Separate to this venture I finally began brewing my own beer at the end of last year. I enjoyed both making and consuming my first batch of pale ale and I plan to continue the practice into the foreseeable future. But beer needs bottles and bottles need a neat and orderly method of storage. So I decided some beer crates were in order. After a little thought, I came up with some initial criteria:
- Stackable — my crates needed to stack on top of each other for convenient storage and be relatively stable when stacked.
- Sturdy — my crates needed to be hard wearing and last a lot longer than my beer.
- Simple — my crates needed to be easy enough for me to build and use minimal materials: to reduce costs and tare weight.
- Smart — my crates needed to fit my bottles.
With this in mind I began the lengthy design phase. I quickly checked what the internet had on offer as far as guides and instructables had to go, but could not find anything that fit the bill. I did find this photo however, and based my drawings from the design of these made by Dan B.
I took my time measuring bottles, drawing my plans, labelling dimensions and checking my maths. I really did not want to be making these up as I went. After getting my initial idea down, I spent a bit of time on the Bunnings website checking out my timber options. I find it best to design something after working out which timber is the cheapest and best fit, and work that timber into the design from the beginning.
I currently have two different size bottles—330ml and 750ml—so I wanted to make a small and large size crate for each. With a bit of number crunching, I was able to design the crates so that two large crates equal the height of three small crates, which I was pretty happy with.
With my design sorted, a trip to Bunnings for supplies, and a handy borrowing of Zara’s Dad’s drop saw, I set to work on the prototype/first crate. As I had spent so long getting my design spot on I made sure my cut lengths were as accurate as possible, and when I began assembly I was pleased to find that everything was very precise and square. I did however have to adjust for one design oversight and made one other slight change on the fly, but other than that everything went to plan nicely.
In the end I am very happy with how they all fit together.