How to Build Wood Shipping Crates

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Wood shipping crates are used to send fragile objects through the mail. Wood shipping crates are reliable for shipping fragile objects, because they contain a solid, hardwood body that encases the items securely. Building a wood shipping crate allows you to ship items, while saving you money that you would have spent on a pre-made shipping crate.

Things You'll Need

  • Four 1 by 2-inch solid wood boards, 16 inches long
  • Four 1 by 2-inch solid wood boards, 20 inches long
  • Eight 1 by 2-inch solid wood boards, 36 inches long
  • Eight 1 by 2-inch solid wood boards, 14 inches long
  • Four 1/2-inch plywood, 18 inches tall by 36 inches wide
  • Two 1/2-inch plywood 20 by 20 inches
  • Hammer
  • 1 and 1/2-inch nails
  • Tape measure
  • Place one 18 by 36 plywood section on a flat surface. Place one 36-inch, 1 by 2 board along each 36-inch edge, and nail in place, by hammering in one nail every 12 inches along the length of each board.

  • Place one 14-inch, 1 by 2 board on each 18-inch end of the 18 by 36-inch section of plywood, between the top and bottom 36-inch, 1 by 2 board. Line up the outer edge of the 1 by 2 board with the outer edge of the 18 by 36 plywood piece, and drive one nail through each end to join the pieces together.

  • Repeat Steps 1 and 2 with the remaining three 18 by 36 plywood sections, to create three sides and a lid for the crate.

  • Place one 20 by 20 piece of plywood on a flat surface, and line one 20-inch, 1 by 2 board along the top and bottom edge. Drive one nail through each end of each 1 by 2 board, to join it with the plywood.

  • Place one 16-inch, 1 by 2 board on each end of the 20 by 20 plywood that does not have a 20-inch, 1 by 2 attached. Line up the outer edge of the plywood with the outer edge of the 1 by 2 board, and drive one nail through each end to join the pieces together.

  • Repeat Steps 4 and 5 with the remaining 20 by 20 plywood, to create two ends for the box.

  • Place one 18- by 36 section of plywood on a flat surface, with the 1 by 2 boards resting on the ground. Hold one 20 by 20 section along the end edge, with the 1 by 2 boards facing outward.

  • Line the 20 by 20 section of wood to the crate, to create a one inch over hang on each side of the 18 by 36 board, and drive one nail every three inches, along the length of the board.

  • Repeat Steps 7 and 8 with the remaining 20 by 20 section, to create the crate base featuring two sides.

  • Place one 18 by 36 board along the 36-inch base side, with the 1 by 2 boards facing outward. This section will easily slide between the two 20 by 20 end sections.

  • Drive one nail through the 36-inch edge every six inches, to attach the side to the base. Drive one nail every three inches along both 20-inch end boards, to join the side permanently.

  • Repeat Steps 10 and 11 on the opposite 36-inch base edge.

  • Load the crate with the items to be shipped and place the remaining 18 by 36 section over the top opening. Drive one nail every six inches around the entire perimeter, to close the crate securely.

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  • Photo Credit crate image by Paul Moore from Fotolia.com
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