This crate for me was personally designed for 5.56 ammunition. However, it can easily be modified to fit any caliber and the truth is that storage space is storage space. The beautiful thing for this project is that most of the steps are not set in stone, but written in sand. If there is a preference to do something quicker, easier, or even more complicated then it is open for interpretation. Lord knows that I tried all of the complicated versions. The made wood used was pine, it is cheap and light.
Note: ALWAYS PRE-DRILL, it helps.
Step 1: Purchase Materials
List of Materials:
Wood Screws 1-1/2"
18 Gauge Brads
Drywall Screws 2"
Note: The only time the Dry Wall screws will be used is in the Magpacker. Any other reference to screwing is with the 1-1/2" wood screws.
Step 2: Tools Used
Phillips Head Bit
Drill Bit (Any bit smaller than the screws used)
Step 3: Part 1: the Ammo Crate (A)
The ammo crate is designed to house ammunition, firearms, tools, and the Magpacker itself. The main purpose is storage and is light enough to be portable, and sturdy enough to stay put. The steps below describe my journey through creating this crate.
Step 4: A - Cutting the Materials
1) Cut 4 1x6s
2) Cut 11 2x4s
3) Cut 5 2x4s
(Take all 10 and cut down center with a table saw)
3) Cut 2 1x12s
4) Cut a 2x4
(Cut into Quarter Strips for Bracing on Lid)
5) Save all excess scrap for additional features.
Step 5: A - Rabbet Joints
1) Take both 1x12s and cut notches into either side.
Dimensions: 3/8x3/4" (Note: This will slot with the 1x6s for the corner. Ensure that the long end is facing the longest side)
2) Glue and Screw
Screws should be, starting from top, every 2" drop a screw. The screws should be 3/8" in from the walls (centered in 1x6) Ensure that each 1x6 has 2 screws into it.
3) Repeat steps for all sides. This will form the walls of the crate.
Note: Remember to Pre-Drill
Step 6: A - Floor
Take the 9 13" 2x4s for the next step.
1) Place all boards in bottom of the crate along a flat surface.
2) Mark out locations of each board on the outside if necessary.
3) Going in either direction, rough measurements are 1-1/2" space between each screw on the same board. Each set should be 2" away from one another. The key is ensuring that each of the two screws is in dedicated board. There is no need for glue in this step.
Step 7: A - Lid Pt. 1
Take 10 of the half 2x4s and the quartered 2x4 strips.
1) Align 2x4 halves along the top of the crate. Flip all of the boards to the opposite orientation you want displayed. Translate the inner measurements to the board for placement of the bracers.
Rough Dimensions should be a 3/4" space from the sides, 2-1/4" spaces between the outer boards to the inner boards. Finally a 1-5/8" space in the center.
2) Fasten by gluing the bracers to the 2x4 halves, then use 1-1/4 brads to toenail and hold the bracers. I personally used 3 brads on the end, then zig zag pattern providing each board with 2 brads per bracer.
Note: The 2x4s were off on my initial design so to remedy this I cut one of the 2x4 halves down the center, then used scrap to fill the center, therefore making it the proper length. See pictures above if unclear.
Step 8: A - Lid Pt. 2
Ensure that the initial lid fits snugly to the crate. Make any sanding measurements required.
1) Drill Holes for Ropes
Dimensions: 4 holes in a square pattern are 10-3/4" from the farthest sides and 6" down. There is a 12" gap in between length, and 3-1/2" gap along the width.
Drill the holes with a 3/8" drill bit (This was the width of my rope. Accommodate with whatever rope was purchased by you.)
Note: These holes are designed for holding the ropes. The only real requirement is they go through the bracing on the bottom of the lid for reinforcement. The orientation of the ropes are entirely personal.
Step 9: A - Feet (Optional)
Using the scraps of the extra 2x4 halves, cut to 3-3/4 sections and screw to bottom of crate.
1) Screw in patter of 4 and sand to make crate level.
Purpose: Main reason for this is to lift the crate off of floor, keep out of mud or water, and make the crate easy to level with sanding.
Step 10: A - Rope Holes
Take final 2 13" 2x4s for this step.
1) Attach to inside edge of crate to provide reinforcement for the rope handles on the sides.
2) Screw to be flush with the top. Spacing of the screws is subjective to personal preference. Each screw was placed 1" down (from top of box, then the other screw) and 1-1/2" in from the sides.
3) Drill 2 3/8" hole 6" apart anywhere within the 2x4 piece.
Step 11: A - Divider Slot
To install the divider is mainly based on the size of the Magpacker.
Use a piece of the 1x12 for both pieces.
1) Cut pieces to 9x32", then shave a 3" side off of the short side (this will be the butt of it).
2) Cut two notches to account for the bracers and lid.
a. The first is on the butt end (3" piece), the dimensions are 3/4x1-3/4"
b. The second for the bracer is a 3-1/2x1-1/2" slot
Both notches are displayed in the pictures above.
Step 12: A - Foam and Ropes
1) Cut the foam into the proper sizes of the inside of the crate. Fit to any surface you would like to be covered. (Note: the divider for the magpacker will fit it directly so don't add foam into that. I used standard shipping foam for this.
