DIY Beer Flight Board Tutorial

We LOVE this beer flight board!

Recently, I threw my hubs a fabulous beer themed party for his 40th birthday.  In my extensive research to make the party (and beer tasting) seem as authentic as possible, I stumbled upon this DIY idea for a beer flight board.  I know what you’re going to say, “I could buy a beer flight board for less than it will cost me to find those materials!!!”  Hubs says the same thing.  Every. Time. I. Think. About. A. DIY. Project.  (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating…he loves that I DIY my way through life, but if it’s going to be more expensive to accumulate the materials + a bunch of time…he’s out & he’d probably prefer that i’m out too.)  In some cases, he has a valid point, but the truth is, I LOVE trying out new craft categories and wood-working is no exception!

Let me stop you right there.  I am no carpenter.  In most cases I would have shied away from picking up a power tool, but because the details of the “beer-themed” birthday were a surprise, I had to take my first step toward using a power tool and I am glad I did!

The original post gives an excellent step-by-step tutorial on how to make a beautiful beer flight paddle but because it was my first time doing anything like this, I ran into a few snags, which I want to share with you here so you can avoid them.  I also changed the original design to give mine a more “personal” feel.

Read on for my adapted tutorial.

-Jen

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First things first.  You’ll need to make sure you have the correct materials.  (Duh, right?  Well, apparently I didn’t — what the ‘BEEP’ is a Forstner Drill Bit!?!?– so my easy-peasy quick and easy project took a little more time than I thought.)

Materials

  • A 20″ piece of wood at least 1″ thick.  I used a 2×4 (following the original post) and had mine cut into several 20″ pieces, which the nice guy at Lowe’s did for me).
  • A pencil, tape measure, and ruler.
  • A fully charged electric drill (with a back up battery on stand-by).
  • 2″ Forstner Drill Bit (attach it to your drill bit so you’re ready to rip!).
  • Safety goggles.
    • DISCLAIMER: keep all power tools and sharp objects away from children!

This is a Forstner Drill Bit.  Mystery solved.  It’s a little intimidating at first but before long, you will see it as a thing of beauty!

MEASURE & MARK

This is always the part I struggle with.  When crafting, I want to jump in with reckless abandon and ask questions later.  This doesn’t work with wood & drills.  You mess up, it turns to firewood.  So, after a first failed attempt…I got smart.  MEASURE!

1: Measure the width of your board and mark the center (it’s 1.75″)

2: Lay your ruler across the center of your board and make 4 additional marks: 2.5″ / 5.5″ / 8.5″ / 11.5″ — There should be a total of 4 marks spaced 3 inches apart.  You will notice that you have some additional blank space on the right side of your board, this is the space where you will personalize your board later on.

3: Repeat these steps on any additional boards.  (Trust me when I say you’re going to want to have additional boards marked because using a Forstner Drill Bit is so much fun!)  Remember that when you make your marks, you’ll want to make sure they are all even across the length of the board or you’ll end up with crooked or uneven holes.  That happened to me on my first attempt.

DRILLING

4: Place the tip of the Forstner Drill Bit on the center of the marking.  Press lightly.

5: Hold the board firmly in place and drill to 1/2″ deep on each of the holes. I recommend starting slow until you get the feel for the drill & increase your speed as you get a feel for it.  It’s a pretty gnarly drill bit and has a tendency to jerk if there isn’t enough or even pressure on the drill.  Don’t forget your safety goggles!

As you can see in the photo below, There are some flaws on my board where the drill got away from me.  Oops!

6: You might find that your holes tend to slope.  I noticed this happened when I applied uneven pressure or if my drill wasn’t straight.  You can fix this by placing the drill/bit back in the sloping hole and applying even pressure until the drill bit works its magic and levels things out.  (YES!  It means you get to use that rad drill bit again!  Sweet!)

SANDING / STAINING / PAINTING

7: Sand the edges of your board with an 80 grit paper to rid it of any sharp edges or splintered corners.  This will also help weather it a bit.

8: Stain or paint your beer flight board any color you want.  I chose a medium walnut stain because I was going for that “rustic pub” feel.  I used an old rag to wipe it on and then quickly wipe it off so that it appeared more weathered.

PERSONALIZE IT

9: Personalize your beer flight board.  This is where you can go hog wild and make it your own.   I  left mine blank so that my hubs and I could design his together.

SEAL IT

10: This step is a good idea if you plan on using the beer flight board for its intended purpose.  The moisture from spilled beer or other tasting beverages will get into the wood and eventually cause it to warp or split.  However, this may be a good thing if you are going for a truly rustic feel.  Make sure you look for one with a “clear” finish.  Many have an amber hue, which adds a yellow stain to your wood if you paint it white or any other light color.

ENJOY

Fill your new beer flight board with tasting glasses.  I used 5 ounce plastic glasses because we were using ours outside.  Any beer tasting glass or shot glass will fit as long as it has a base smaller than two inches.  Pour and enjoy!

I hope you have as much fun making it as I did, because WE LOVE THIS STUFF!

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