LumberJocks

Beer tote

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 08-28-2017 06:01 PM 971 views 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s a beer holder I built for the 2017 beer swap. It’s a fairly standard tote, I think, but I went a little nutty cleaning out my scrap bin looking for various types of wood to include. Here’s the rundown:

1: Bottom – Hemlock flooring that was in the bargain bin.
2&3: Sides – birch and spalted elm. Also bargain bin fodder.
4: ¼” dowels pegging sides onto the bottom – poplar. Full retail on Amazon.
5: Side bumpers covering up the inexpert joinery – walnut from the bargain bin.
6: Handle – not certain, but I think it’s a soft maple. I actually paid full retail for a few ½” dowels at some point.
7: Side rails – knotty red oak. These are the knots that consigned this 8/4 board to the bargain bin. The rest of it made nice tool handles. The bottom rails are a different piece of red oak that I thought was white until I resawed it and got to look at a fresh surface.
8: Opener holder – ash. Also bargain bin. Resawn out of a failed cane handle.
9: Badges – cherry. A co-worker in the Adobe MN office processed this, and when he ran the “interesting grain” through his planer, it tried to go sideways and got torn up pretty good. There’s lots of tearout you can’t see on the backs of these.
10: Insert – pine. The same co-worker gave me this pine when I threatened to use MDF for the insert instead because I didn’t have any ¼” stock, and was tired of resawing.

I made this up as I went. It was a happy accident that the hemlock flooring was the right width for a six-pack tote. After ripping, cross-cutting, and shaping the sides, mostly with a saw and rasps, but the spokeshave hit them at some point too, I cut dadoes in the hemlock with a shoulder plane and chisel and glued the sides to the bottom. Then I added the bumpers to cover gaps and put in the dowels to keep the bottom from coming loose. The bumpers were hand-resawn from ¾ stock that was almost the right width out of the gate. They were shaped with a spokeshave. Fitted together the pine insert, only cutting the pieces to length (and broke it while assembling, so glued it up), and put the dowel handle into the sides. Next the oak rails went on, resawn from an 8/4 x ¾ scrap that was within an inch of being the right length, and the only power-tool I used on this build got unleashed as I was running low on clamps and used my brad-nailer to peg them in place while I ran to Homer Depot for some more clamps. Burned the badges on my laser engraver (I guess that’s a power tool, too), and glued them in.

When I talk about the bargain bin, that’s at Siwek Lumber here in Minneapolis (easy to google if you’re curious). They have two bins, one for up to 2’ long pieces inside, and one for up to 4’ out in the barn. I dig through both pretty regularly, and almost always try to talk them down even further on the price (each piece has a price written on it with a sharpie) if I think I can get away with it. Lots of pretty wood in there if you’re willing to work around the defects and odd-sized pieces, and it’s a cheap way to try working with different kinds of wood. Hemlock, I should add, is my current “least favorite.” It varies a ton in hardness between the early and late growth, so when you hand-plane it, you get a scalloped surface, even if your plane is razor-sharp. Pain in the butt. But it’s good for improving technique, I guess.

I used the frame clamps Poohbah sent me on the glue-up of the sides to the bottom.

The opener was made by another co-worker in the Adobe MN office. It’s copper and has been clear-coated so it won’t get too green.

That’s the rundown.

-- Dave - Minneapolis





19 comments so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4512 posts in 975 days


#1 posted 08-28-2017 06:16 PM

Nice work Dave! I love all the different woods you used. Totes seem like a pretty straightforward build but you guys are finding all kinds of cool ways to personalize them! And that bottle opener is super cool too. Kudos to your cow-orker. How does he make them? Is it like forging or does he work them cold?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

2680 posts in 575 days


#2 posted 08-28-2017 06:16 PM

Excellent job Dave! Very nice job pulling 10 different woods together for this. I would have forgotten what they all were by the time I hit number four. Three is my limit!

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 418 days


#3 posted 08-28-2017 06:24 PM

He forges, Kenny. Not sure about the specifics on the beer opener, but I asked him for more details. I have another cow-orker who casts aluminum and makes his own car parts. Have to figure a way to work him into a swap at some point, too.

Dave, I have a white-board in my shop. It remembers things for me. ;-)

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

3713 posts in 2102 days


#4 posted 08-28-2017 06:46 PM

Nice work.

You should try some of the great Deschuttes beers from Bend OR! https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

-- SAWDUST is THERAPY without a couch! just rjR

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

2559 posts in 1813 days


#5 posted 08-28-2017 07:01 PM

Very nice Dave. When you kept gathering wood for this I wondered what you were up to. It came out awesome!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 418 days


#6 posted 08-28-2017 07:05 PM

Thanks, ralbuck. You just need to join the next swap and send me some. ;-)

Thanks, Jeff. I was worried I might be getting out of hand with all the different kinds of wood, but it came out pretty well, I guess.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View doubleG469's profile

doubleG469

398 posts in 281 days


#7 posted 08-28-2017 07:19 PM

Dave in all seriousness that is a bad to the bone beer tote!

-- Gary, Texas "That’s just my $.02 and I have no personal experience so take it with a grain of salt ;-P, HokieKen"

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4512 posts in 975 days


#8 posted 08-28-2017 07:31 PM



Nice work.

You should try some of the great Deschuttes beers from Bend OR! https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

- ralbuck

Deschutes is one of my favorite breweries. They’re opening another brewery and tasting room here in Roanoke to serve the East Coast. Been doing a LOT of getting out in the community and making themselves known. Lots of great beers. Pine Drops IPA is one of my favorites.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 418 days


#9 posted 08-28-2017 07:37 PM

Thanks, Gary! You built a pretty dang sweet tote yourself.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View doubleG469's profile

doubleG469

398 posts in 281 days


#10 posted 08-28-2017 07:39 PM

What do you use for your engraving?

-- Gary, Texas "That’s just my $.02 and I have no personal experience so take it with a grain of salt ;-P, HokieKen"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 418 days


#11 posted 08-28-2017 07:52 PM

I’ve got one of the NEJE Bluetooth Laser Engravers Gary. I lay out simple graphics on my iPhone and “print” directly from that. It’ll do about a 1.5” square.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

1921 posts in 777 days


#12 posted 08-28-2017 08:00 PM

Nice job Dave! Love the holder for the opener. Hope Poohs wife doesn’t snag it like AZ Daves wife did with the one I made. It belongs in that tote.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 418 days


#13 posted 08-29-2017 12:31 AM

Thanks, Bill. Like I said, I kinda made it up as I went, but it seems to have turned out pretty good.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

2543 posts in 1161 days


#14 posted 08-29-2017 01:26 AM

Nice work Dave! The array of lumber complements each choice and the bottle opener is fantastic! Love it!

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 418 days


#15 posted 08-29-2017 01:32 AM

Thanks, Duck! I was a little worried it would look like a mish-mash, but it started to come together at some point and didn’t turn out half bad.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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