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Liquid Lunchbox

Liquid Lunchbox [lik-wid • luhnch-boks]: a tote for hand-crafted bottled beverages

Here’s how you can build your own liquid lunchbox for transporting your wine or beer.  I use them to cart my 12 ounce Skeeter Pee bottles, but it’ll also hold a wine bottle on its side.

These are simple to construct and inexpensive enough that I give them away as gifts.  I make them out of weathered boards; pallets, fruit crates, and recycled siding are potential sources. You could also use new boards and paint or stain them however you’d like. In this case, I’m using boards that are ½” thick.

Materials needed:

  • Wood: 1 base, 2 ends, 6 side slats, 2 handle supports, and 1 handle
  • Glue
  • 4 screws
  • Brads (small nails)

Tools needed:

  • Ruler
  • Saw (a table saw makes cutting easy)
  • Hammer (or nail gun)
  • Screwdriver

Planning and measuring

Because your bottles will likely have different dimensions than mine, you’ll need to do some calculations to construct a box that’s built for the bottles you have.

  1. Measure the bottle(s) at their widest points.  I’m making mine for 5 bottles in a single row; my row measures 14 ¼” long, 2 ¾” wide, and 7 ½” tall.
  2. Base size: add ¼” to your measured length and width; mine comes out to 14 ½” long by 3” wide.
  3. The ends are the same width as the base. The height of the ends will be approximately two-thirds the height of your bottles plus the thickness of the base.  This makes my ends 5 1/2” tall (two-thirds of 7 ½” is 5”, plus the thickness of the base [½”]).  I cut off the top corners of my end pieces to give a finished look.
  4. For the side slats, I first cut a piece of wood to the proper length.  The length equals the length of the base plus the thickness of the two ends. So I’ll need 6 slats that are 15 ½” long ( 14 ½” + ½” + ½” ).  I then make the individual slats by cutting the board into ½” wide strips.
  5. The handle supports are cut from thin plywood and are the same length as the ends.  I pre-drill a hole in each end of the supports for the screws.
  6. Lastly, the handle is the same length as the side slats.  I drill a small pilot hole in each end of the handle.

To assemble, simply glue and tack the ends to the base. Then glue and tack the slats to the sides and attach the handle with the support.  Leave the handle support loose enough on the lunchbox so that it can swing out of the way for bottle removal.