How to Build a Vegetable Bin


Vegetable bins are a useful kitchen tool that saves cupboard storage for root vegetables such as potatoes and onions. When building a vegetable bin, the most important features are sturdiness and durability. If you live in a region that is prone to mold or mealy bugs, consider building the bin out of untreated cedar or teak; the oils in these woods naturally repel insects and prevent mold. When using a vegetable bin, it is best to avoid combining different vegetables in a single space, so a center divider can be very useful.

Cut the Pieces

Step 1

Put on your safety goggles, mask and gloves and crosscut the 1 inch by 10 inch stock wood at 21 3/4 inches using a table saw.

Step 2

Rip the pieces to 8 7/8 inches.

Step 3

Cut a lace design into the bottom edge of each piece for decoration using a band saw. The design can be composed of a large wave followed by a small wave, with the pattern repeating along the bottom edge.

Step 4

Cut a dado cut along the back interior side at 1/4 inch by 5/8 inch. This will be used for fitting the back panel into position. Cut an additional dado cut at 1/8 inch by 5/8 inch into the center of the back panel. This will be used for the center divider.

Step 5

Drill three holes along the outside front edge. Space the holes evenly along the side with the first hole at roughly 4 inches from the top. Set these pieces aside.

Step 6

Cut one piece from the 3/4 inch by 12 inch stock wood at 11.5 inches by 16 inches. This will be used for the front panel.

Step 7

Cut a dado cut at 1/8 inch by 5/8 inch into the center of the front panel. This will be used for the center divider.

Step 8

Cut out the same lace design at the bottom of the piece using the band saw. Set this piece aside.

Step 9

Select the 1 inch by 10 foot stock again. Cut one piece at 7 1/4 inches by 11 1/2 inches for the bottom panel.

Step 10

Drill complementary holes into the two sides and front edges of the panel using a Kreg system drill. Set the piece aside.

Step 11

Select the 1 inch stock and cut a 8 1/8 inch wide by 17 inch tall piece. This will serve as the center divide.

Step 12

Cut a 12 7/8 inch by 20 inch panel from the peg board. This will serve as the back panel.

Step 13

Cut a 12 7/8-inch by 20-inch piece of window screen fabric and staple it to the peg board. This will act as a bug barrier to prevent bugs from entering the bin through the peg board's holes.

Assemble the Bin

Step 1

Dry fit the bin together using clamps. Set 3/8 inch spacer strips on on the front panel sides to create a 3/8 inch reveal.

Step 2

Attach the bottom panel to the two sides using Kreg screws. The bottom panel should be placed 20 inches down from the top of the side panels.

Step 3

Attach the front to the bottom and side pieces using Kreg screws.

Step 4

Fill in the front screw holes with wood plugs.

Step 5

Attach the back panel with brads.

Step 6

Slide the center panel into position to verify that it fits flush with the inside of the bin. If it is does not slide easily into the bin, sand the edge with 80 grit sandpaper to remove small amounts of the width.

Make and Attach the Lid

Step 1

Crosscut two pieces from the remaining 1-inch stock wood at 14 1/2 inches.

Step 2

Rip one piece to 8 5/8 inches and one piece to three inches. Set the table saw at 18 degrees for these cuts.

Step 3

Set the 3-inch piece on top of the bin and center it. Drill two holes roughly one inch into the piece at both sides and screw it into place with 1 1/2 inch wood screws. Cover the holes with wood plugs.

Step 4

Attach the piano hinges to the underside of the lid pieces. The hinge placement should be roughly 1 1/2 inches at both sides.

Finishing the Bin

Step 1

Sand down all sides of the bin with the rotating sander and 80 grit sandpaper, removing any imperfections, sanding the wood plugs flush with the boards and always sanding with the grain of the wood. Always wear a safety mask, goggles and gloves when sanding wood to prevent an allergic reaction to the dust.

Step 2

Fill in holes and cracks in the wood with wood filler and a putty knife. Let the wood filler dry, then re-sand the entire bin with 220 grit sandpaper to make the fillings flush with the bin.

Step 3

Paint the bin with a polyurethane coating to seal the wood. Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer's directions as more than one layer may be required.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety mask
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Pine board, 3/4 inch x 12 inches x 16 inches
  • Pine board, 1 inch x 10 inches x 10 feet
  • Table saw
  • Band saw
  • Drill
  • Kreg system drill
  • Peg board, 1/4 inch x 24 inches x 24 inches
  • Window screen fabric, 1 roll
  • Staple gun
  • Clamps
  • Spacer strips, 3/8 inch
  • Kreg screws, 1 1/4 inches
  • Wood plugs, 1/4 inch
  • Brads
  • Wood screws, 1 1/2 inches
  • Two piano hinges
  • Rotating sander
  • Sandpaper, 80 and 220 grit
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Polyurethane coating
  • Paintbrush


  • Woodworking Corner: Potato Bin
  • Organic Facts: Health benefits of Cedar Wood Essential Oil
  • "New Fix-It-Yourself Manual: How to Repair, Clean, and Maintain Anything and Everything In and Around Your Home"; Reader's Digest; 1996.
Keywords: potato bin, vegetable bin, root vegetable bin, build vegetable bin

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.