Project Guide

How to Build a Root Cellar

1
Create the Lid
Create the Lid

To create the face of the crate, lay three of the 20-inch boards parallel to one another with their edges flush. Draw a line from top to bottom, 3/4-inch in from either side, so that the line crosses the all three boards. Draw another line across the length of the bottommost board 1/2-inch up from its lower edge.

2
Glue to Secure
Glue to Secure

Inside the pencil border you’ve drawn, lay a swath of wood glue a little less than 6-inches wide. Align one of the 15-inch support slats with the pencil border and press it into the glue. Use at least two nails to affix the slat to the boards. Using the same method, affix another 15-inch slat to the other side of the crate face.


Repeat steps 1 and 2 to create a second face for the crate.

3
Secure the Sides
Secure the Sides

Run beads of wood glue along the 3/4-inch border. Press one the 15-inch side slats into the glue and attach it by driving nails through the front of the face. Continue adding slats until you’ve completed the lateral sides of the crate.


Line the 3/4-inch border of the second face with wood glue. Press it into place at the opposite side of the crate from the original face and fix it into place with more nails.

4
Attach the Lid
Attach the Lid

Stand the crate on one end to install the cellar floor. Settle the plywood panel into the 1/2-inch recess and nail it into the end of the interior panels.


Flip the crate to the remaining open end and attach the lid to one edge using the small hinges.

5
Choose a Location and Enjoy
Choose a Location and Enjoy

Once you’ve finished building the root cellar, allow the wood glue to fully dry before placing it in the ground. Choose a dry location out of the way of foot traffic. Before digging the pit for your cellar, call 811 to make sure there’s no danger of striking underground utilities. Leave several inches exposed above ground to keep the lid visible and the hinges clear of dirt and water.