For a long time now I've been on the lookout for a wooden beer crate. There's something about them that has such a cool look and vibe that I needed one. I couldn't find any around town so I set out to make one. After a lot of research on homebrewtalk.com, I found a design I liked and set out to buy the supplies, trying to keep the cost as low as possible. The downside of making this cheap is that the wood wasn't necessarily straight, resulting in weird cuts and some gaps, but I like to think it add to the charm.
I used 3.5" wide furring strips (about 72"? long), which are <$2, but not that straight and a little sheisty. I also only had a circular saw and no table to cut on so I free handed all of my cuts, further adding to the problems. I think with a table saw and better wood, these boxes would have turned out much straighter, but I'm still pleased with them.
Wood cuts needed (for 24 12oz bottles):
I also used 1 1/4" wood screws and wood glue.
To stain the wood, I found a simple solution online. Use 0000 steel wool, take a sizeable piece and put it in a full 12 oz white vinegar bottle and let it sit overnight, until you start to see some steel wool dissolve in the bottom. Put on some gloves, grab a sponge and use the vinegar solution to wipe down the wood, giving it two quick, even coats. Like magic it'll turn from plain wood to this nice dark brown. Voila!