Interlocking Crate Shelves




Introduction: Interlocking Crate Shelves

About: Custom Fishing Rod Builder from North Carolina. I love too make things, build things, fix things, etc. Check out my Social Media pages for more information.

My upstairs bonus was a mess! I wanted to have organization, but versatility and man-lyness. Over time I plan on making my bonus room and turning it into a MAN CAVE. In my bonus room I have my old helmets and trophies that I want to put on display. After thinking about how to do it, I came up with creating crates that interlock together to make a solid shelve surface. This project can take a weekend long, and probably less if your significant other or buddy helps you This is my first instructable so bare with me.

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Step 1: Have the Tools/buy the Wood

My Tool List: 
Chop Saw 
Nail Gun 
1"1/4 nails
Measuring Tape 
Sand paper 
***you can substitute these tools with other tools that can do that same job. 

I used 1X2's that came from my local Lowe's. You can get them in packs of 6, and if you buy a minimum of 48 you can get them for 88 cents each. Now after you got your supplies you can figure out how long and wide you want your crates to be...

Step 2: Measure/Cut/Sand

Now that we have our supplies, we can start cutting. I cut mine to be 15 inches,  because in my bonus room I have 4 foot walls that run to an angled ceiling. I wanted some room to put some things on the top crate without hitting the ceiling and I wanted to be able to stack them 3 crates high so thats how I got 15 inch. 
After I got about two, used one plank to measure, because it takes forever to keep pulling out the tape measurer. 
After all are cut, I started sanding all the edges and corners down to make nice smooth surfaces. I used 60 and 80 grit paper, because I knew it was going to take a pretty long time as it is. 

Next is building and staining 

Step 3: Building/Staining or Vise/versa

Now I didn't get picture of this step, but Ill explain as best as possible. You now have 15" pieces that are either sanded or not, depending on your preference. How do you build the crates? Well use what u got... Start with the top of the crates.
1.Grab 11 planks. 
2. Put 2 planks on there side and put one plank flat squaring up on the top/sides/corners and nail in 
3. fill with the rest of the plank 
4. Nail in Board 5 (make sure support board is flush 
5. Nail in board 2,3, 4. 
6. pull out spacer boards and done 
7. Repeat for other side (top/bottom) 

My crate support boards stuck out, because I made all the crates the same and how you get them to interlock is by having those support board point out the front on one crate and then point back on the other crate. 

Step 4: Finish Building Then Stain...Stain Then Build

I hate staining so I figured it would be easier on my to build the crate then stain them... No I will never do that I will stain each piece then build the crate when I do the second set. It is always good to wait for about 8 hours or one night before you bring them to the destination area. I used Helmsman's Spar Urethane, because i wanted a clear look and I want these things to last. 

So we have the top and bottom done now what? Turn them so they are on their side. Side side should now be on the top. Nail the planks matching the top and bottom planks. After nailed one side flip/turn and nail they other side. 

After nailing you are down and you made your first crate shelve. Now this instructable can be changed in anyway to suit your needs. Bigger crates, longer crates, different stain, different equipment, different style, etc, you name it... Last Step is how I will do my next set differently. 

Step 5: What Would I Change?

Well here is my list on how I would change this build or how I will do the second set. 

1. I will go to the Lumber yard to see if I can get the wood cheaper instead of the commercial chains. 
2. IF I were to start fresh, I maybe would of put a different width board instead of all the same board, might come out cheaper 
3. Maybe sand all the boards, before I cut them
4. Look into a belt sander
STAIN before build 
5. Make longer crates, maybe 30 inches long 15 inches high 

I hope you enjoyed my instructable and inspired you to do something great. 

Remember if you can think it and build it then don't buy it... CREATE IT!


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    2 Discussions


    6 years ago

    True and thank you for the advice... I do alot of pallet projects but I needed to do new wood because I wanted to ensure everything fits even and securely plus I need to get it done ASAP, pallets take alittle more time to work with


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work. I would suggest you to use pallet/salvaged wood instead of new lumbers. Save some trees. Cheers