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-   -   Wooden Beer Crates (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/wooden-beer-crates-371297/)

dfess1 12-01-2012 10:17 PM

Wooden Beer Crates
So I've looked at some of the beer crates on here, and I liked some of the ideas, but wanted some that would look nice even if they were stacked up in our bar area (since we have no storage in our house). I came up with a design for 12 oz bottles, that includes a sliding top to help keep light out. Once I came up with the design, some in my homebrew club decided that they would like one, or five, as well. So we turned it into a non-brewing club event. We will be making more after the new year, to accommodate 16 oz returnables, grolsh swingtops, 22 oz, and Cage and Cork bottles.

I used Baltic Birch plywood to A) have a nicer finished look and B) to have no voids in the plywood itself. It is a stabler material in all.

Started out by cutting out the ends and the side pieces.


Once they were done, I needed to make a jig for the handles on the end pieces. Started with a piece of MDF, drilled the finished sized holes with a forstner bit, and overlapped the holes. Then cleaned it up with a file and sandpaper to make it smooth.


Once the blank was created, I attached it to a sled. The sled's thickness was a scrap of the same plywood we were routing, plus one playing card. This allowed enough room to get the blank into the jig.


I had my drill press setup so that you would drill undersized holes to remove the bulk of the material for the handle. Then that person would hand it off to the guy running the router and jig/sled. A flush trim bit was in the router table, and was able to clean up the handles to finished size.


It was nice to get a uniform size for the handles.


Next up was to start the dado cuts on the sides. I cut the shoulder cuts first, as they would be the widest. A shoulder cut was cut on the end of each side. Once they were all cut, I cut a 1/4" dado along the top and bottom inside edge of the sides and ends.


Here's a closer pic of said cuts.


On half of the end pieces, I flipped them over and recut the dado at the top (in order to cut it off. Then we laid them out, and glued them up.


Once they were glued, we put three brads on each side, into the ends. This allowed us to not have to clamp the crap out of all of these cases. We set them aside for the glue to dry, and started on the dividers.


I made a sacrificial fence for my miter gauge, and made a through cut with the 1/4" dado blade. Then I measured from the inside of the through cut, over 2.5". I lined this mark up with the inside blade on the dado stack, and screwed the fence to the miter gauge. I then put a small piece of the 1/4" plywood in the slot I just made, and used it as a "key". Take a blank divider, and slide it up until it rested against the key, push forward and make the cut. Slide the divider down and now make the cut you just made, straddle the key. Rinse and repeat until all of your dividers were cut.


We had to make a ton of them.


We cut lids, and drilled another hole at one end with the forstner bit we used earlier. These slide in the dado groove at the top of the case.


So how many did we make? 15! But they went pretty quickly/easily. Was able to get them all done in one day.


Finished inside shot.


Now I'm trying to find something like a plastic envelope that I can adhere to the end of the case. That way I can put a label or index card in there to say what the case contains.

If anyone is interested in making any of these, I can provide a cutlist.

zzARzz 12-01-2012 10:40 PM

Those are beautiful! Now I feel bad about the cardboard cases with about 3 layers of duct tape I've been using. :o Well done!

Trimmer 12-01-2012 10:43 PM

Very impressive. You can't find quality like that any more. By the way there is nothing better than Titebond II and beer.

dfess1 12-01-2012 10:53 PM

Thanks guys. I made sure everyone understood there was no beer until we were done with the power tools!

rossi46 12-02-2012 01:55 AM

Those are nice. Wish I had the tools and skill to build some of those.

jtd_419 12-02-2012 02:42 AM

I would love to have the cutlist for those.... ive been thinking about making some for a long time.

SiriusStarr 12-02-2012 02:47 AM

Wow, those are beautiful! I'd also love the cut list, if it's not too much trouble. Then away to the shop. :D

Junkster 12-03-2012 12:21 AM

Very nice indeed!!

As for plastic envelopes for labels, check with an office supply or shipping supplies place - there are several sizes available.... Also, old-time wooden file cabinets used a little brass placard holder for labels - I think they're available from some wood worker's supply places.

dfess1 12-03-2012 12:32 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Part Pieces Width Height Thickness
Side (A) 2 17.25” 11” .5”
End (B) 2 11.25 11” .5”
Bottom (C) 1 16.75” 11.25” .25”
Short Divider (D) 5 10.75” 4” .25”
Long Divider (E) 3 16.25” 4” .25”
Top (F) 1 17” 11.25” .25”


1. From .5” Baltic Birch, cut and label parts A, and B.

2. From .25” Baltic Birch, cut and label parts C, D, E, and F.
NOTE: Using a 1” forstner bit, drill a hole 2” from one end and 5.625” from one edge of part F.

3. Make the handles. On parts B, using a 1.5” forstner bit, drill a hole 2.25” from the top, at 5.625” from the outside edge. Drill another hole 2.25” from the top, at 3.625” from the same outside edge. Drill one more hole 2.25” from the top, at 7.625” from the same outside edge. Drill overlapping holes to clean up the edges.
NOTE: A cleaner edge will be obtained if a template is used. Make the template to the same dimensions listed above. Drill the holes in parts B in the same manner as described in above, but with a 1.375” forstner bit. Then place the template over part B, and using a flush cut bit in your router, trim up the hole.

4. Using a dado blade, cut a .25” deep by .5” wide rabbit/shoulder on the ends of part A.

5. Without changing the dado blade height, set the dado blade to be .25”, and cut a dado slot .25” from the bottom of parts A and B on the inside face of each part. Flip each piece around and cut the same dado slot in the top of each piece. Take one part B per case, and flip it over and cut off the top dado.

6. Dry fit parts A, B, and C. Make any adjustments to ensure that all parts fit snugly.

7. Once the handle cavity is cleaned up, put a .25” roundover bit in your router, and route both faces of the handle.

8. Glue up the ends of parts A and B, and assemble them along with part C. Tack a 1” brad through part B into part A.

9. Create the dividers as explained in initial post.

As we create the other cases, I'll post up the cut list for those. Construction will be the same, dimensions will differ. For this go around, I purchased three .5" sheets and four .25" sheets. This created 15 crates. Baltic Birch plywood comes in 60" x 60" sheets, not your typical 4' x 8'.

freeokw 12-03-2012 03:11 AM

Nicely done! Thanks for the great write up. I look forward to your 22 oz version.

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