How to make a wooden beer crate
I want wooden crates not only because they look good but for storing my beer in an organized fashion and for transferring beer from storage to my garage fridge upstairs. After spending hours searching for wooden beer crates with no luck I decided to make one myself. I was lucky enough to find a beer crate from the 1970’s in an antique store for $26. The design was simple and has enough space for 24 12oz bottles. Simple design was also important because I wanted to keep the cost really low. I took the measurements and replicated it. Still working up total cost but it's less than $10.
There are only 2 sizes of wood you will need. 1X4 nominal (actual is ¾” X 3 ½”) and ¼” X 1 ¼”. I was able to find this as my home depot store…the thin ¼” wood was in the molding section. I purchased all pine for keeping costs low but obviously you can use whatever type of wood you want.
• Table saw – (substitute any saw)
• Tape measurer
• Paper for template
• Hack saw with fine tooth metal cutting blade
• Finishing nail gun with 1 ½” brad nails and ½” brad nails (if you don’t have this setup with a compressor you could just use a hammer with finish nails)
• Dermal with sanding wheel (sub with sandpaper)
• Hole saw 1”
• Jig saw with wood cutting blade (substitute for a hand saw)
• 22’ ¾” thick X 3 ½” wide wood
• 5’ ¼” thick X 1 ¼” wide wood
• 4” steel rod
Cut your pieces all at once.
Bottom pieces quantity (3) 17” long. Mark each piece.
Front/Back pieces quantity (6) 17 5/8” long.
Side pieces quantity (6) 10 ½” long.
Top pieces quantity (3) 15 ½” long.
Assemble bottom piece to front/back piece. Make sure to use your 1 ½” brad nails. Also recess the bottom piece ¼” to accommodate for the thin wood strip later. I just have that strip as a guide in the picture, don’t actually attach it now.
Do this again with another piece; you should now have something like this.
Take a side piece and nail it in place in between the 2 pieces you already constructed. At this time you can also put the middle bottom piece in place.
Then add the side piece on the other end.
Flip over and nail the bottom to secure it.
Now you can flip it back over and start building up the front/back and sides by adding pieces and nailing one at a time. Do not install the last side piece on either side…these will need to be cut for handles on step 6.
Use some paper or cardboard to create a template for your handles. This is especially useful if you make multiple crates. Your template should be the size of the side piece and obviously center the cutout on the template. Now transfer that template to the remaining 2 side pieces by tracing with pencil.
Use your drill and hole saw to drill out both sides of the handle.
Use your jig saw to cut a line on the bottom and top of the circle to complete the handle cutout.
Now attach the final 2 side pieces.
Measure the top of the crate. Start about ½” from the inside of the back panel (there needs to be a gap) and to the center of the front panel. Mine cam to about 10 ½”.
Take your ¼” wood and cut 2 pieces to whatever length you measured. Again mine was 10 ½”. Then nail with the ½” brad nails the thin wood strip to the 3 top pieces so that the finished piece is to the length that you measured.
Cut 2 pieces of your steel bar to 2” using your hack saw.
Hold your top piece you just assembled with the ½” gap from the back and flush with the top then drill from the side a 2” hole with a ¼” drill bit.
Insert the metal rod into the hole. Follow the same procedure for the other side.
Measure the side from top to bottom. Use your ¼” wood and cut 4 pieces to that length.
Nail those pieces using your ½” brad nails to all 4 areas.
My intention was to not make this perfect. You can clean up the rough and sharp edges with your dermal or sandpaper.
There you go. Here is the finished product.
I’m sure there are a lot of better ways to make this crate but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money or time. I do plan on staining the crates dark and spray painting my logo on them another time. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions. Also if you add 1 more side front and back peice it add's 3 1/2" to the height which will fit 220z bottles.