Shipping Crate Turned Bar

Entertaining, Reclaimed, Woodworking

Written by Mr. R&R

Shipping crate in its original weathered condition

Shipping crate in its original weathered condition

A family friend, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, works in ag construction and recently contacted me about an old weathered shipping crate from Italy that we might use in a project.  I was intrigued, and inquired about the dimensions of the crate. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo “thought” it was 6’ X 3’ X 2’, which I thought would work for end tables or some coffee tables.  The shipping crate was delivered to our house and I was a little surprised; the crate was 7.5’ long by 42” tall by 42” deep.  My mind quickly changed courses and this shipping crate was destined to be the long sought-after bar to put in the basement behind the couch, pending some minor modifications.

Poly, poly, and more poly on the lid

Poly, poly, and more poly on the lid

I immediately started cleaning the shipping crate using a steel wire brush on the crate lid, just to remove some of the dirt that had adhered to the cover. Then I took the top of the crate and began applying polyurethane, 2 coats to both the top and the bottom of the cover.  Next, I sanded the cover with 220 grit sandpaper sponges in order to smooth out what would be the top of the new bar.  Throughout the week, I applied another 5-6 coats of polyurethane to make a smooth, rustic looking bar top.

Re-assembly of the cut-down crate

Re-assembly of the cut-down crate

I asked a good friend, Dr. Z, to come over the next Saturday, as we had less than 1 week to complete the bar before the opening night of college football, and the party we were set to host.  The “Evil Blackhawk Fan” neighbor was then generous enough to bring over his power washer to clean out the inside of the crate to remove quite a bit of dirt and grease from various chicken equipment parts (original contents of the crates).  That was apparently the easy part since the break down and re-assembly of the crate took several different tries.  We chopped down the base of the shipping crate by removing 4 board widths from the length of the crate, and 2 board widths from the depth of the crate.  Putting the crate back together proved a little challenging since we wanted to keep the corners flush and maintain the rustic integrity of the crate intact.  After 3-4 tries, we got it all put back together and the bar top put on the crate base.

The bar is finished and ready for football season!

The bar is finished and ready for football season!

Three door hinges mounted on the back of the new bar allow for the bar top to open, revealing the large crate storage. Once I finally settle on what to put inside the base of the bar (I’m leaning towards a nice shelf), the new basement bar will be totally complete.  Until then, the bar is still perfect as is for watching college football with friends.

-Mr. R&R (I can write too)

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