Canadian Woodworking

Potato bin

Author: Graham Schram
Illustration: Lee Gabel
Published: August September 2004

Here is a handy bin for storing potatoes, onions and garlic. Unless otherwise stated, all stock is 3/4″ thick.


Here is a handy bin for storing potatoes, onions and garlic. Unless otherwise stated, all stock is 3/4″ thick. Don’t use pressure treated lattice for the back and bottom, as it presents a health hazard. You’ll have to construct your own lattice, but don’t worry, it’s quite easy.


The sides measure 8″ by 22″. Place a mark on the front of each side board at 19 3/4″ from the bottom, and on the top of each side board, 1″ in from back. Connect the two lines, and then cut a slope. The front measures 15″ by 16″. I glued mine from two 7 1/2″ by 16″ boards.

Make two lattices, one 14 1/2″ by 18″ for the back and the other 14 1/2″ by 7 3/4″ for the bottom. This will allow air to circulate and keep your veggies from spoiling. Use 1″ by 2″ stock for the frame, and 1/4″ by 1 1/4″ stock for the strips. Glue and screw the first strip from the top right corner of your frame to the bottom left corner. Use one of the strips as a spacer when installing the rest of the strips. Trim off any strips that extend over the sides of the frame. Now you can glue and screw the back and the bottom lattices to the sides. Remember to countersink before screwing. Cover the screws with wood-filler, or better yet, wood plugs.

The drawer has a front and back measuring 4″ by 14″ and sides 4″ by 6 1/2″. Rout a 1/2″ by 3/8″ rabbet on the bottom of these pieces. Then cut five bottom slats, each 1/2″ by 13 3/4″. Glue and screw the drawer together, and then glue and screw the bottom slats in place, about 3/4″ apart.

Check that drawer fits snugly. Now cut a piece 4″ by 16″ for the drawer facing. Glue and screw drawer facing to the drawer from inside (so you don’t see screws). Drill a hole for the knob and secure it with the bolt, flat washer, and nut. Cut three pieces of bottom molding, two that are 2″ by 9 1/2″ and one 2″ by 17 1/2″. Mitre corners at 45º, then glue the molding on the front and sides of the bin.

Finally, you will need to glue up a top 10″ by 18″ and cut a 1″ by 18″ top rail. Screw the top rail to the top of the sides, and then attach the lid to the top rail with butt hinges. You’ll have to bevel the back of the lid slightly to ensure a close fit. Use your favourite finish on the outside of the bin, and either leave inside unfinished, or give it a few coats of shellac.

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