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How to Build a Crate

Overview

When shipping a fragile item, it is necessary to protect it well, so that it is not crushed, or broken by being knocked about during transport. A well-padded wooden crate that is custom-made to fit the size of the item being shipped is often the best solution. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to build such a crate.

The size of the crate depends on the size of the item to be shipped and the padding necessary to keep it safe. So, the first step is to enter the length, width and height of the item. Next, you will determine the dimensions of the styrofoam sheets (or other padding). Then you must provide the size of the furring strips (1x2, 2x4, etc.). With this information, the size of the plywood sheets to enclose it all is calculated.

The tool below will calculate for you the number and sizes of padding and plywood pieces to cut, as well as the length of furring strips needed. Click the button at the bottom for instructions on assembly.

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Dimensions of Object

Use the longest side for the length, the shortest for the width and the remaining side for the height, unless it must be right-side-up. Then, use the natural height for the height (footprint: longest=length, shortest=width).
Length " Image showing length, width and height.
Width "
Height "
This item needs padding. (Most items require a minimum of 1" of cushioning.)
The item being crated is already packaged and padded. It does not need any more.
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Instructions for Building a Crate

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Required Materials:

  • Styrofoam or Softfoam Cushioning
    Sheets ( thick)
  • Plywood ( thick)
  • Furring Strips ()
  • Sheetrock Screws (Usually 1")
  • Saw (Usually a Circular Saw)

Dimensions

Just the Item to Ship
Item plus Cushioning
Crate Outer Dimensions

Shipping Options

 
 

Assembly Instructions

  1. Attach 4 furring strips to each side piece using staples or screws.
  2. Attach 2 furring strips to top piece and 2 furring strips to bottom piece.
  3. Attach the side plywood pieces to the bottom plywood.
  4. Attach end pieces with the longest side of end piece vertical.
  5. Raise end piece 1/8" (thickness of cardboard) off ground when stapled to side piece.
  6. Insert end pieces of styrofoam into each side.
  7. Insert bottom styrofoam sheet, pushing to the bottom of the crate.
  8. Insert side styrofoam sheets so they are flush with the side of the crate
  9. Insert the item to be shipped.
  10. Insert top stryrofoam into place.
  11. Attach top piece of plywood using only screws (NOT STAPLES) so the top can be removed by recipient.
  12. If your crate is to be picked up by forklift, attach two 2x4 skids in addition to existing bottom furring strips using 1.5" staples or screws. This allows the forklift room to fit under the crate.
  13. If your crate is longer than 48", add three 2 X 4's to the bottom (see pictures) These are the same length as your existing bottom furring strips.
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