As promised, here is a how to post on building the six-pack holder I made a few weeks ago. As I mentioned, I made two versions and I think if I make one in the future it’ll be a combination of the things I like about each design.
Earlier this week I made a template for the sides. Here it is.
Side template with dimensions
It’s based on some dimensions I found on Pinterest and using other factors. For instance, you’ll notice in this picture that on my first version I made the clearance hole from the domino too wide for the stock I’d chosen for the handle. On the second version I made sure the top of the side was 1 1/8” so I could have a substantial handle and still have room for the second setting on the domino.
Note how the elongated hole is exposed to a persnickety woodworker…
The first order of business was the case construction. For me this meant turning to the domino since I wanted things to go fast and the more I use this tool the more I justify its purchase. Here are some shots of me building the case:
First domino the hole on the top of the sides
Notice how the hole is elongated 3mm on each side so I have some slop to play with during assembly
Using the small parts thing-a-ma-do I make a tight hole in the handle
It looks like this.
Next I put the holes in the bottom of the sides.
The final step in the case construction was to sand things and then glue it up. Note how the handle is still squared off. In my first version I shaped the handle before glue up but this time I did it afterward. I don’t think one way was better than the other.
The interior dividers were difficult to build on both versions. For version 1.0 I used ¼” Baltic birch plywood. For the second attempt I scored some 3/16” mahogany “thins” from Woodcraft and took several sheets. Since this material is so small and so thin I’m not comfortable cutting with a power tool like my table saw. When I used my hand saws they were either too aggressive (think my Wenzloff tenon saw) or too short (think my Zona razor saw). This was most evident on version 1.0 with the plywood – I was not happy with the cut quality so I decided to make some deep score lines in the second attempt.
Best attempt at deep score lines
I tried to score my way through but ended up using a chisel instead. I made the joints a bit tight, which were hard to fine tune. If someone has a good technique for working with thin material like this please leave something in the comments. I’d really like to perfect this for the next version.
The final area for discussion is the slats in the front and back, which hold the bottles in place. Version 1.0 used pre-milled ¼” bubinga from Woodcraft. The second attempt used the same 3/16” mahogany “thins.” On version 1.0 I simply glued the slats on but this was difficult because they wanted to shift when I clamped them up. On the second version I tried for mortises but proved difficult as well and wasn’t worth the time. Fitting the mortises and then center dividers was a pain and not really what I’m looking for in this type of project. I want something aesthetically pleasing but fast for build – especially in batches. I tried to put some 1” cut nails in the 3/16” mahogany slats but test pieces split so I decided against it.
Here is a gallery of how they turned out.
Version 1.0 with no mortise slats
Version 1.0 side view. Wood: scrap cherry and bubinga
Version 1.1 with mortised side slats. Wood: scrap cherry and 3/16″ mahogany
Version 1.1. Wood: scrap cherry and 3/16″ mahogany
In closing, I really like this project but when I make the next version here is my plan of attack:
- Build the sides using the template for routing and getting two identical pieces
- Shape the handle after gluing up the carcase
- Forgo mortising the slats
- Maybe us dowels to hold the slats in (although I might experiment with cut nails if I go back to ¼” material)
I hope you found this helpful and please leave me a link if you decide to make something like this.