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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After retiring from the military a couple of years ago I'm in the process of unboxing all the shit I've collected and drug all over the world for 24 years. I got the idea to use the Russian wooden ammo crates as display cases but have a hard time cutting them up and getting enough for the job could be costly. Decided to make my own.

Sat down over the course of a couple of nights and downloaded every Soviet/Russian, Chinese, Albanian and East German crate pic I could find. I started comparing photos and figuring out the differences between them and made up a chart to help me keep everything correct for specific years and factories.

From there I bought some wood and started cutting. Part of my goal in this is picking up some new woodworking techniques to include dovetail joints and weathering of wood. My router died a couple of years ago and buying a new router and a dovetail jig would be a bit much for the project at hand. Plus I doubt I'd find a jig I'd be happy with in replicating those used on the crates. Instead I grabbed a sharp as hell Japanese saw and went to work doing it the old fashioned way.

Once the wood was cut I started aging the wood. I tried three different techniques; Steel wool and vinegar, which started taking on a grey hue instead of the yellow I needed, I tried lye which worked well but is unpredictable, and finally ammonia fuming, which works well and works quick. Using that technique on the next box as well as a project for the wife.

All dimensions were measured in metric. Wood was planed down to the same metric thickness. I used nails and screws as close to the original as possible. And for once it didn't matter if the project got the shit beat out of it!

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I didn't add the "rails" on the bottom as I'll be screwing these to the wall. Next step will be adding the factory stencils. Think I'll make the next one Chinese and the one after that Albanian as I've found pics of them with butt joints! The next one I'll be doing using a homemade dovetail jig which should make it go a lot faster!
 

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I seen a couple years ago a guy used a mosin crate for a coffee table. Cut the top out of it, replaced it with glass, added some lighting in it and it turned out great.

Keep us updated.
 

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Very cool, I like how you are making them so accurate. The markings will make them awesome. We have stuff at work sand blasted and sometimes the wood skids get hit, that is a quick way to weather wood that looks pretty cool. I would test scrap pieces first to see if it is the look you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you start making ak rifle crates let me know I'd like to see lots of pics.
I made one a couple of years ago. When I retired I needed an easy way to move all the guns and building an AK crate seemed the best way to do it. I didn't have one to measure but used Mosin-Nagant crates as a guide and adjusted to AK dimensions. It may get moved in here with the rest of the goodies when I finish up. Would love to get my hands on a real example though so I could make one I knew was 100 percent accurate to the original
 

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Can't wait to see the finished product. I'm still planning on building an end table out of one of my Russian ammo crates. There was a thread about this a few months back, and I thought it was a unique and cool project.
 
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