How to build vegetable bins: plans

Written by tom king
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How to build vegetable bins: plans
Vegetable crops like potatoes and onions keep well in a vegetable bin. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Many vegetables like potatoes and onions don't require refrigeration and can be kept in vegetable bins, saving space in your refrigerator. A simple well-ventilated wooden box with a hinged lid provides an attractive storage bin for your vegetables. Construction requires only basic woodworking tools. The box itself can be made from inexpensive pine or fine hardwoods. Cutout, assembly and finishing requires only basic carpentry skills and a tabletop workspace.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 pine board, ¾ by 12 inches by 16 inches (front)
  • 2 pine boards, ¾ by 16 inches by 16 inches (sides)
  • 1 pine board, ¾ by 12 inches by 15-1/4 inch (bottom)
  • 1 pine board, ¾ by 14 ½ inches by 14 3/4 inches (lid)
  • 1 masonite pegboard, 13 ½ inches by 16 ½ inches (back)
  • 1 board, ¾ inches 2 inches by 14 ½ inches
  • Box 1-1/2 inch finish nails
  • 12 wood screws, ¾ inch long
  • 2 brass hinges
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Pilot drill bit
  • 2 furniture clamps
  • Sandpaper (coarse, medium, fine, very fine grade)
  • Wood filler
  • Orbital sander
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Wiping oil stain
  • Rags
  • Satin finish polyurethane finish

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  1. 1

    Cut the 12-by-16-inch front piece and the two 16-by- 16-inch side pieces. Glue and clamp the front piece between the two sides, with the front piece set 1/4-inch back from the front edges of the sides. Allow the glue to set dry.

  2. 2

    Pre-drill small holes through the sides into the ends of the front piece. Drive finish nails into the holes to hold the front in place. Use the nail set to recess the nail heads and fill the hole with wood filler. Unclamp the front and sides.

  3. 3

    Cut the bottom 12- by 15-1/4-inch board. Glue the edges of the bottom piece and press it into place inside the bottom of the box. Clamp the sides to hold the bottom in place and wipe off the extra glue. Allow the glue to set and drill pilot holes through the side into the edges of the bottom. Drive nails into the holes and use the nailset to recess the nail heads. Fill the holes with wood filler.

  4. 4

    Cut the masonite pegboard to 13-1/2 by 16-1/2 inches. Glue the back edges of two sides and clamp the pegboard against the back of the box and allow to set. Pre-drill and screw the pegboard into place with 3/4-inch screws.

  5. 5

    Cut the 2-inch board 14-1/2 inches long. Glue the top of the box two inches from the back to the back piece. Clamp the 2-inch board on top of the box and press it against the back. The board will hang over the sides 1/2 inch on both sides. Allow it to set, predrill nail holes and drive and inset finish nails to hold it in place. Fill the holes with wood filler. Cut out the 14-1/2 inch by 14-3/4 inch lid, and lay it so the shorter sides are crosswise and the long sides extends toward the front. Set the lid in place so it overhangs ½ inch all around. Clamp, but do not glue the lid in place. Set and mount the hinges with ¾ inch screws between the back of the lid and the 2-inch-wide board to hinge the lid.

  6. 6

    Sand the box with the orbital sander starting with medium sandpaper to round the edges and smooth the flat surfaces of the box. Fill any holes or cracks with filler, smooth it flat and allow the filler to set. Sand the entire box smooth with fine and then very fine sandpaper.

  7. 7

    Apply wiping oil stain to the entire box with a rag and allow to dry overnight. Paint or spray on two to three coats of polyurethane clearcoat according to the manufacturer's direction, allowing the clearcoat to dry to the touch before applying another coat.

Tips and warnings

  • The vegetable bin works particularly well with root crops like carrots, potatoes, radishes and onions. It can be used to ripen fruits and more perishable vegetables if you check them frequently.
  • Set the vegetable bin at least an inch or two away from the wall so the box is well-ventilated through the pegboard holes

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