Take a look at Craigslist, your local Goodwill store, a yard sale, or even a burn pile in a neighbor’s yard – you may just find your next outdoor table and storage box! A simple wooden Army ammo crate is a great re-purposed item to use for this simple DIY project. If you're lucky enough to live in a rural area, you come across these storage crates more often. Try looking on the internet first! Make sure you're
How To Make A Table From A Re-purposed Army Ammo Crate
First you must gather all of your materials together to make this project (which isn't very many). Make sure you're working in a clean and well ventilated area! Wear a mask when working with Polyurethane! It's better to be safe than sorry! Here is how you can achieve this lovely table in 8 simple steps.
- Army ammo crate – look for old Army ammo crates with a lid – make sure you are able to repair any issues: sanding rough spots, securing loose boards, etc… I was able to find mine for $10 through a yard sale site.
- Cleaning supplies – dry brush, damp rag, etc…
- 80 grit sandpaper
- Polyurethane – Valspar makes a great clear gloss polyurethane that I used for this project.
- Paint brush
- Tape measure
- ⅞ inch hole saw bit & drill – you can also use any other tool that will cut a hole in the lid of the crate.
- ¾ inch sisal rope – the amount you need will depend on the size of your handles; I used approximately 1 ½ feet.
- Tape – electric, masking, or duct tape
- Nail gun & staples – if you don’t have access to a nail gun then use a fence staple and hammer to complete Step # 6
- Box cutter OR sharp knife
- Rolling casters (4) – I used a bronze finished 2” swivel caster with a flat screw in top – avoid casters with a post top.
- ¾ inch screws OR appropriately sized hardware for your crate
- Drill driver – I am in LOVE with my Dewalt hammer drill – they make excellent presents (that’s a hint to your loved ones!)
*Note: It may be easier to work on this project with the crate elevated on a flat surface or workbench.
After finding your crate, dry brush any dirt and clean with a damp rag if needed. Then sand down any rough spots that may catch on clothing or cause a splinter attack using a piece of 80 grit sandpaper.
Seal the inside, outside, and lid of your crate using a polyurethane or outdoor sealer of your choice and let dry. It is advised that you use a clear coat poly or sealer only, to preserve any cool distressed areas and writing on the sides of the crate. My crate was used for grenade launchers – you don’t want to cover that up with a stain!
Step 3 – Step 4.
Measure out a space for your rope handles on the lid. Make sure to place your marks on the inside of the lip of the crate lid – the rope handle will not allow the crate lid to sit flush if it is in the wrong spot! I measured an 8” space in between my handles but you can adjust based on the size of the crate.Using the hole saw bit and drill, cut out the rope holes on the lid. Make sure to have the lid on a flat surface (the bit will go through the wood and into the surface below so don’t use your antique dining table as your work surface). Sand down any rough spots around the drilled holes.
Thread the rope through the holes using this handy tip: tape the ends with electric or masking tape to thread them through easily and then remove the tape before attaching to the project.
Adjust your rope handle and staple the rope to the underside of the lid against the crate lip. I used a nail gun and ¾ inch staple to attach the rope to the lip of the crate lid but a fencing staple (or any other staple that will go through the rope and attach to the lid) would work as well. Cut the excess rope using a box cutter or sharp knife. Repeat on the other side of the crate lid making sure to keep the same measurements.
The final part of this project is to attach the rolling casters to the bottom of the crate. Flip the crate upside down on your work surface and mark out your caster placement. Mine were placed as a bridge between the two crate lip areas on the bottom of the crate – this creates more stability. Attach the rolling casters using the appropriate size screws – make sure that the screws aren’t TOO long as they can go through the bottom of the crate.
Done! A new outdoor table and storage for pillows or sandbox toys – all made from a super cool Army ammo
Thanks for taking the time to learn how to repurpose an old army crate into a lovely patio table! This tutorial is so simple you'll most likely want to share it with friends and family – so go ahead! We love when you share our projects. Take the time to poke around our site and see what tickles your fancy. We're confident there's something here for everyone. Why not try something new?
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Thanks and happy DIY'ing.
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