Kreg Owners' Community

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!

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Comment by James Reeves on December 3, 2010 at 6:25am
Hey Bill, the letters/numbers template kits should work if you don't have that u could make you own template then router with in template, l am just teaching myself but think that may work for you bill.

Comment by James Reeves on December 3, 2010 at 6:22am
Hey Don, as always to what you build an awesome project, thanks for sharing look foreword to receiving your email signing up worked this time.

Comment by Bill Slocumb on November 28, 2010 at 10:32am
Don, your ammo crate is perfect for my 7 yr old grandson...I have already started...wish I have the craving machine lol
Comment by Don Grubish on November 23, 2010 at 11:54am
Have a great Thanksgiving too, Joe!
Comment by Joe Stovall on November 19, 2010 at 9:44am
Hey Don, Many thanks for the info and, timely response !!! Have a great Thanksgiving !!!
Comment by Don Grubish on November 19, 2010 at 8:04am
Hey Joe, I used simple knotty pine boards you can get from Menards (if one is near you). They're strips of pine pressed/glued together to form the boards. They work quite well, actually. The cut list... well, I'll have to work on that and provide it a bit later. I just know that the crates are 36" long, 12" high, and about 12" deep. The lid was a bit wider to allow for a lip so you can open them. The holes for the handles were 3/4" in diameter, and I used 2" rubber wheel casters at the bottom. I also made sure all for were swiveled so you can roll the bench however you want.
Comment by Joe Stovall on November 18, 2010 at 3:21pm
Hey Don,

Kind of new to the woodworking game.......can you tell be what type of wood you used for the crates.
They look awesome by the way !!! Could you please also include a cut list.....??? thanks, Joe
Comment by KregRep on November 17, 2010 at 2:51pm
Very impressive, Don! You're going to love that CNC machine.
Comment by Steve Osterday on November 17, 2010 at 2:00pm
That's a great project Don. It's a good story too. The box/bences look great.

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