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Old 09-10-2014, 04:41 PM   #1
RegarRenill
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Default Carboy Cradle

Backstory: Last December I had a carboy on one of those wedges to put it on an angle while racking. Well, the cat bumped the table, which created enough of a wave inside the carboy that it rolled off of the table before I could catch it. It shattered and made a huge mess. Luckily it was almost finished (and I only got a few small cuts cleaning up the shards of glass), but I didn't want to lose another carboy like that. So I had the idea to make a "cradle" for a carboy from some scrap lumber.ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410366895.980692.jpg

Fast forward to this summer and I decided I wanted a few more cradles and thought why not share my idea? It's world great for me, so far! So, here is my write-up...

The Cutting of Wood
First, I squared the section of 1/2 plywood I had laying around and cut 3 12"x13" rectangles; these are the bases. Next, I cut 3 9" lengths of 2x3 for the support posts. Then, I cut 6 3" sections of 2x3 for the "feet" that keep the carboy on an angle. ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410367216.892815.jpg I cut a 30 degree wedge from each of the 9" and the 3" sections of 2x3. The wedges you buy at the LHBS or online are about a 35-40 degree angle, but I wanted to keep this simpler for my sawing. I saved the excesses cut from the foot wedges to use as the end-caps on the cross-brace. Lastly, I cut 3 12" sections from a 1x3 board as the cross-braces. On to the drilling and screwing!

Having Fun with a Drill
I used two different screw lengths, both stainless steel sheet metal screws since that's what I had on hand. I used 10x1" for the narrower ends and 10x1 1/2 for the wider ones.

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Old 09-10-2014, 04:59 PM   #2
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Default Carboy Cradle

ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410367823.991986.jpgImageUploadedByHome Brew1410367853.628888.jpg

First, I predrilled all of my holes. I marked out the foot wedges first, 3" from the edge along one of the 12" sides. The holes I drilled at 3/4" and 1 3/4" from the edge. Then I drilled the holes for the cross-brace'a post dead center on the opposite 12" side, again the holes were 3/4" and 1 3/4" from the edge. Since I was using sheet metal screws I decided I needed to manually countersink the holes by using a larger bit for 3/16 an inch deep on the bottom of the base.ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410368208.796740.jpg after drilling each set of holes, I'd switch bits for the countersinks.
Next I drilled the holes in the cross-braces for the end-cap wedges. Again, the holes for the wedges were 3/4" and 1 3/4 from the edges.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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Default Carboy Cradle

Next, in the center of the cross-brace, I drilled two holes a third of the way from each side.ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410368725.914288.jpg
Then, I held the cross-brace to the post along the angled section, roughly in the middle, and predrilled those holes, as well. It is VERY important to make sure that these screws are completely countersunk as a GLASS carboy will rest against here. Glass against metal plus a sudden bump could equal a broken carboy. (I actually went back after the original was assembled and unscrewed the cross-brace and made the countersunk holes a bit deeper, more like 1/4", because there was an audible "clink"of metal on glass when I tested it with an empty carboy. You've been warned.)

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:27 PM   #4
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Default Carboy Cradle

ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410369246.360141.jpg
Lastly I clamped the foot wedges to the base and predrilled their holes and repeated this for the post. Finally comes the assembly!

It All Comes Together
First, I screwed the foot wedges and the post to the base. The post got two 1 1/2" screws, while the foot wedges got a 1 1/2" screw in the back (closest to the edge) and a 1" screw in the front.ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410369488.493301.jpg Next, I screwed the cross-brace to the post. In retrospect, it may have been easier to fasten the end-caps to the cross-brace first as it was a PITA to do so when it was already attached to the post. Either way:ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410369658.696141.jpg once everything is screwed together you're ready to go! ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410369761.914828.jpgJust make sure your screws are properly countersunk. I also went a bit overboard and glued everything together, but that's just me. These are currently holding a 5 or 6 gallon carboy in my basement brewery, getting ready for reracks this weekend. I put a carboy on about a week in advance, so the sediment has a chance to settle into the lowest part to minimize loses due to racking. Hope someone else finds this design useful! Give me any feedback regarding the design or ask any questions you want, I'll try to answer them! and remember, RDWHAHB!

Sorry about the multiple posts; I hate writing complicated things on my phone... :-/ I kept hitting the reply button when I'd try to scroll up or edit a word.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:38 PM   #5
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This looks awesome, do you have pics of any carboys being cradled?

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:46 PM   #6
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Great idea and that cradle looks awesome! Nicely done.

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:48 PM   #7
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Thanks! And yeah, I'll take a pic when I get home from work tonight.

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:48 PM   #8
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We all know that the cat knew exactly what it was doing when it bumped the table. But that's a great idea.

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzAndFish View Post
This looks awesome, do you have pics of any carboys being cradled?
+1, as I am kegging and bottling at the moment I can see the value of one of these, great idea, I see one in my future.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:23 AM   #10
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Here's a shot of one. I'll try to get some better pics this weekend when I'm racking.ImageUploadedByHome Brew1410430865.333544.jpg

Yes, I know, way too much headspace in that carboy, it's a Welches concord for topping up, just racked and cold-crashed after adding sparkalloid, it's been less than a week with that much room. Racking to a 3 gal and a smaller jug on Sat.

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