Making a Simple Box

Introduction: Making a Simple Box


In this project, I'll be showing you how to make a simple but strong box, designed to store anything from tools to heavy materials. A perfect solution for workshop storage.

Since the workshop was flooded in all sorts of junk, materials and tools, it was about time to make a change, and tidy up the wonderland. But in order to maintain both the workspace, the materials and the tools, my dad and i needed a better storage. So we decided to make a ton of heavy duty boxes.

Materials needed:
- Plywood, 15mm (~0.59") & 3mm (~0.12")
- Wood glue
- Small nails (we used 2mm x 20mm - 0.08" x 0.78")

Tools needed:
- Some sort of saw (And no, the clown won't do)
- A drill & a small drillbit (we used 1,5mm (~0.06"))

- A hammer (For the HAMMERTIME!)

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Step 1: Planning and Drawing

Since my dad and I hadn't made boxes before, we made sure not to screw up, by planning and drawing the design.
The planning isn't necessary, but it prevents annoying mistakes.

At first, we chose the materials. Since we didn't feel like spending a ton of money, but still needed a strong product, we agreed on using thin 3mm (~0.12") plywood, together with some thick 15mm (~0.59") plywood.

OBS! - The drawing doesn't fit the actual dimensions! The side plates are 3mm IRL, but 4mm on the drawing.

After choosing our desired materials, we agreed on three different sizes for our boxes. Since we wanted to store all kinds of junk 'n' stuff in them, it would only be appropiate to make a small, a medium, and a big model. You'll only see the small model in this instructable, since we haven't started producing the bigger ones.

The drawing was done on a CAD programme. Dad drew different combinations of the materials, and different sorts of corners.

With all the different designs in front of us, we could easily find the best. (Look at the pics)

After we agreed on the best design, he continued the drawing, by making a 3D drawing of the box.

If you want to make a couple of these boxes, feel free to use the design! (The boxes are mesured in mm. 1mm ~ 0,04")

Step 2: Cutting the Plywood

When cutting the plywood, almost any kind of tool with a sawblade will do. Even a handsaw.

But when assembling the boxes, it is important to have as straight sides as possible. It is therefore a good idea to cut the plywood, using a saw table or other easy-to-align-the-board-tools.

Every box requires five parts:
1x Bottom plate - 402mm x 204mm x 15mm - 15.82" x 8.03" x 0.59"
2x Front/back plates - 170mm x 204mm x 15mm - 6.69" x 8.03" x 0.59"
2x Side plates - 432mm x 170mm x 3mm - 17.00" x 6.69" x 0.12"

Step 3: Assembling the Box

The front and back
The first step of assembling the box is to fix the front and back of the box to the bottom plate. We started by drawing a line on the front and back plates, 7,5mm from the lower edge.

When doing this, it is important to be very accurate. We used a parallel caliper, to make sure that the line was exactly 7,5mm from the edge.

Since the box will be held together by glue and nails, it's important to drill pilotholes for the nails. Without the pilotholes, the chances of hammering a nail into the plywood, without splitting or penetrating the wood, is only slightly higher than transforming two nuclear warheads into a whale and a pot of petunias. So just drill the pilotholes.

When drilling the pilotholes, it's a good idea to line up the bottom plate behind the front/back plate you're drilling. By doing this, you can drill through the first plate, and into the bottomplate. But make sure that they are lined up.

After drilling, you can glue and nail the front and back plate to the bottom plate.

The sides
When the front and back plates are fixed to the bottom, it's time to place the side plates. This might be the easiest part. Start by applying a generous amount of glue on the side of the front-back-bottom-part. Then align the edges, and press down the side plate. When the side plate is placed correctly, it's time to continue, by drilling pilotholes for the nails! We used 11 nails on each side, 5 in the bottom, 3 in the front and 3 in the back.

Repeat on the other side.

After drilling the pilotholes and hammering in the nails on both sides... YOU'VE DONE IT :D
Let the glue dry for 10 minutes, and pack your new box with all sorts of stuff!

Step 4: "I Didn't Drill Any Pilotholes"

I'm not even mad... That's amazing!

The wood split...
Just like most of earth's problems, it can be fixed. If the plywood have been split, you can easily repair the damage, by filling the crack with glue, and use a clamp or vise to hold it together.

The nail went through...
If the nail went through the wood, and now sticks out the other side while singing Adele, then pull it out. After pulling it out, drill a pilothole inside of the existing hole. Be careful, the tiny drillbit might break! But if you succeed, all you have to do is to hammer a new nail down the pilothole.

Step 5: A Box!

The box is done :)
I hope you've been enjoying my second instructable!

Please comment, and tell me what you think. A vote on the Make a box contest would be very appreciated :)

The workshop is getting a lot better, and we can finally tidy up and eventually start all sorts of projects. Which means it won't take long before I'll post my next instructable.

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    7 Discussions


    Question 1 day ago on Introduction

    Have you used a nailer? What gauge nails would you use? Thanks!


    3 years ago

    Thanks so much! I'm about to build some cabinet drawers and couldn't figure out how to connect the sides without corner clamps. Attaching them to the bottom first is such an obvious solution! I'm glad I saw this before I started. Mine are even shallower than yours, so I'm sure it will work fine.


    Reply 3 years ago

    You're welcome :)
    If you have any ideas on what i should make next, please let me know :D


    3 years ago

    Great instructable! I'm a beginner so I really appreciated the part about how to fix the wood because I didn't drill a pilot hole - now I will go back to an old project and make it look better. You certainly sound like a person who knows where their towel is, and that gets my vote! Thanks


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you for the feedback and vote! I hope you'll succeed making your project look better ;)

    BTW, I wasn't certain if you guys would get the HGTTG joke, but nice you noticed :D


    3 years ago

    Nice! A good box doesn't have to be fancy!

    I've got a big pile of scraps, and turning that into several simple storage boxes would be a great improvement to my shop. Thanks for sharing this!


    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm glad you like it :)
    I didn't mention this, but the boxes can easily contain 15-20 kg (33-44 lbs)

    Hope it'll help your shop :D