How to Build a Wooden Packing Crate

Written by g.k. bayne
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Building a wooden crate is an excellent way to store or ship items that are prone to breakage when handled. Within the packing crate, you can arrange the items with internal wooden supports or even construct separate sealed spaces. By following a basic procedure, you can vary the size of the wooden materials and build any size packing crate you desire.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • ½-inch plywood
  • Circular saw
  • 1 x 4-inch pine boards
  • 6p nails
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Calculate the size of the wooden packing crate that you want to construct by measuring the item that is to be enclosed by the wood structure. You should leave at least 1 to 2 inches of air space surrounding the item in the packing crate. In other words, if the overall size of the item is 22 inches wide by 22 inches high and 30 inches long, you will want a crate that is 24 inches wide by 24 inches high and 32 inches long.

  2. 2

    Use the circular saw and cut the plywood to your specifications for that particular item. In the crate described, you should have two pieces of plywood that are 24 x 32 inches. These are for the long sides of the crate. The top and bottom pieces of plywood will be lengthened on all sides by 1 1/2 inches to accommodate the overlap of the 1 x 4-inch perimeter supports. These pieces will be cut to the size of 25 ½ x 33 ½ inches. The last two pieces, the ends of the crate, should be cut to 24 x 24 inches.

  3. 3

    Cut the 1 x 4-inch pine boards to the length of the outside perimeter of the cut plywood pieces. You should measure and cut to the length one of the parallel sides of the plywood first and then measure for the opposite parallel side. The pine boards should not overlap or lay on top of each other at the corners of the plywood. The 1 x 4-inch pine boards are to be used on the sides of the crate only. Do not attach the pine boards to the top or bottom pieces of the plywood crate.

  4. 4

    Nail the 1 x 4-inch pine boards to the plywood with the 6p nails. Nail though the 1 x 4 into the plywood every 4 to 5 inches on centre.

  5. 5

    Attach the bottom of the crate, the 25 ½ x 33 ½-inch piece of plywood, by vertically standing the two end pieces, 24 x 24 inch, under it and nailing through the plywood into the vertical 1 x 4. You may need the help of another person to hold the end pieces as you nail the bottom piece onto end part of the crate.

  6. 6

    Nail the two side portions of the crate, 24 x 30 inches, in the same manner as you did in Step 5. These longer pieces should fit between the two end parts of the crate.

  7. 7

    Flip the crate over and you should have an open container. Nail the corners to each other, beginning at the bottom of the crate until you reach the top. Nail placement should be every 3 to 4 inches.

  8. 8

    Attach the top when you have the crate packed by nailing the top to the vertical 1 x 4's around the perimeter in the same nailing pattern as the sides, every 3 to 4 inches.

Tips and warnings

  • By attaching hinges to one side of the wooden packing crate, this sturdy box can be turned into a heavy-duty storage container.
  • In addition to the hinges, you can also attach a lock hasp to the opposite side of the hinges for secure storage at an affordable price.

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