Introduction: YACK BOX (Yet Another Camp Kitchen)

The YACK BOX is another take on the classic camp kitchen. Why design yet another camp kitchen? None of the other ones had all the features I wanted:

  1. Compact-Everything fits in the tub
  2. Cheap
  3. Rain-tight
  4. Provides a place to wash dishes (tub)
  5. Provides a place to wash me (hot water shouldn't be wasted after the dishes are done)
  6. Light weight (enough)
  7. Big enough to hold the essentials
  8. Easy to replicate

Fasteners Required:

  • (4) 1/4 x 3" bolts
  • (2) 1/4 x 2" bolts
  • 24 1-1/2" Drywall Screws

Rough Dimensions of Wood Required:

  • 2 12x13" Pieces of roughly 3/8" plywood
  • 2 13x20" Pieces of roughly 3/8" plywood
  • 2 strips of plywood 2" x 11" of thin plywood.
  • Four pieces of wood 1" x 1.5" x 15"
  • Four pieces of pine 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 5"
  • Four pieces of pine 3/4" square by 12"

Other Materials:

  • Duct Tape
  • Paint
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • 18 Gallon RubberMade Roughneck Tote

Step 1: Cut a Bottom Piece for Our Inner Frame

The first part of the YACK BOX we will make, is the bottom. I measured the bottom of the rubbermade tub and found that an 11x17 rectangle fit. I cut it out with a jigsaw. The 2nd photo shows how the bottom, styles, and top will screw together.

Step 2: Cut the Top Piece

The top of the frame for the YACK box is 3/8" plywood. The second photo shows all the dimensions. It has cutouts to go around the handles and still spread as possible to catch the vertical styles. I allowed for enough room for the thickness of the shelves to go on either side of the frame.

Step 3: Cut the Side Styles

The side styles are 14-1/4" long and are cut at a 4 degree angle. They are made from ripped 2x4 cut down to about 1-1/2" x 1". The ends are angled from both the front and the side. From the sides, you can see the angle needs to be cut such that the styles go from 11" wide to 12-1/2" wide (3/4" rise in 14.5" per side). Looking from the front, the styles go from 16-1/4" wide to 18-1/2" (1-1/8" rise in 14.5" per side). One can lay the board up on a 3/4" thick piece of wood and another 1" thick piece between it and the fence to set the pair of angles to cut it. I used a compound miter saw. I think I set the compound miter to 4 degrees in both directions.

Step 4: Screw the Top and Bottom Pieces to the Side Styles

I screwed all of the styles on with a single screw to make sure everything fit and then went back and added a second one. If you look closely, the top and bottom styles are in about 1/2" from each side (where the handles are) of the top and bottom pieces. They are flush with the front and back edges.

Step 5: Cut the Shelf Hinges

I used 3/4" thick stock to make my shelf pivots from. Four of them are needed in all. The chamfered end will be in the hinge joint on the styles. The square end goes under the shelves. The hole in the square end is used to hold a bolt for a wooden strut to prop up the side shelves. Only two of the shelf hinges need the holes in their ends for the strut.

Step 6: Cut Two Side Shelves

The side shelves have a taper that follows the sides of the tub. They are 10-3/4" wide and taper up to 12" wide as they make their way up to the top. They are 11" long. They are narrower than the top or the bottom to make them fit.

IMPROVEMENT IDEA: If you make the shelves with a small extension of material the shape of the hand hole on the top it will close the small hole and yield a completely flat upper surface. I may make new side shelves for mine with this change some day.

Step 7: Cut the Shelf Support Struts

Two shelf support struts are needed. These pieces prop up the shelves to make a wide top. They are cut from 3/8" thick plywood.

Step 8: Assemble the Side Shelves

This part is a little tricky. I had to learn my way into the right geometry to get shelves that were straight across the top when open and folded flat against the sides when closed. I bolted each of the hinges to the side styles with a 3" long 1/4" bolt. I drilled my holes in the legs and put the hinge bolts in. Then I clamped the hinge pieces against the top to hold them straight while I screwed the shelf to them. The holes in the styles are NOT perpendicular to the faces of the side styles, they are in a straight line front-to-back that allows the hinge to pivot. The holes in the hinges ARE perpendicular to the faces of the hinges. The shelves swing up such that they are flat and there is no crack between the top and the tops of the shelves.

Step 9: Add the Shelf Strut

The shelf strut is bolted to the hole in the square end of the hinge. The end of it has a small semicircular notch to keep it perched on the bolt tail that goes through the styles. To prop up the shelf, the end of the strut is pivoted down and propped up on the end of the bolt. I have to pull up on the end of the shelf a little to make it easy to move the strut. This is ideal so that it doesn't accidentally come off. I pushed the shelf up hard and then marked and drilled the hole for the bolt in the style.

Step 10: Make Duct Tape and Plastic Bag Shelves

I wanted some ultra thin, light weight shelves. One of them supports pots, cups, and other stuff, and one supports the utensil drawer/baking pan. I got all the goodwill cooking supplies in a pile and planned how high I wanted my shelves. I then measured the distance between the styles at that height and cut a pair of 3/4" square by 11-1/2" long rods. I clamped the rods parallel to each other with some scrap wood the same distance apart as my styles minus 1/8". Then I laid duct tape from one style to the other wrapping the tape back on itself about 2". I then stuck a single layer of old plastic shopping bag to the duct tape to keep it from sticking to my stuff. This made a thin web shelf for supporting stuff.

Step 11: Profit

Screw the duct tape webbed shelves to the insides of the styles. When you put the shelves in, the screws should pull them tight the last 1/8" or so to make them taught. After that, you can paint everything, put your stuff in it, and enjoy camping just a bit more.

Step 12:

If you are a maker like me you like buying yourself awesome new tools
and supporting instructables like this one. You can do BOTH by checking out the #MADEINUSA branding irons I make that allow you to burn your fully custom logo into your finished work. Check out my shop at – THANK YOU – yeltrow

Beyond the Comfort Zone Contest

Participated in the
Beyond the Comfort Zone Contest