The Cider Crate

Over the weekend we caught up with the family and convinced them to drink some beer. Not just any beer though, it had to have a swing cap! I wanted everyone to drink a certain dutch beer so I could collect the empties and use them for my cider making exploits. So, after a successful and relaxing weekend I was left with another 8 swing cap bottles. The only thing now was how to carry them all? Enter, the home-made cider crate.

Ready for some brew

I wanted the crate to be big enough to hold 6 beers/ciders and light enough so that we could take it to family/friends places and not look like a beer merchant. It also had to be cheap because as far as self sufficient products are concerned alcohol is not really crucial, therefore I don’t want to spend too much on it.

The Process

Thinking and Planning time

The first thing I did was grab a bottle and some timber. I didn’t want to pay for timber so I went for a drive to look for some pallets. I found a few which were dripping wet and too thick anyway so I kept thinking. Then I realised that Lauren had just used some pine boards for her Tae Kwon Do grading, which were the perfect size for my crates, although they were a little split and chipped :).

The wooden beer crates that I have seen before are often designed to carry many beers in the back of a truck so I decided to use a modified design and scale it down.

An important step that I usually take when building something out of timber is to make a cut list. This cut list is undertaken after i have double measured everything and figured out a design. The cut list for this simple crate is: (L) = Length, (w) = width, (t) = thickness – All expressed in millimeters

4  horizontal long sides + 2 long floor slats –  250 (L) x 50 (w) x 12 (t)

4 vertical pieces – 140 (L) x 50 (w) x 12 (t)

4 horizontal end pieces – 150 (L) x 50 (w) x 12 (t)

Equipment – nails/screws (approx 30) to suit your timber size, wood glue, jigsaw/table saw/band saw/handsaw, drill/screw driver.

Construction steps

Dry assembly

1. I found the easiest way to start was to dry assemble the 2 floor boards, the 2 ends and the 2 sides, this way you can see where the verticals should be attached (see photo).

2. Glue and nail/screw the verticals to the 2 end pieces making sure that the 2 end pieces sit on top of the 2 floor boards.

3. Glue and nail/screw the two lower sides to the two end pieces, making sure that they sit up 12mm off the ground, which should make them even in height to the 2 end pieces (This forms the basic structure)

4. Flip the crate over and place the two long floor pieces onto the base

Nearly done

structure. These long pieces will not cover the floor, this ensures drainage if needed and lessens the weight. I found that leaving a 13mm gap between the edge of the crate and the floor pieces meant that the floor pieces lined up with the middle of the bottles, which will be sitting on the floor pieces.

5. Keep the crate upside down and glue, nail/screw the two remaining side pieces.

Bottles ready for filling and storing

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