50% Reclaim 2x4 Euro Crate Shelving

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Hi all. I do work for my local community garden, and I found a need to make this shelving unit from C Grade Beech timbers (good spot Joe) that I found and was once was a high quality bed.

Theres a sticker on the beech that has delivery notes to an adress in New Jersey NY State, USA, so I decided to leave that sticker on showing the timbers history.

Quite proud of this piece. Took around four full days… mostly staring and thinking about how to do each stage. I love using the router, and was honing my skills with the palm router and really enjoying the MFT!

Beech timbers were at my home bundled tight and drying out over a year. They were soaking wet when I found them.

I chopped them to length at the garden to make the pieces small enough to get on a bus.

I then started preparing the half lap joinery by clamping the timbers together and using the router on the timbers ends.

I made a jig that let’s me see middle mark and edges of the half lap for the uprights. I put a clamp either side of my jig and then remove the jig because the roofing squares I clamp either side of my jig now becomes my fence for my palm router and I am gutted I didn’t take a picture of that process.

No matter the prep, mistakes are going to happen. So some tidying up with chisel was essential.

It made for a nice tight friction fit but mistakes are gonna happen, I can’t think how I made this mistake but it gets repaired later.

I then proceeded to jigsaw a finger space for pulling the euro crates out. And also clamped the pieces together “Swedish Cut” style, to router out the half lap for the uprights.

Once a template piece was made it was fairly easy to use the bearing bit to cut out the same shape, after jigsawing most of the wood away. So now I got three frames for the uprights and ten identical pieces for bracing the front and back.

I made a 1/2 inch roundover for the finger pullout front and 16th for the back, and 16th for the lip of the shelf.

Then it was fun with the MFT as I tried for stability with plunge router to router out a 9mm channel for 9mm ply shelves to sit flush front and back. I adore the endless possibilities with benchdogs and MFT system. I fiddled about a bit until I came up with this…

…which was a blissful means to an end…

…that’s all the joinery cut, now time to fix the mistakes and fill holes in.

I packed up my collection of 24 clamps and started what was an incredibly fun process of gluing it all together. I did run out of clamps so I was glad to be in workshop to use more than I had. I used one of my fave things in carpentry, my roofers squares to ensure it was all going in the right direction. It was a fun two hours.

I used titebond III so after around five hours glue up time I tentatively took off clamps to make it easy to store overnight in the snug to harden off. I returned next day with 9mm Birch Faced Ply and proceeded to use table saw to fine tune each panel into place. I rushed the top and did a quick cutout to facilitate the four corners uprights but cut the middle ones so the shelf sat flush.

As I said, I am quite proud of this piece, here it is being used in situ. I still have two things to do, and that is put on the 9mm rubber feet I have for it and then lazy way lacquer spray to keep the water elements out!


What a lovely piece mate. Those joints are chefs kiss

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“Chefs Kiss”, sweet. Thank you, Walid.

Awesome job man thank you so much for sharing.

I love the mistake/fixes gives more confidence to more inexperienced people like me :smiley:


Thank you Christian. Would be good to follow the Japanese ethos on mistakes but I don’t have a spare pot of gold. Lol


Wow - thanks for sharing the stages - great to see. What skill.

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Very nice. How do you go about planning something like this? Sketch it out on paper or something else?

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Thank you Kim.

Haha, Stu, believe it or not was all just done on the fly. I had an idea of how I wanted it to come together if I had enough timbers and that is why the frames I built first were not perfect rectangles and sort of H frames.

The finger pull cutouts just came to me as soon as I decided on “chefs joints” as Walid says. Being hard beech it was strong enough to use only half the width of the boards anyway.

If I had enough timbers I would make each shelf fully fitted all round and not just fitted front and back.

The one thing I wanted at the end was a shelf stand that was strong without need for metal fastenings.

I’m even more impressed now :slight_smile: