Some times its beneficial to make a prototype of the project that you eventually want to make especially when you are marrying 2 elements together, most of the time on a project this size its not always necessary but I had to many unknown measurements especially considering putting glasses in the flight, and also it helps to have a tangible object in your hand to see any design elements that might look great on a computer but look bad on a finished project.
Below are the steps I took to make the prototype:
I used plywood to make the prototype as I had some on hand, but really any material could be used to make it. So my first step was to cut 3 pieces of plywood to my dimensions for the beer flight, a top and 2 sides
Next I had to do some layout
Cutting the circles & Circle cutting tools
Cutting the dadoes
A little assembly
There are only 3 parts to the beer flight, the top and two sides. Below is a picture of the plywood parts, when I actually get to making the flight I will be using 3 species of wood that I will need to glue up but I don’t have to do that now and this prototype project only took me like 90 minutes to make.
There was quite a lot of layout work in the design phase of this project, so I took all my dimensions from Sketchup and that was one of the main reasons I am making this prototype. Here are some of the dimensions that I needed to layout
Centering the holes for the glasses on the flight top, making sure to keep clear of the left & right legs that were underneath the top. So I measured 2-3/4” from each of the sides (left & right), the second measurement was 5-1/4” repeat that measurement as i did on the first. I also need to draw a centering line 2-1/4” from the top edge and where these lines intersected was the center hole I would use my hole saw to drill out the piece (more on that later)
Next for determining the center hole for each of the 4 holes that will be cut for the glasses. I needed a 2” diameter for each hole and I also wanted a 1/2” space between each of them holes. This was another reason for the prototype because I wanted to make sure that the 1/2” space was enough so as that the glasses didn’t bump into each other as the style of glass I was using had wider top than bottom.
Next piece of layout was for the feet mainly because I was cutting 3 half-circles into each piece. A half circle was to be cut halfway up the left & right side of each foot and that hole diameter was 1” and one half circle on the bottom and that diameter was 2-1/2” wide centered on the foot.
CUTTING THE CIRCLES & CIRCLE CUTTING TOOLS
So since all of my layout lines are in place I needed to actually cut the circles that I incorporated into the design. I used three different diameter hole saws (1”, 2” & 2-1/2”)for this and I also used my bench-top drill press doing this, you could use a handheld drill but it would be difficult especially on the half-circles.
Cutting the circles started with me cutting the 2” diameter holes in the top, I needed to cut 4 of these as they will house 4 glasses.
Next I needed to cut out all the half-circles in the feet and I needed a method that would not waste any of the wood I have, So I came up with a method on the drill press that allowed me to cut the feet to exact dimensions not bigger, sure I could of made an overside work-piece and drill the full circle out and cut the circle in half but that meant wasting wood.
So the method I came up with was to use 2 sacrificial plywood scraps to go either side of the the work-piece which were stuck in place with double sided tape on my drill press table and support the entire cutting edge of the hole saw and when I was finished I could put another work-piece in place and repeat until my sides were milled.
also another thing to note that the feet had 2 different diameter half-circles to be cut if you remember from my layout.
Below are some pictures of the process.
CUTTING THE DADOES
The joinery method I will be using to join the feet to the underside of the top will be dadoes. These are just grooves that I cut out at the table-saw with my dado stack, the width of the dado stack is determined by what thickness wood you are using. I measured 1/2” from the left and right side.
The other main reason I was doing a prototype was because I wanted to make sure that when the glasses were sitting in the flight that they didn’t interfere with the feet in any way, and thank god I didn’t.
Finally I wanted to add some decorative elements to the flight so I used my router with a 1/4” round-over bit in the router to clean up all the rough and sharp edges left on the outside edges of the parts, I also wanted to add a round-over to the inside edges of the holes where the glasses will be sitting.
One thing that I might change is using either a different router profile bit for the edges on the top, or just using a 1/2” round-over, but I need to think some more on that.
Below are some pictures of the round-overs that were applied.
I am so glad that I made this prototype and got most of my questions answered and happy to realize that all of my dimensions were correct, although it will take a decent amount of time in fabricating the feet I think they are worth it and really think they will look great in the woods that I will be using.
I also like how the transition from the feet into the top is really nice and love the look of the very visible dado that will attach the feet to the flight. The only thing that I am questioning is the width of the flight top which is 4-1/2” wide, thinking possible that is too wide for 2” diameter glasses, so maybe after-all I will be adding a larger round-over profile to the top which will eat away some of that 1” on the front and back edges of the flight.
Below are several pictures of the finished prototype, I hope you like.
I will be starting the build. Hopefully I will catch you guys later.