Produce Storage Bins

Wood bins are popular storage containers for many fruits and vegetables that need air circulation as they ripen. My kitchen needed a place to put some of the produce that wasn’t ready for the refrigerator.

I built these bins using 2×3 lumber that I ripped into strips on the table saw. If you don’t have a table saw, you could also build these with stock 1×2 and 1×3 boards.

Shopping List

1 @ 2 x 3 x 8′

Cut List

4 @ 7/16 x 1.5 x 8 5/8″ : support rails
4 @ 7/16 x 1.5 x 13 1/4″ : legs
4 @ 7/16 x 2.5 x 10 1/2″ : sides
8 @ 7/16 x 2.5 x 11 7/8″ : slats and fronts
2 @ 7/16 x 2.5 x 12 3/4″ : backs

Step 1: Cutting and jig creation

First, cut the 2×3 at 26.75″ and 60″. The remaining piece, about 9″, can be used to make a jig for assembly.

Set your table saw fence 7/16″ from the blade. Raise the blade at least 1 1/2″ above the table, and rip the 27″ piece 4 times, so you will have 5 pieces. After the first rip, flip the remaining piece over so you have an original outside edge against the fence for the second rip. This ensures the two pieces with rounded edges will have consistent thickness, and any variation will be in the center pieces. Use the pieces with rounded edges for the legs.

rip 2x3
Now raise the blade another inch, so it extends above the 2.5″ dimension of the 2×3. Rip the longer piece on edge 2 times to get 3 pieces, each 2.5″ wide.

To make an assembly jig, you will need a scrap piece of plywood with square edges, 5 7/8″ by 7 1/2″. Mark the plywood at 2″ and 5 1/2″ from one end. Glue an 8 7/8″ 2×3 across the width of the plywood, extending 1.5″ on each side, at the 2″ mark.


Step 2: Assemble the legs

Start by assembling 2 legs with a support rail. The rail should be 1/2″ from the bottom of each leg.

If you use the assembly jig, align the legs with the end of the jig, and attach the rail against the jig.

Use glue and clamps, and tack with 5/8″ brads. Make marks on the legs at 3.5″ and 6.25″ above the rail.

Attach a second rail at the 6.25″ mark (that is the distance between the rails, the center to center measurement is 7.75″). Make another set of legs identical to the first.

Step 3: Connect the leg frames

Take one leg section and clamp one slat to the top rail. Then clamp the other leg section to the slat to temporarily keep the frame upright.

Now position the first slat on the bottom rail, about 1/8″ from the end of the rail, and glue and tack it into place. Attach the next 2 slats with about 1/2″ between them. Once the 3 slats are in place for the bottom tray, start on the upper tray.


Step 4: Attach the back pieces

Attach the back pieces of the bins across the back of the legs. Each piece should be aligned 1″ above the support rail. The top piece will align with the top of the legs. Make sure it is standing square, and secure with glue and brads.
Since this part is critical to the stability of the frame, it is a good idea to allow the glue an hour or two to dry before finishing the remaining pieces.

Step 5: Attach the bin sides

To cut the angle on the side pieces, make a mark 8 7/8″ from one end. Set your miter saw to a 40 degree angle, and cut the corner at your mark. That should leave about 1/2″ of end grain.
Align the side pieces with the back pieces, and glue and tack into place. The longer edge goes at the top. The sides of the top bin align with the top of the legs.

Step 6: Attach the fronts

Attaching the front pieces requires holding the pieces in place at an angle until the glue dries, or brads are tacked in. This can be accomplished with a helper, or by simply holding the glued pieces in place by hand for about 3 minutes, until the glue is tacky enough for you to handle the nailer.


For most uses, the bins do not need any finish work other than sanding. If you prefer to stain the wood, you may want to stain the pieces before assembly.

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