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#1 CharlesW

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

I have read several posts on CN asking for advise on what types of storage boxes to use for various pieces of equipment. Our friends at the USDA, Forestry Service, have been thinking about the same thing. I came across a 134 page manual on how to build a wooden crate. Enjoy.
http://www.fpl.fs.fe.../usda/ah252.pdf

#2 Hilmi

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:10 AM

Many thanks :) I always enjoy a bit of carpentry work.

The document is still downloading so I haven't seen it yet, but I am kinda curious why it takes 134 pages!

#3 Hilmi

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:15 AM

Ohh, that's why. This is the course material for a college degree in building crates!

#4 herrointment

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:02 AM

I was looking for something like this just the other day! The mounts and tripod and tubes and cases are taking over my shop and I was thinking crates would be just the ticket.

The Ag. Dept. didn't screw around! That's comprehensive to say the least. I'm going to look for contributions by Dr. Wengert of the U. of Wisconsin...Dr. Wood they call him. I actually attended a lecture by the fellow. He'd travel to sawmills across Wisconsin to help them get the most value out of the tree. As a headsaw operator I certainly learned that the positioning of the log on the carriage and the placement of that first cut on the log made the difference between making money and going broke. We went broke.

#5 Mike E.

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:15 PM

................................ I came across a 134 page manual on how to build a wooden crate. Enjoy.
http://www.fpl.fs.fe.../usda/ah252.pdf


A 134 pages, yup, typical govt. spec. :lol:

All thats really necessary is to make a box, is to make three pairs of simple panels and nail or screw them together.
I used 1/4" plywood and 1x2 cleats to make light weight crates which fit the cardboard boxes our scope came in; I just didn't trust cardboard for shipping our scope overseas.

Here's how I made light weight crates.
First, I cut the end panels to size and added cleats to stiffen the 1/4" plywood.
Second, I cut the side panels to legnth, added cleats, and screwed them to the end panels.
Third, I measured and cut the top and bottom panels.
Last, I nailed the bottom panel on, and then attached the top panel when the scope was packed; you could use hinges if your crate is for storage.

It would be easier to use 1/2" or 3/4" plywood without cleats, if weight is not an issue; and you can always add inside corner blocks to stiffen the box if needed.
Here's a couple of photos.

Attached Files



#6 Mike E.

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

The finished boxes.

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#7 Phil Sherman

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:02 PM

All thats really necessary is to make a box, is to make three pairs of simple panels and nail or screw them together.
I used 1/4" plywood and 1x2 cleats to make light weight crates which fit the cardboard boxes our scope came in; I just didn't trust cardboard for shipping our scope overseas.


Your crates are perfect for shipping your equipment when it's packaged in its original shipping boxes. I'd guarantee that those crates would be destroyed if I tried to use them to ship my floor mount drill press.

A 134 page manual describing how to build a shipping crate seems excessive until you realize that it needs to cover all of the issues that could be encountered when a 2000 lb lathe is being shipped to an overseas destination and will probably end up in a ship's hold with four or five more stacked on top of it. Don't forget that it might be lifted into the hold by a crane using grappling hooks.

It's easy to build a footbridge across a 10' wide ravine but a lot more difficult to bridge that ravine with something that'll carry the 40 tons (80,000 lbs) of a fully loaded truck. That booklet's intended audience is more in the loaded truck category.

Phil

#8 Mike E.

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:08 PM

While I was going to college back in the early 1970s, I worked as a "Cratesmith" for a packageing firm near North Hollywood. I agree with you Phil, my crates wouldn't be adequate to ship a drill press or machinery, 4"x6" skids or larger would be necessary as a base for attachment, and a cover frame or panels attached to the decking. The light weight boxes I designed worked great for my intended purpous, and I think would be fine for storing and protecting most amateur astronomy equipment.
In building anything, you get to a point of diminishing returns, overkill and unnecessary expence for a given purpous. I actually bridged across a river bed on a ranch a few years back, by craneing in a stripped railroad flat car, it didn't require engineering, a permit, or a whole lot of fuss, and easily handeled the weight of a D6 dozer crossing it. :)

I think the 134 page fed manual has its merits, but is overkill for the OP's intended purpous.






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