Storage & Moving Crates

A modular storage system that allows you to put away your tools or repair supplies. These all-purpose storage boxes are great to store anything you have lying around in your garage or workshop. Just fill your box with plumbing or sprinkler parts. Whenever needed, you select your box and take it to your repair job. You’ll know, you have everything within reach. The project consists of 3 large and 2 half-size boxes, 12 in. wide and 12 in. high with resp. 18 in. and 9 in. lengths. You’ll need half-a-sheet of plywood or you can double up, as desired.



20I start by cutting all the plywood pieces from half-a-sheet of plywood, followed by dimensioning the wood. After the jointing and planing of the wood, I begin with the bottom pieces of the boxes.


Building It

The overall length of each bottom is resp. 9 inches or 18 inches, which includes both wood edges that are glued to the plywood. The width is approx. 12 inches, but that will be reduced later on to account for the side slats. 21After gluing up all the bottom pieces, a 1/8 inch deep rabbet is routed in the wooden edges with a width equal to the thickness of the plywood. 22All the side slats are now cut to length (9” or 18”) and with the same router set up, a 1/8 inch deep rabbet is routed in each of the two bottom slats, again with a width equal to the thickness of the plywood (image 2). 23At the end of the day, a small pile of boards has been created.


Plywood Edging

To cover the unsightly top of the plywood side panels, a piece of wood is glued to the plywood panel. 272624After drying, it is cut off on the table saw, leaving behind a 1/8 inch thick solid edge.


28Use an orbital sander to sand the edge down to the plywood surface. Be careful not to overdo it, because the top veneer on the plywood can be very thin. With the exact height of the plywood side panels calculated, they are cut back to their final height on the table saw.


Side rabbets

29We continue by adding side rabbets to all 40 side slats; again a 1/8 inch deep rabbet, routed in the short ends of the slats with a width equal to the thickness of the plywood.


The Box Handles

30I use a piece of scrap plywood as a template to layout and cut the desired handle opening.


31Using the template as a guide, the handle location is transferred to all the side panels. In addition, a hole is drilled to accommodate the scroll saw blade.


32With the scroll saw, I remove most of the handle on each panel.


33Now we return to the router table. A straight edge bit with ball-bearing follows the template to remove the remainder of the opening.



34With all the individual parts ready, we start by gluing together the three plywood panels and the two bottom side slats. An extra side slat is temporarily put on top of the setup, to stabilize and to keep everything square. Once the glue has dried, the remaining side slats are added.


35Finally the cleats are cut to length and added to the bottom. They allow for stacking. At some point, every stage of the glue-up is visible.


Bonus lids

36Not absolutely necessary, but one large and/or two smaller ones are quite convenient and they look great! Just glue a few ½ in. thick boards together and cut them to fit your boxes. Two thin slats on the bottom will hold them straight, when placed on top of the crate.


Now clean out your closets and get organized!



The crates are 12 in. wide, 12 in. high and resp 18 in. or 9 in. long. Half-a-sheet of plywood is needed for the plywood panels.

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Weekend Project – Storage & Moving Crates

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