Desert Ark Crate
This is what started all the crate building madness for me. Not that it’s the first one I made, just the firstone I wanted to make. Probably the most important crate in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” This crate suffers through three different phases. First, Indy hauls the crate up out of the Well of Souls in a plain vanilla version. Second, the Germans stencil the side and load it in a truck. Lastly, the power of the Ark burns the German markings from the side. There are a couple of things to note. All three versions of the my crate would follow the same instructions. I just tweaked the print out for each one. I also added a “Cobra” version later on.
Click on each image and you will be taken to the larger version you can right click on and save!
Yes, I know the side image of the German crate was altered slightly. And no, I won’t make one that is 100% accurate. Third, the Ark won’t fit in this crate as built. I have some plans to make one that will, but you will need to wait for it. At the time I build this one, I didn’t have the “modern” Ark, sodidn’t see the dimensions I needed.
Tools you will need:
- Pen or Pencil.
- Small Ruler.
- Large Ruler or Straight Edge.
- Cutting Mat (Scrap Cardboard would work, but
I prefer a cutting mat.)
- Glue Gun (Not Shown. I have a low-temp
- Double Sided Adhesive tape. (I use Duck
Brand. It’s found in the office supply section of
- Black Foam Core Board. I really like the black foam core with the black middle portion. It tends to not show seams as much as the white. You can use the white, but I’d color any of the seams that look like they’d show with a black magic marker. You could use cardboard or matte board as well, but you will need to adjust the piece dimensions to compensate.
- Paper. I normally use a heavy gloss paper for these projects, but I didn’t in this case. I actually used plain old laser printer paper. It has a bit more texture than the stuff I normally use, and looks good with the wood print.
Cut out all the pieces you need.
- Top (3″ x 1.625″)
- Side 1 (3″ x 1 13/16″)
- Side 2 (3″ x 1 13/16″)
- End 1 (1.5″ x 1 13/16″)
- End 2 (1.5″ x 1 13/16″)
Download and print out the graphic for the out side of the crate. You can see in the picture I left tabs a little longer than the graphic. Also, I tend to cut the tabs at a bit of an angle on the end. This can be seen later in the pictures.
Glue one of the long sides to the top. The side should be flush with the two ends.
Next comes the first end piece. It will go in between the side pieces when finished.
Next, the other end piece. Pretty easy so far huh?
Glue on the other side and you have a box. At this point, I normally trim any excess glue or trim an loose foam..
The next three steps go quickly. Before proceeding, I test fold the graphic. It’s a lot easier to fold without the adhesive on it. Plus, it’s easier to fix problems at this point. I put adhesive on the “decal” everywhere it was needed. The back of each of the tabs and around the edges of all five sides. I also put a little extra in the center of the top. When that’s done, put the box upside down in the center using the folds as guides.
Next fold the ends up and glue the tabs down to the sides as shown. You can see here a better view of how I cut the tabs.
Fold the sides down and press them in place. Volia! You’ve got an Ark crate. Now, depending on how far you want to go, you could stop here. For more of the finishing touches keep reading.
To make the handles on the ends, I bought some heavy upholstery thread. I have a pretty decent size needle that I threaded. I pushed the need through the hole on the graphic, making sure to leave one end of the thread hanging out. I then threaded the needle again repeated for the other hole. If you have a thimble, this is a good step to use it on.
Once I got the loop the length I wanted, I secured it inside with a length of tape. Then repeat the process on the other end.
To make the holders for the carrying poles, I used staples out of my staple gun. Office staples might work, but the thickness was better on these. (It was Mrs. Nerd’s suggestion.) To start, I used a staple for a template and pressed it into the crated just enough to make a mark. Use one of the boards as a marker so you can match the other end later.
Once marked, I used my hobby knife to cut a little notch. This is way easier than trying to push a staple in, trust me. I didn’t secure the staples with glue, you could if you wanted. Repeat this step until all four corners are complete.
Add two 6 inch pieces of small square balsa wood. Press the staples up against wood pieces, and your crate is complete!