The standard white cardboard office box is so ubiquitous these days that many shelving systems (including the popular Expedit shelving line from Ikea) are based on its dimensions. I’ve taken those dimensions (thirteen inches by fifteen inches) and created two durable and elegant alternatives to this disposable standard. My products are hand-made, solid wood, and hand-finished.
The Decorative Crate has an open top, and outside dimensions of 13”x13”x15”. The perfect fit for that vinyl collection you have sitting in a cardboard box.
The Stackable Crate has the same outside dimensions, a removable lid, and stacks securely on itself when not used in a shelving unit.
With this simple table-top unit, a pair of the stackable crates turns into a handy end-table.
These designs came about (as so many do) from my own personal need. I have a few of those Ikea shelves in my own home, and when I went searching for integrated storage products, I was disappointed with what I found. At that point, I knew I’d be better off just making something myself.
The first few I made turned out to be so handy, I started tinkering with the design and made myself a few more. After expanding the idea, and making a handful of prototypes, I’m now ready to begin production.
Why did I turn to Crowd Supply for help? There are many reasons. First, without a little startup money, I simply couldn’t afford to make a large quantity of these products. I’ll also be able to make a more uniform product by improving my jigs and templates. Uniformity has been my biggest challenge so far, and some simple upgrades in that area would be a great help. Using Crowd Supply also helps me stay closer to my customers, so I can get real feedback to make improvements to my products. Finally, as a budding designer, I’d rather be working on the next idea than trying to figure out how to market the last one. Crowd Supply definitely helps me with that.
Outside dimensions: 13’ tall, 13” wide, 15” deep.
Materials: These products are made of solid ¾” wood, salvaged and second-hand whenever possible from architectural salvage operations here in Portland. Species will be mostly knotty pine and fir. While I’m dedicated to reusing old materials, I won’t use any lumber that’s structurally unsound. Quality and durability are of paramount importance to me.
Finishes: Both crates are available in four colors, or in unfinished aromatic red cedar. My finishes start with dye, applied directly to the raw wood, then several coats of toned shellac are brushed on to create a rich, layered color. Then I brush on clear shellac for body and extra durability. Finally, I sand this down for a level surface, then spray on a coat of clear lacquer to protect it all. The result is a furniture-quality finish that will age gracefully.
Rose City Red, Old Town Amber, Pearl Black, and Hawthorne Brown
These products will ship flat, with some assembly required.
This first production run will be all handmade, right here at ADX in Portland.
I’ll be doing all the work myself, from selecting the lumber to putting on the final coat of lacquer, so you’ll truly get a hand-crafted product. In the shop, precision jigs and templates will make the process quick, and the results uniform. Sanding, staining, brushing shellac, and spraying lacquer will all be done by hand. This combination of techniques will produce a uniform product, which still has a lot of character.
Jeff Bergadine of Portlandia Foods once said “I’ve always has this fantasy of replacing those products that I deemed of lesser quality and making them better.” Of course, he was talking about ketchup, but the same inspiration drives me. When it comes to design, I believe quality and durability should be given greater consideration than ease of manufacture or the bottom line. To me, it’s just that simple. That’s what my brand, PDX Woodlab, is all about.