Toy Crate

This free woodworking project is as easy as 1-2-3 to build. A parent and kid can use the plan and follow the step-by-step directions and be done in no time.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Although it looks like a shipping crate, our easy-to-cut-and-assemble toy crate is made to keep a kid's stuff all in one place. Whether it stores sporting gear, a doll and all her accessories, or a hodgepodge of toys, our crate solves the keeping-it-all-together problem.

We used slats made of pine lattice for the sides and 2x2 pine to reinforce corners. You can stencil the crate with your name or your team member's to personalize it.

Begin by measuring the long slats (A), following the dimensions on the Cutting List. With thirteen pieces to cut, both partners can take turns sawing. The short slats (B) are cut next; notice that these pieces are 1/2 inch shorter than the A pieces. The corner posts © are cut from 2x2 stock, as are the bottom rails (D).

When all cutting is finished, begin assembly. Use number 4 box nails, and glue and nail a short slat to one of the bottom rails. Make sure the pieces are flush at both ends and along the bottom.

Place one of the corner posts © in position so that it butts on top of the bottom rail and is aligned with its end. Place a little glue where the slat meets the corner post, and then nail them together. Do the same at the other end of the rail.

Next, glue and nail a slat to the top of one of the corner posts. Align it, and before you drive in a second nail, check that the first. Evenly space the remaining slats, then end is square. Then glue and nail the center two slats in place.

Assemble the other end in the same manner. Next, place the two end sections on their sides opposite one another. Apply glue to the end of a long slat, and nail it in place flush with the bottom and square with the end. Do the same at the other end. Glue and nail on the top slat next, and check the crate for squareness. Put in the center two slats, then turn the crate over and glue and nail on the other side.

The bottom slats go on ext. Turn your crate over so that the bottom rails are exposed. All the bottom slats are nailed to the bottom rails. Attach the outside slats first. Evenly space the remaining slats, then glue and nail in position.

Your crate is now ready to finish. An easy-to-apply finish of spray varnish or sealer will protect the wood. The final touch is personalizing the crate. Make a stencil by tracing inexpensive block letters, available at any stationery or craft-supply store, onto lightweight cardboard. The older team member should act as surgeon when carefully cutting out the letters, because razor knives are sharp.

Place paper around the stencil to protect the crate from overspray. Decide how you want your letters spaced, and then tape the exposed. Use spray paint, and shoot it through the stencil to create your name.

TIME REQUIRED Four hours for cutting, building, and assembling, plus drying time for glue and finish.

You may be interested in these popular woodworking plans:

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Find helpful advice and tips about tools, finishing, safety practices and a glossary of woodworking terms at Before You Begin