How to Build a Wooden Vegetable Bin
Vegetable bins are a great way to take produce to and from U-pick and CSA farms, as well as wonderful tools for cold storage. Expensive vintage bins and crates can be purchased, but they are very easy to make. With only a few standard tools and some scrap wood, you can have multiple vegetable bins you've made yourself. The only things necessary to remember are that air must be able to circulate around the veggies and the bins should be stackable without resting on any produce.
Step 1: Cut to Size
Cut the 2x6 into 4 pieces - two 14 inches in length, two 17 inches in length. Miter all the corners of the 14 inch pieces at a 45-degree angle 3/4 of an inch in from the edge. If you using a different style of saw, measure in 3/4 of an inch on both sides and cut a diagonal. These will become the front, back, and bottom of the bin. The lattice boards should be cut into 6 pieces - Four 17 inches in length, two 14 inches in length. These are the sides and structural supports.
Step 2: Nail the Bottom
The 17 inch 2x6 pieces construct the bottom of the box and the 14 inch, mitered pieces are the front and back. Set one 14 inch piece on end horizontally in front of you. Align the left corner of the board up with the 6-inch side of a 17-inch piece. Place 2 to 3 nails along the top, securing the boards together. Align the right corner of the 14-inch board with the 6-inch side of the 17-inch piece and secure with 2 to 3 nails. There should be a 2-inch gap in between the boards to allow airflow from the bottom of the bin. Turn the bottom boards around and secure the other 14-inch piece in the same fashion to create the bottom of the bin. If you have an assistant hold the boards in place, the process goes significantly faster.
Step 3: Securing the Side Pieces
Turn the bin onto its side, so the side lattice boards can be secured. Nail two 17-inch lattice boards to each side of the crate. Be sure to leave a gap down the center of the boards for airflow. Turn the bin over and repeat on the other side with the remaining 2 lattice boards. The lattice boards are thin and can split easily. Dulling the tip of the nails can greatly lessen the chance of the board splitting.
Step 4: Bottom Supports
Often vegetables can become heavy when stacked together, so bottom supports are necessary. With the remaining 2 lattice pieces, secure them to the bottom of the bin lengthwise along the front and back seams. They should cover the nails holding the bottom boards in place. The supports will also slightly elevate the crates when stacked so no pressure rests on the vegetables.