beer shelf finish

Need a handy shelf to hold your beer bottles while you swim or take a long drive? Make your own beer shelf! All you have to do is purchase the tools from, get the other materials from your local hardware, and you’re good to go!


  • ½” dowel which is 19¼” long
  • ½” drill bit
  • 2 ¾” Forstner bit
  • A piece of wood 24”x13” (it can be 5/8” or ¾” thick)
  • air compressor
  • belt sander
  • drill press
  • glue
  • nailer
  • wood router


Step 1: Cut the Pieces

The first thing you ought to do is to cross cut the 5/8” thick piece to a 19¾” wide. Then rip an 8” piece of wood for the back wall and a 4¾” piece for the part where the holes should be drilled into. Cut two pieces for the side supports as well. They should have a measurement of 4”x4”.

Step 2: Start Drilling

Get your drill bit (Forstner bit). Label your 19¾” piece so that there’s an inch from the ens and an inch between every hole. Now, drill.

Optional Step: Round the Corners

beer shelf rounding edges

Dry fit the pieces to check if you’re doing the right thing. Then, round the corners. You could leave the corners square if you want. However, if you’re going to round, be sure you sand the edges afterward.

Step 4: Cut the Dowel

Cut the ½” dowel to 19¼”. Then, on the pieces for side support, mark the hole 2½” from the top and another 2 ½” from the back. Grab your drill bit and drill about ¾ deep.

Step 5: Rout the Edges

Use a wood router to hollow the edges. You may want to rout a test piece first to get the hang of it. Then, dry fit the pieces together again to make sure you’re on the right track.

Step 6: Assemble!

beer shelf assembly

Get your glue and join all the pieces. Sketch a 3” line down from the top of your back piece. This is where the top of the piece with holes meets the back piece. Put some glue on the back portion of the piece with holes. Next, glue the dowel into the two side pieces. Glue the assemblies together and use your nailer to nail the side pieces from the top and back. Get rid of any residual glue.

Step 7: Finish It!

beer shelf finish

Use a polyurethane finish or another type of finish to improve the appearance of the shelf.  You may also use an American Walnut stain. After finishing, make sure you remove the stain using a rag to wipe off the remaining stain. However, you can leave it as is. And that’s it! Now you can have beer wherever you want with this portable and convenient beer shelf!