Stackable Storage Crates

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Project by CB_Cohick posted 02-24-2015 05:26 PM 2354 views 18 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Props to Lumberjock Scott href="">Click for details for the idea.

For my boxes I used some 3/8 inch plywood that had been laying around outside exposed to weather for the past 6 months and some leftover 1x scraps. Everything is held together with glue and 18g brads until the glue dries. Overall dimensions are 11”W x 7”H x 16” D with 3/4” x3/4”x10 1/4” feet to allow stacking. I chose those dimensions because I can fit 6 of these boxes onto one shelf in my gorilla racks. The feet fit very snugly. I will likely sand them down a bit to make stacking and unstacking a bit easier. The biggest issue I had was drilling the holes for the hand-holds. I do not have a drill press yet, so I just used a 1” paddle bit with my cordless drill and a piece of scrap backing, then cut out the remainder with my jigsaw. There was more unevenness and tearout on the hand-holds than I would be happy with, but after all they are just storage boxes. Here are the materials and dimensions I used.

For each box:
Ends – 2@ 6 1/2” x 10 1/4” from 1x dimensional lumber
Feet – 2@ 3/4” x 10 1/4” from 1x dimensional lumber
Sides – 2@ 6 7/8” x 16” from 3/8” plywood
Bottom – 1@ 10 1/4” x 16” from 3/8” plywood

The hand holds are 1” from the top and 3” from each side, 1” deep.

Thanks for looking!

EDIT: Update. I have made 35 of these at this point, and have changed the process enough that I thought this post needed an update. The biggest change is in the material and dimensions of the plywood sides and bottoms. I figured out that I could get enough material for 6 boxes from a single 4’ x 4’ piece of 1/2” plywood using scrap for a few foot pieces with very little waste. For the ends, I have taken to raiding the hardwood cutoff bin at my favorite lumberyard. A 10” long, 1” x 8” piece of hardwood will yield an end and one foot piece with very little waste. Most of the cutoffs I get are poplar, but I have also gotten maple, red oak, and white oak. The hand-holds have improved greatly. I now have a small benchtop drill press, and am cutting the pilot holes with a 1” forstner bit. Once I remove the balance of the hand-hold with a jigsaw, I have started rounding over both the inside and outside edges with a 3/8” roundover bit on my router table. I find this makes the grips for the boxes quite comfortable to use. The labeling system I am using now makes use of some inexpensive brass card holders and notecards cut down to fit. To push these boxes even further over the top, the last batch I made I applied a coat of tung oil to the ends and sides. Certainly not necessary, but I think it looks nice.

Here is the updated dimensions:

From a 4’ x 4’ piece of 1/2” plywood, I cut 2 pieces at 10” x 4’, and 4 pieces at 6 5/8” x 4’. The strip of scrap leftover I use to cut some 10” foot pieces. From the 10” and 6 5/8” pieces, I cut them into lengths of 15 7/8”, which allows for my blade width and gives me 3 pieces per 4’ section. For the ends I cut a piece of 1” x 8” hardwood to 6 1/8” x 10”, saving the leftover for a foot piece. Assembly uses glue and 18 ga. brads.

For each box:
Ends – 2@ 6 1/8” x 10” from 1” x 8” hardwood cutoffs
Feet – 2@ 3/4” or 1/2” x 10” from end piece scrap or plywood scrap
Sides – 2@ 6 5/8” x 15 7/8” from 1/2” plywood
Bottom – 1@ 10” x 15 7/8” from 1/2” plywood

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

6 comments so far

View ohwoodeye's profile


2073 posts in 3327 days

#1 posted 02-24-2015 06:58 PM

Looks good…........however given the law of stacking boxes, the 1 item you will need will always be in the bottom box.
Good luck and well done.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's "opinion" on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Northwest29's profile


1661 posts in 2664 days

#2 posted 02-25-2015 12:24 AM

Thanks for the useful post – I definitely need to make some of these for the shop.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1598 days

#3 posted 02-25-2015 03:33 AM

I like the size, ease of use, and simple design. As you get older, having a standard size container that is of manageable size is a nice thing to have. They look very durable, as well.

Nice work. They should give you years of use and satisfaction.

Thanks for sharing and let us know how you decide to label them so you know whats what.

-- Brad, Texas,

View CB_Cohick's profile


487 posts in 1424 days

#4 posted 02-25-2015 02:32 PM

let us know how you decide to label them so you know whats what.

- timbertailor

At the moment, I am just using some masking tape and a sharpie. I think some nice mahogany brackets that will hold a 3×5 card would be nice though, :-D

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View CB_Cohick's profile


487 posts in 1424 days

#5 posted 02-25-2015 04:57 PM

Here are my crates, with the fancy masking tape and sharpie labels, hard at work in the gorilla rack they were designed to fit.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2816 days

#6 posted 08-28-2015 04:49 AM

Thanks for posting, like the boxs and love the labels. Just like my labels.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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