Make & Mend – Shelving


My latest project is something completely different.  I designed and made a piece of furniture.  ‘Furniture’ is probably a slightly too grand to use as a description for the rustic shelving unit which is made from vintage wooden crates and lengths of undressed pine.

This creation is the culmination of much discussion over a number of years.  When we first moved into our home in a country town in South Australia we discovered that the large shed held numerous old treasures that had been collected, perhaps even hoarded by previous owners.  Amongst these items were 5 solid wooden crates which had been used to hold explosives.  This was evident from the markings on them.

Box detail
Over the years we have moved house twice, downsized and decluttered many things but the crates, which were someone else’s cast off stuff always managed to make the cut.  The Duke would vaguely suggest that we could use them for shelving and they have often been simply stacked one on top of the other and used to store various things in the workshop.  I had always had a rough idea of a design for shelving which would make the best use of the boxes that we had.  After (yet another) clean-up in the workshop the other weekend my plan finally became clear.  I found 2 identical pieces of undressed pine in amongst the odds and ends of wood. The Duke said that they were part of the packaging on the roll of fencing wire we had bought when we were building the chicken run.  I needed 8 matching pieces for my planned shelving so I asked at the local farm supplier from whom we had bought the wire.  He was happy to give me 6 more pieces that were sitting on a bench out the back of the shop.  The pieces of pine would make the ends and legs for the unit.

Shelving showing the legs
The Duke trimmed the pine to the length required and we then set about assembling the shelving unit using my design which I had roughly sketched on a piece of paper to convince him that it was feasible.

The only cost was $7.00 for some screws. Some were from our stash but we needed to buy more to complete the project.

The shelves will provide some additional storage in the workshop and were a practical way to use the boxes which had been deemed as too good to throw out.  By the way, I checked on eBay and found that similar ones were for sale at between $20 and $60 each.  What is my designer original shelving unit worth?  I would say that it is priceless!


4 thoughts on “Make & Mend – Shelving

  1. What a great job Fairy. You and the Duke should give yourselves a pat on the back 🙂
    I blew up (quite a pun really when you read on) the photo of the underside of the box and my huz Bob said he thought it may have held explosives once up a time and belonged to a miner. There are many disused mines in and around the Adelaide Hills. Good job.

  2. We could see that they once held explosives but had not really considered the old, disused mines as having been the source. Good point, and thanks for your thoughts. It is nice to have that little bit of possible history tied into the creation.

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