Gunga Din -- Water Carrier for the Rugby team

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Project by freestateworker posted 01-07-2016 03:32 PM 938 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the sort of project you get when LJ browsing and a real need meet in a perfect storm of sawdust.

My son recently started playing rugby at college. As a club sport it lacks a budget, resources, etc. ,At one of the matches, I noticed that water bottles were carried on and off the field in the cardboard case in which they were purchased at Walmart. The opposing team meanwhile had a nice bottle carrier with the school name on it. This was a sad state of affairs.

My mind flashed upon to various beverage caddies and tool totes I had seen on LJ and thus was born an idea to boost team spirit while making it easier to stay hydrated during a game.

I liked the look of through tenons on many carriers I had seen and I thought they would add the right rugged touch for a rugby team water carrier. The four small protruding pins directly below the school logo, that can be seen in the end view are simply ornamentation. The boards had nail holes from their previous life as a pallet. Rather than just fill the holes and have it look like a flaw, I added matching square plugs on each end so things look symmetrical and finished. I dovetailed in the side pieces to keep things more secure. All of the joints are glued and pinned with dowels I made out of the same wood. The bottom slats are screwed to each of the vertical members to make sure the load it carried by all members. (Full up this thing will be carrying over 16 lbs of water, so load distribution matters).

The graphics were done via heat transfer with a household iron and a color photocopy using a technique I found on LJ. I liked the look and my son thought it made the carrier look older than it really is. The technique gives a result that looks a little bit like the faded printing on an old crate. I guess he must like it since he opted to store it on top of his dorm room dresser to show it off, rather than in his closet.

The carrier will hold 12 full sized (22 oz) water bottles or more if the smaller 500ml bottles are used. It measures 22” long by 8” deep by about 13” high. It is made almost entirely out of old pallet wood. I think most of it is poplar, but I’m no expert. The handle is made from a tulip poplar branch from our backyard. One of the slats on the bottom is salvaged pallet oak, the other is a mystery pallet hardwood that is tighter grained and more dense than oak. It is finished with one coat of Zinsser spray shellac for a hint of color to bring out the grain and then 3 coats of Watco spray lacquer. First time I’ve ever used lacquer and I must say I like the speed of it, but I need to either wait for warm weather to use it or find a better way to ventilate my shop.

I really like the design, but the execution is less than ideal. The wood was prone to chipping and splitting out if not handled carefully when cutting. I guess that’s what I get for rushing a bit too much. Thanks for looking and comments are always welcome.

3 comments so far

View majuvla's profile (online now)


13374 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 01-07-2016 05:51 PM

Looks very nice and rustic. I like the joints especialy.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3778 days

#2 posted 01-08-2016 07:21 PM

I like it, very cool design and cool mortice and through tenon work 2 Thumbs up for sure.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View freestateworker's profile


9 posts in 1173 days

#3 posted 01-09-2016 05:34 PM

Thanks for the positive comments guys. I am liking the design the more I look at it. If it works for the team I will be even more pleased. I will need better execution in the future to really make this design as cool as it could be.

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