Making a Wedding: Wooden Beer Totes

05 Nov

A quick google search shows that the most popular groomsmen gifts are usually one of the following: flasks, wallets, beer glasses, and watches. All engraved with their initials of course. I thought I’d do something a little different for my groomsmen.

I found this great post on the DIY section of Reddit from the user BitterLikeAHop. He made what was essentially a wooden six-pack holder. Thankfully he also included all the required measurements and details so it wasn’t very hard to recreate on my own. So I called up my Dad, the master woodworker and started laying out plans to make these boxes in bulk.

My first stop was Google SketchUp to render the parts needed in 3D. This helped me figure out how much of which kinds of wood I would need to buy at the hardware store. Modeling only took about 10 minutes and kept me from spending money on wood I wouldn’t be using. Worth the extra time to me.

Here’s the parts list for making one (1) beer tote:

      One (1) Piece of 1/2″ poplar dowel, 10″ long
      One (1) 32″ of 1″x6″ pine board, 32″ long
      One (1) 1/4″ plywood, 3’x3′ (I used a handy board)
      Wood stain
      Wall mounted bottle opener

Obviously you can switch out any of the types of wood used for something that strikes your fancy.

Cutting and construction was fairly straight forward. We cut all the wood to the listed sizes in the diagram above (and in the included SketchUp file on Thingiverse). After giving them all a good sanding we setup a jig on the router to route out the interior pieces of the boxes so they would slide together and keep the beers separated. The holes were cut in the side panels with a drill press and then we got on to staining. I only used one coat of stain on these boxes and was happy with the results, your milage may vary.

After letting the stained wood panels dry overnight it was construction time. Where ever possible the boxes were held in place first with wood glue and then nailed with a pneumatic nail gun. After all the parts were glued and nailed we attached the bottle opener to the side with wood screws. I wish I had more to write about this project but once you start moving it’s pretty straight forward and just comes together.

I think the boxes turned out great, they look nice and are surprisingly sturdy (though this is likely because my Dad knew what he was doing). If you’re looking for a non-traditional groomsmen gift this was a pretty fun project and almost certainly not something your friends have already been gifted.


Click the picture above for downloadable CAD measurements for the project.