpening things .. probably because I'm no good at it). I really hope there is an Instructable on that.

Step 5: The Handle

Picture of The Handle
14 Make The Handle.JPG
15 Handle Holes.JPG
16 Sand To The Line.JPG
17 Chamfer.JPG

Back to layout. I marked a line at the top of the bottles, so I could determine a center point for the handle opening. I have small, girly hands, so I had to accommodate manly hands and went with a 1 1/2" diameter bit.

Most of the material is removed (cautiously) with a forstner bit on the drill press. The remaining material is eliminated with help from the OSS. I then chamfered the edges for comfort.

Step 6: Finishing Foresight

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20 Parts To Assemble.JPG

Here is where I thought to myself ... "Self ... you might want to finish the inside before assembly because even though you have absurdly small hands, they aren't going to fit in a 2 3/8" opening comfortably." "Don't tell me what to do Self! No one puts me in a corner." No wait, that is Dirty dancing .. nevermind.

After some discourse, we agreed to oil and wax the inside of the panels and then get a beer. He didn't drink his, so I did. Waste not ... want not.

Step 7: Glue Up

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22 Box Taped Up.JPG
23 Center And Clamped.JPG
24 More Clamps.JPG

Time to glue this bad boy up!

I layed out the parts to ensure they were in the right order, put tape across the seams, slathered glue, rolled it up around the plexiglass bottom panel, and added more tape to keep it all together.

Next I inserted the plexiglass bottle dividers, slid the plywood center panel in place, and added a few clamps.

Then since nothing goes to plan, I added a ton of more clamps to try and close all the gaps.

Step 8: Bottle Cap Hole And Splines

If you have seen any of my other Instructables, you know I figured this trick out awhile ago for about a nickel. This one cost more since I'm using a stainless steel screw (0.45 total), but it's the same principal.

After laying out my locations, I drilled a 1 1/2 hole, which will be for the bottle and cap. I then drill a smaller offset hole for a washer, which will be the opener.

Next, I wanted to reinforce these miter joints with splines, so with the aid of my spline cutting sled, I cut three slots per corner. I then ripped 1/8" strips on the table saw and cut out triangular splines on the bandsaw. Glue up was simple ... just a cough medicine cup, plumbing acid brush, glue, and some patience. I went with contrasting colors because I wanted to show off the splines.

Step 9: Sanding, Filling, And More Sanding

Picture of Sanding, Filling, And More Sanding
34 Sanding Flush.JPG
35 Fixing Mistakes.JPG
36 Sanding Time.JPG

Once the glue cured, I removed most of the waste on the OSS. Then I sanded to the line using the orbital sander.

At this point, I concealed all my flaws with glue and sawdust (free wood filler). For some of the corners, I broke out a burnisher to try and roll over the edges a bit.

Once cured, I sanded everything flush with the orbital sander at 80 grit. Then it was hand sanding at 100 and 150 to break sharp corners and smooth everything out.

Step 10: Finishing

Picture of Finishing
39 Oil Difference.JPG
40 Oiled.JPG

For finish, I used 50/50 Boiled Linseed Oil/Mineral Spirits. Once dry, I sanded at 220 grit and then took a second pass with the 50/50 mixture. A topcoat of Renaissance wax and hand buffing to wrap it all up.

Step 11: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy
43 Corner 2.JPG
44 Corner 3.JPG
45 Side.JPG
46 Side.JPG
47 Opening.JPG

As you can see, I like knarly boards. The more grain variation or interest, the better in my opinion. I made it a point to keep the continuous grain wrapping around the box as much as possible.

Now I can carry six little friends and an opener with ease. My biggest problem is that now all my friends want one.

My Dimensions:
Long Sides:
9 1/8" x 5 1/2"
Short Sides: 7" x 5 1/2"
Center Panel: 11 3/4" x 8 3/8"
Handle: Center line is 1 7/8" down from the top edge and in 2 1/2" from each side edge. 1 1/2" Fortsner bit.
Bottom Panel: 8" x 5 7/8" [This depends on the depth of your dadoes and thickness may vary as well]. My bottom (don't be fresh) was 3/16" thick plexi. Hardboard, plywood, etc would work.
Divider Panels: 4 3/16" x 2 7/8" [This depends on the depth of your dadoes and thickness may vary as well]. My panels were 1/4" thick plexi. Hardboard, plywood, etc would work.

KevinF111 months ago

This is very cool. Impressive. Assembled like a piece of fine furniture rather than a banged together box.

SteveS97 months ago

This has to be the most practical, beautiful and hilarious Instructable ever.

Thanks for sharing.

-BALES- (author)  SteveS97 months ago

HA! Thanks SteveS9

PhotoWayne7 months ago
Awesome! I just finished making a slightly different version. These really do make great gifts! I've got some pictures and instructions at http://www.photowayne.com/?p=62
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LynxSys12 months ago

A very nice project, and an excellent housewarming present for my beer-brewing friends. I also like that the handle is tall enough that you won't beat up your knuckles on the sharp edges of the bottle caps like I always do when carrying a standard cardboard six pack.

jmyers11 year ago
This is great! I especially love the bottle opener.

This is definitely going to be on my "make for Christmas gifts" list. Nice work!

Love this idea and the wonderfully humorus manner in which it is presented. Thank you. I will have to build a variation.

mrspoom691 year ago

It's a little over kill on the wood thickness, must be rather heavy. I would have used solid wood at 3/8" or 1/2" thick, it would have been 1/2 as heavy.

-BALES- (author)  mrspoom691 year ago

It weighs 3 lbs 10.2 ounces to be exact. I'd be interesting in seeing your version.

Any thought to putting drain holes in the bottom plexi? Cause beers sweat sometimes, and I would hate to allow that water to pool against the wood. Just a thought. Otherwise, wish I had the tools to do this myself.

-BALES- (author)  phydeaux980381 year ago

I had that same thought and decided I'd wait and see since I can always add them.

scooter761 year ago

I've seen many wooden beer carriers like this, but never with your clever washer bottle opener. Top marks, and got my vote. Well done.

-BALES- (author)  scooter761 year ago

Thank you.

spaceraver1 year ago
When I was a kid, we could buy 12 beers that way, we called it a ironing iron. I will see if I can find some pictures..
-BALES- (author)  spaceraver1 year ago

Very interesting. I hope you find a picture as I didn't have much luck ... I did find a picture of Ironman Ironing though.

I entirely agree with @rolltidehank, now that's an idea that should be implemented on every table in Australia! Storage for beer with a handy tool. Too good.

The washer bottle opener is genius!

+1

It's so great.!!!!