Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written, but I have still kept woodworking, trust me. 2010 has been a whirlwind ride, that’s for sure. A new girlfriend, a new job, moving soon into a new townhouse, you name it. I didn’t forget about anyone, just had a lot on my plate this year.
One of the things I recently built were two ammo crate-looking benches for my new job at CC Military Surplus in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. When I arrived at the new job, I noticed that both the men’s and women’s bathrooms had these gross orange 60’s throwback chairs for customers to use when they were changing clothes to try on our stuff.
I thought I can’t let this continue, so I took it upon myself to make something the boss would proudly display. Also, recently I was given, yes given, a Craftsman CNC machine for wood. It basically allows you to route any design you wish into wood for a bas-relief look. I decided to test this machine with the store logo on the bench tops of my project. As you can see below, they turned out great!
I then made my ammo crates much the same way I made my Hope Chest, just with different dimensions obviously. See below:
Once those were done and sanded, I drilled holes in the sides to allow for rope handles. I noticed some ammo crates that we currently sell and saw that they had rope handles too. I got some OD green rope from our surplus area and cut them to the lengths needed for later. With all sanding done, it was time to paint them.
I got tired of staining everything I make, and I also remembered seeing the child’s Jeep bed another Kreg Forums member made. I wanted pretty much the same look so I bought a gallon of olive drab paint from our sales floor and took it home. The result is what you see below. I thought I’d get brush strokes, but this paint went on very well.
Once that was all done, I went back over the boxes with two coats of clear finish to get rid of the rough paint feel. I also painted the CC Military Surplus logo with the same acrylic paints I used on my Viking cradle project from last year. The result was phenomenal, and I also covered the lids with polyurethane too. See below:
Now that all of that was done, I tied knots in the ends of my OD green rope and made my crate handles, added the casters below, the hinges to the lids, and chain lengths inside to keep the lids from opening too far. This project was really coming together!
Inside you can see how I made the handles, as well as the chain used to keep the lids in place. Now, we can keep extra toilet paper and paper towels stored neatly inside the benches while allowing our customers a decent place to either sit or place articles of clothing while they use the bathrooms as changing rooms. It works out well for everyone.
The box benches are such a hit that even our most frequent customer has commissioned me to build him a similar bench for his VFW in Crystal, MN using the 1st Cavalry Division logo on the lid. He served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam from 1971-1972. While I won’t tell him where I was during that time to depress him with age, I think it’s great that a simple idea is already paying off for me! Again, everyone wins!