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.