Introduction: The Wooden 6 Pack

About: I build drums, make costumes, work on house projects/repairs, dabble in Genealogy, eat tacos, and sometimes work in IT.

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.

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Epilog Challenge VI

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge VI

Great Outdoors Contest

Participated in the
Great Outdoors Contest