I love the vintage look of wooden crates. Even if they are brand new, they bring a bit of nostalgia to a room. If you take a look around the internet, you can find some awesome inspiration on how to incorporate wood crates into your decor.
|(If you don't have a pneumatic nailer, you can either drive finish nails by hand of even use wood screws)|
When I posted the Cottage Style Coffee Table last week, I promised a tutorial on the crates and the finish I used. The tutorial for the finish is on it's way. Here's the rundown for the crate.
Start by determining your finished height. Next, cut 4 pieces of 2x2 lumber the length of your finished height, minus 1/4 inch. I used a compound miter saw for this step, but you could use almost any saw. Just make sure to cut the end as square as possible.
Now, you get to decide which sides are going to run long, and which will run short. I ran my narrow ends short. Either way will look good, but you will want to start with the sides you run short.
The finished height and the width of your lumber will determine how many slats you need to cut. My crates were around 13 inches tall and each slat was around 4 inches wide. I like generous spacing between my slats, so I decided to construct my crate with 3 slats per side. Lets continue pretending you are going to use my same dimensions.
Determine your finished width, and cut 6 slats your finished width, minus 1 1/2 inches.
On a flat surface, lay 2 of the pre-cut 2x2's parallel to each other. Take one of the short slats and square up the corners with a 2x2 on each end. I would recommend using a speed square if you are very experienced with woodworking.
Apply wood glue.
Press the slat firmly in place and tack in place with a brad nailer or staples 1 1/4 to 2 inches long. Only drive one nail per corner.
Repeat the same process on the other end of the 2x2's. With only 1 nail per corner, you should be able to shift the wood as needed and use a speed square to make sure the whole piece is square. Once you have all the corners square, drive at least 2 more nails into each end on the slats.
Center the middle slat, and secure with wood glue and brads/staples. You now have one end of the crate done. Build a second one following the same steps.
Once you have both short ends built, its time to attach them together with the long sides.Follow the same process to construct the short sides, but make sure to run the slats all the way past the 2x2, covering the end of the short slat.
Once you have the slats attached on all 4 sides, its time to add a bottom. I used a scrap piece of 1/4 plywood for my bottom. I simple laid the crate on the plywood, traced the shape, and cut it out on a table saw. A circular saw would also work well.
Flip the crate upside down, apply wood glue to the bottom of the slats and 2x2's, then line up your pre-cut plywood. Pre-drill several small holes around the perimeter and attach the plywood to the crate with 1 inch wood screws, making sure to slightly counter-sink the heads.
Why screws you ask? Why not just nail the bottom on as well? Because nails have very little hold when force is being pulled straight down. The only thing keeping the nails in place is the kinetic friction (or pressure) of the wood on it's self. Nails would easily pull out when a load was place in the crate. Screws actually grip into the layers of wood, creating a very good hold, even when being pulled straight down.
The last step is to drill 2 large holes on either short side, and your crate is ready for finish and handles of your choice!
Keep posted for the finish tutorial