Wooden crates have several uses. These can be used as a makeshift stool or table, as a storage bin, or as a display rack. You can use recycled crates for this purpose, although the construction may not be to your liking. When you intend to use wooden crates for storage or display purposes, it is better to build these crates yourself than buy them. You can personalize the design and the dimensions of the crates to fit your requirements. Below are the steps on how to make a wooden crate.
- Decide what type of crate you are going to make and for what purpose. You can build a crate for your CD and DVD collection, for your vinyl collection or books, for your files or magazines or as organizer bins for your various hobbies.
- Decide whether you want solid ends and bottom or you want the crates to have open slats on all five sides. Also decide whether you are going to paint the crates or stain and varnish them as this will help you choose the wood to use. You can actually use any type of wood for crates, but hardwoods ones will look better, stained and finished with polyurethane. For authentic-looking crates you should look for knotty pinewood that can be sealed and lacquered.
- Measure the ends first from thick solid wood. You can make it a square or a rectangle if you want the crate deeper or wider. You need two pieces for one crate.
- Measure the height of the end boards and cut four pieces from 2-inch by four-inch piece of lumber. These will be used as corner braces for the crates. Determine how long you want the sides of the crates to be and cut seven pieces from one-inch by four-inch piece of lumber. These will be for the rails for the sides and bottom of the crate.
- Start assembling the pieces. Attach one corner brace to one the side of the end piece. The edges of the wood pieces should be flushed against each other. Attach the other corner brace to the other side of the end piece and do the same for the other end piece. Use nails or wood and hammer or screw them on directly if the end pieces are make from thinner or softer wood. If you are using hardwood, you have to pre-drill holes first to ensure that the wood will not split.
- Attach the bottom rails first. Get the three pieces of rails and distribute the pieces evenly. The sides and ends of the rails should be flushed to the wood ends of the crate. Add a bit of wood glue and nail or screw them in place.
- Turn the crate on its side to attach the side rails and repeat the process for the other side. Allow the glue to dry. Sand the assembled crate until the wood is smooth. Seal the joints and re-sand again. Wipe the crate clean with a soft rag.
- Apply a coat of primer if you are going to paint the crate or apply wood stain if you are going to use polyurethane. Allow the primer to dry. If you applied wood stain, allow it to soak through the wood for at least eight hours before you apply the polyurethane finish.
You have just finished making your basic wooden crate. You can vary the design as you become more proficient. You can carve out handles or bore two holes near the top of the two solid ends and slip a length of rope through the holes, knot the ends of the inside and use these as crate handles. You can also decoupage the crates for a different look. There are many things you can do to your basic wooden crate to make it unique and personalized.