2) Cut the ropes to proper size (26" worked best) and ensure the holes have the exact fit of the width of the rope. Stick rope through the holes and tie a knot on the other side. Due to the design of the crate, all ropes will have reinforced walls for transportation.
Note: Burn the ends of the ropes to be smaller than the size of the hole to make it easier to go through.
Step 13: A - Fire Finish
This was by far the most fun of this project.
Fire finish allows you to take a blow torch to the side of the crate. It brings out the accents of the grain and is just straight up fun. The only method I figured out was go with the grain, and go slow. You can always make it darker but you can't unburn it.
Once completed with the fire finish, put a clear coat along all the sides fire finished. I personally fire finished the sides, feet, and top ridges of the crate.
Step 14: Part 2 - Magpacker (B)
This is another very subjective design. Depending on your preferences on loading different types of ammunition, simply take those measurements into account on the slot. If you want to load more ammunition at once, make the track longer. And if you want to have different sized magazines simply change the rod placement and the dock area. The Magpacker with the measurements I used are based around 5.56 NATO rounds.
:Note: I am using a PMAG Gen III for this build. It should work with most magazines.
Step 15: B - Preparing the Materials
1) The design is in 4 layers. (3 are 1x12, the other is a 3/8" piece of plywood)
Dimension: Length - 26" Width - 8-1/4"
Spacer Layer (3/8" Plywood), Bullet Track Layer, Top Layer
Dimension: Length - 16-1/4" Width - 8-1/4"
Note: The Bullet Track Layer should have a thickness of 2/5" (Width of the Bullet)
2) Have a 7" 3/4x1" piece of wood for the dock.
Step 16: B - Cutting the Hole and Channel
1) Draw a circle at roughly 6" in the center of the Top and Bullet Track layer, leaving 1" on all sides. (My personal hole had a slight slope going toward the center)
2) Draw a 1-1/4" channel going down the rest of the board, centered, on the top layer.
3) Draw a 2-1/4" channel (offset 1/4" either direction of the center) on the bullet track layer.
Note: The offset of this is for the bullet spacing and will work just as fine with the entire thing centered.
4) Use a ban saw to cut out this design and sand both layers so they are flush when stacked.
Step 17: B - Assembly
1) Take all four layers and stack in order as follows bottom to top. Base Layer, Spacer Layer, Bullet Track Layer, Top Layer.
Note: The Spacer Layer allows the bullets to clear the lip of the magazine.
2) Glue and screw using the 2" Drywall Screws (Pre-Drill)
Dimensions: The screws going the length are place 4" apart and 1/2" off the edge. Copy this on both sides.
The screws going the width are placed 2" in from the sides and 3/4" from the back edge.
Step 18: B - Holder
Take the 3/4x1" piece of wood now.
1) Cut the wood into a 2-1/2" piece, and 2 1-1/4" pieces.
2) Take 1 of the 1-1/4" pieces and cut a notch into the top to match the size of the magazine. My notch ended up 1/8" deep and about a 1/2" wide.
3) Place either side of the two smaller pieces around the magazine in the proper position on the channel. Ensure that the bullets would feed properly in the position before continuing to the next step.
4) Pre-drill holes and glue and screw the pieces into the base piece at a diagonal angle (Note: To prevent the wood from splitting, use a bigger bit for the top, and a smaller bit for the shaft of the screw.)
5) Take the top piece and cut it flush between magazine and the top of the Magpacker. Then attach the piece to bridge the two outer pieces as displayed in the pictures. The thickness of my bridge was 1/4". Use a brad gun and glue to attach solidly.
IMPORTANT: You will need to sand the edges of the slot where the magazine fits to allow the stack to enter. Just make it so that two bullets can slide to stack on each other. I also ran into the problem of having the magazine too far forward so the bullets were catching on the back of the magazine. Versatility is key to making it work. Do what you have to in tweaking the design to ensure that you are able to utilize this Magpacker.
Step 19: B - Runner and Rod
1) Cut a metal dowel rod to any length. There is no specified dimension or thickness, really just anything you have. My personal length and thickness that works well is 5-1/2".
2) Place magazine into doc and mark out a spot at the right side edge (this is to hold the magazine in place). Drill a hole to fit whatever rod is used snugly.
3) Cut a piece of scrap wood to the width of 1-1/4" to use as the runner.
4) Sand to an ergonomic feel.
Step 20: B - Demonstration
This is a demonstration of the final product and how it should work altogether.
Step 21: B - Finish
Whatever color you would like, go through with the grain of the wood and finish the Magpacker. Allow roughly 3 hours to dry once completed.
Step 22: Final Product
The Magpacker fits nicely into the ammo crate and overall this allows for the crate to be portable, durable, and straight up cool. If you have any questions on this design please feel free to leave a comment. Also please remember that this can be a very subjective design based on personal preference.
Step 23: Inspiration for Magpacker
This was the video that inspired me for my Magpacker design. The one I made was a mish mosh of all the designs I had seen.