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A simple bookshelf using standard rough pine wine crates.

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Step 1: Find Wine Crates...

Most high end wine stores will have wine crates they are willing to part with (unless they use them for their own displays). Cheaper wines are sold in cardboard crates, so the fancier the store the better. This project can also be done with fruit crates, though they are not as easy to find. I needed various sizes for my design, so I ended up getting crates from four different stores. I used three small crates and three wide crates. Finding the crates is the most difficult step in this project.

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Step 2: Clean Crates...

Almost all wine crates will have shipping label stickers applied. I used water and fine sand paper to remove the labels. You may also have to remove the staples used to attach the lid to the wine crate using needle-nose pliers.

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Step 3: Arrange Crates...

I chose to arrange the crates at staggered angles to create the appearance of a randomly stacked pile of crates. Its important to use one crate upside down for stability and to clamp and test your arrangement for lateral stability. Keep in mind how the weight of the contents of the shelves will affect the stability of your design.

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Step 4: Glue Crates...

I used Elmer's Wood Glue to glue the crates together. Most wine crates are made of rough pine, so they will really suck up the glue. All you need are two thin and even layers on the two surfaces to be glued together. I used textbooks and quikclamps to keep the crates together while the glue cured. I let each application cure for 24 hours. All told, it took 3 days to glue my shelves together.

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Step 5: Fill the Shelves...

Depending on the orientation you used, you may need to use small angle braces to stabilize the shelves. You may also want to stain and seal the pine but because the surface is rough, you will need to do a lot of sanding. If you were to sand, I suggest doing that in Step 2.

Because I was able to get the crates for free, the total cost of this project was only the cost of the glue.

Enjoy!

Check out my other projects at Reclaimagination
This is great! They really do just give you the boxes for free though?
exactly what ive been looking for. =) thx a lot for sharing.
I made <a href="http://lifewiththegeneral.blogspot.com/2009/11/first-and-foremost-i-would-like-to.html" rel="nofollow">these</a> a few months back out of wine crates from Costco.
ive been doing similar (and i use the word very loosley) things with coke crates 5 stars
I think this project looks nice. Excuse my ignorance, but is the glue really necessary?
This reminds me of something you'd see in a library. No clue why. Why did you wait between layers of glue?
Mostly because I only had enough clamps and textbooks to do one glue at a time. Also because the orientation I used wasn't exactly rectilinear, I didn't want to take any chances with the surfaces sliding. Cheers!
Great instructable! I'll definitly be doiing this at my home...i'm going to give you five stars! WOoOOOO!
Nice! My closets are filled with wine boxes that we pick up from sam's club every time we go there even though nobody in my family drinks.

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Bio: I am an Engineer for a Civil Construction contractor outside of NYC, a hockey player, and an extremely amateur furniture designer. I have been exposed ... More »
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