Introduction: Modular Wood Crate Playroom Storage
Second Prize in the
3rd Annual Make It Stick Contest
Several years ago my wife and I redecorated our youngest son’s room to look like a barn yard complete with a barn, split rail fence, and mural walls. Last year we moved out youngest son in with his older brother so that they would be able to have a playroom. As anyone can imagine a two year old and a four year old can generate a mess with the best of them, therefore we needed a solution to store all their toys. The original idea was to create chicken coops out of 1x4 yellow knotty pine and chicken wire. We mulled over this idea for a while before my wife informed me that it was time to get the project done. So off I went.
I would like to offer special thanks to my amazing wife and Jake and Becky Kerner for their help.
Step 1: Start Up
Once we had decided that it was time to get started I came up with a simple design that I could build out or a bunch of reclaimed wood I acquired from work that was bound for the dumpster. The only problem with all the wood is it is full of staples and counter sunk screw holes. The design that was the most efficient was five sets of three levels high modular cube units. This would allow us to move them around in the future and change the room up by just removing and replacing a few screws.
Each set of cubes was to be 48” tall, this leaves each opening at 15”. The depth was set at 18” so that some pre parched baskets would stay on the shelves when complete. The first step of real work was cutting all the boards for the sides which were to be 48”, all the shelf boards 16 ½”, as well as the top, bottom, and shelf support boards which here set at 18”. Because of the design i had to cut out 40 side boards and 160 of the shelf, top and bottom boards which took several hours standing at the miter saw.
Step 2: Assembly
Step two was to deal with all the boards I had piled up all over the garage. With the help of Jake, we started to assemble the shelves. We made spacers so that all the boards were the same space apart, which made it easier to keep them square. The two gaps on the outside are larger than the middle gap which is half the size of the outside two gaps. After that it was off to town with the wood glue and the finish nail gun. I used 18 gauge 1 ¼” brad nails. There were about 50 nails and every board is glued together. Though it seems like over kill, my boys are boys and they put any piece of furniture to the test.
Step 3: Sanding, Finnishing, and Sealing
This step is pretty straight forward; Becky was first on sanding duty. This was pretty easy because I wanted to leave as much of the beat up look as possible. I hate things that look too new. I like character. There is no easier way to get character than use the cheapest pine, little sanding and a good oil based stain. We chose Cabot Early American, followed by a satin polyblend sealer.
Step 4: Instillaion
Finally all that was left was moving them into the playroom screwing them together, and loading them up with a copious amount of toys.
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