What I really wanted was something that was fully enclosed and wouldn't have a lid that would come open if tipped over or rolled around in the back of a truck or trailer without anyone noticing. Also it had to have dividers for the bottles and I didn't want it to weigh a ton or cost an arm and a leg.
I looked around for plans to make wooden bottle crates to hold beer and could not really find what I was after. So I incorporated a few of the best ideas that met my needs from all of them and this is what I came up with.
Table Saw (though a radial arm saw or skill saw could do it too)
1- 1"x12"x8' Pine Board $10
2- 2'x2'x 1/4" birch panel $10
3/8" Hemp Rope
Assuming you have some rope, glue and screws on hand $20 is enough to make two crates with very little waste wood left over. These crates each hold 12 bottles and are sturdy enough to take a beating yet aren't so heavy that one person can't carry two of them at the same time. I will also add that I am no where near good enough of a woodworker to make anything super precise, like cabinets or 90 degree angles. So if I can make these crates so can you. It took me about 3 hours to make two crates including the time it took to take all of these pictures. I'm sure someone who has even the slightest clue on what they are doing could make them even faster.
Step 1: Cutting grooves for top and bottom
The first step is to cut the grooves for the top and bottom panels. Using a dado blade in my table saw I set the groove to start at a 1/2" from the edge of the board and to be roughly 1/4" deep. I ran the board through twice so that there was a groove for both the tops and bottoms. I actually chose to use the nicer side of the board as the inside and used the really knotted, pitted and banged up side as the outside. People spend a lot of time trying to stress a board to make it look rustic, I chose boards that were pre-rusticed.
Step 2: Change blades
Step 3: Cut the board in half
Step 4: Cut the sides
Step 5: Cutting the tops and bottom
Take the two 9" wide sections and cut a piece that is 11 1/2" long out of each of them. The 11 1/2" piece is the bottom of your box and the 12 1/2" piece is the top.
Step 6: Dry fit
Step 7: Cut the door slide
Step 8: Glue and clamp
Step 9: Cut the inserts
After you have your strips of panel cut make two more of them 10 1/2" long. Cut the remainder of the strips so that they are 8 3/8" long. These may need to be a tad short at 8 5/16" depending on kerf width and exact internal dimensions of your box.
In the end you should have 4 pieces that are roughly 6" x 10 1/2" and 6 pieces that are 6" x 8 3/8".
Step 10: Cut the tabs
To do this quickly and easily put the dado set back on the table saw.
The 10 1/2" sections will need three cuts. The first cut is in the center of the piece, the other two cuts are centered between that cut and each end of the board. This means a cut roughly every 2 3/4" depending on the overall length.
The shorter 8 3/8" pieces only need two cuts. Each cut will be roughly 2 3/4" from the end.
There is a little bit of play room in this as the thickness of the board and the overall internal dimensions of your box could vary depending how precise you are. Your kerf width comes into play a lot here as well.
Each cut will be just slightly more than half the depth of the board. In this example each cut is just over 3" long. You can test out if your cut is deep enough by interlocking the pieces to see if they fit flush. If they are not flush you need to cut them a bit longer.
Step 11: Dry fit the divider
Now put the dividers into the box and fill all of the spots. If a couple of the spots are to tight to fit a bottle do not try to force it. Instead take the divider out and widen the interlocking slot a little bit. This should give the dividers just enough play to snugly hold the bottles.
Step 12: Drill Cover
Step 13: Add rope handles
Now take about 20" of the rope and put it through the holes, tie a knot on either end and pull it tight. These are now the handles for the crate.
Step 14: Add beer and store
We hope you enjoyed this instructable and we all look forward to sharing a cold beer with you in the future.
From your Friends at Pub Crawling http://www.pubcrawling.org