This was a little project I made for my dad for Christmas 2015.  I learned a lot doing it and had a good time working on it.  The bottom is dovetailed to the sides, the rails are lapped into the sides, and the carry handle is mortised into the sides.  It’s quite sturdy.  Everything was done completely with hand tools, from start to finish.  I used danish oil and paste wax to finish the piece.

I’d change a few things if I made it again today.  Mainly, the width from front to back is a little narrow and I had a challenging time finding beer bottles that were narrow enough to fit.  I based my width on the full width of the board, but neglected to consider the inset of the rails.

I screwed up laying out the side boards, and forgot to lay out the mortise holes before I cut the angles, so getting the mortises laid out properly was a lot more work than it should have been.  I was pleased with the grain pattern that cutting those angles made, and I was happy with the way the mortise and tenon handle worked out (my first time using that joint).

Sorry, no photos of the work in progress, and the final shots were a little hurried, but I wanted to post this anyway.


Mortise and tenon handle.  A lot of similar projects just run a screw through from outside, but I don’t like that look.


I’m not crazy about the bottle opener I chose. I wish I’d gotten something more cast-iron looking, but it’s clean and it works.



My tenons were ‘fairly’ tight in the mortises.  Plenty good for my first try, I believe.  Beginner’s luck.


Here’s the look at the whole project, along with a Millers Falls no 5. hand drill I restored and a PEC 6″ square that was indispensable.



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