Introduction: Wooden Crate

This is a simple wooden crate, made from a single leftover pine fence board and a piece of discarded wood. It is joined by a combination of wood glue, nails, and a rudimentary tongue and groove.

It is surprisingly light (being pine), durable (given all the nails and glue), and smooth (due to sanding, filler, and varnish).

Step 1: The Plan

Originally this was meant as a bike pannier. I wanted a gap on the sides for easy lifting and tying of straps. It ended up being inconvenient, not having a proper way to easily mount/remove, so I re-purposed it as an organizer.

The material was minimal: a pine fence board, some discarded wood, nails, glue, wood filler, and varnish.

I do not have a wood shop or very good tools. Most of what I used I got from garage sales. But with a little ingenuity it's possible to get things done nice.

Step 2: The Base

Start with the base. The pine board had rounded edges, so I sliced the round part off with a table saw.

I made a rudimentary tongue-and-grove with a cheap router, then I glue the joints with wood glue and clamped them in place. Once done I sanded it down.

Step 3: The Sides

The joinery for this was simple, but tricky. Pine is very soft. Almost too soft. My cave-man skills with the wood chisels just crushed the wood, so I decided to stick to power-tools. I used the old trick of drilling a whole into the bit I wanted removed, then carved out a proper square with a jigsaw, from the center outwards.

Triple-check your measurements here. It's surprisingly easy to cut a whole into the part you meant to keep. (Yes, I screwed this up, hence the redundancy).

Also, I made the sides slightly shorter so that I would have to adjust my base to fit into it. You cannot make the base wider once cut. Once fitted, I nailed in the base all around using small finishing nails and glue.

Step 4: Double the Sides

I made the top part equal in size to the bottom. Here you can see one corner with wood-filler applied, and the other with it sanded down.

Step 5: The Support

I started with an old piece of discarded wood. As you can see from the pic it was fairly weathered, but given it's size the heart of it was very nice and preserved. Those cut pieces next to rotten one are all from the same single plank.

This next part was tricky. I meant to use square supports (as seen in the original sketch) but someone told me I would get a lot more space out of the crate using diagonals. Being limited on tool, and not having a fine blade on my table saw, I used my miter saw and some simple support to cut a 45. It took a few cuts at different sides, and a lot of sanding, but the results were worthwhile.

The supports were nailed and glued in.

Step 6: Final Assembly and Touches

The crate at this point looked good, but not great. If this is going to be banged around, I would stop here and be happy.

To go the extra mile, I used wood filler on all the joints. This was incredibly easy to apply, but a pain to sand down proper, especially on the inside corners. It took a ridiculous amount of time but in the end, it was a huge improvement. It made the difference between a O.K. create and a really nice crate.

Now having a nice crate, I gave it a few layers of finishing varnish, semi-glass. The results are the first pics posted.