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My customer only gives me outside dimensions...

What do I do when my customer only gives me outside dimensions?


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Converting from outside dimensions (OD) to inside dimensions (ID) is very simple in Crate Pro 6. However, there are potential issues that you need to be aware of.


  • Based on the crate materials you chose to use, the available space, your inside dimension, will increase or decrease. This can lead to a crate too small for the content or too big which will require more packing materials than intended and a heavier and more costly crate than wanted.
  • You could under build the crate for the content and transportation method, and the risk of damage will increase
  • You could over build the crate and the cost/weight will deter from the customer using your services

Often it's an uneducated customer or one that says, "That's always the way we've done it", that provides only outside dimension.If you can comfortably get more information you may be able to better serve your customer. Sometimes they provide the OD because of their spacing requirements or method of transport limitations.
  • Information on the content, such as size, weight, you can better decide what materials should and can be used to meet their requirements if they don't specify.
  • If the customer provides the materials they want used, then you're able to easily determine the inside dimensions but if so then your assuming they also have determined the materials meet the content and transport requirements. It's not likely they'll take the blame if the materials they ask you to use allow the content to get damaged because it didn't meet standards.
Use your judgement to best serve your customer.

HOW TO DETERMINE THE ID FROM THE OD:

> Determine the thickness of each panel based on the materials you'll use. Here's some examples:
  • Using 1x4 cleats + 3/4 plywood == each panel is 1.5" thick. So the thickness of two End panels is 3" ; the thickness of the two side panels is 3" ; the thickness of the top and base panel together is 3"
  • When you enter the outside dimensions in the length / width / height fields minus the thickness of the panels.  So in this example the OD - 3 = the ID in each field. Crate Pro 6 will auto calculate the correct inside dimension.
  • For most crates you'll have Skids and/or Rub Strips so for the height field you need to deduct the additional thickness of those materials as well. So for our example lets use 4x4 skids. These are 3.5" actual thickness. So in the height field it would be Height OD - 3 (top and base panel) - 3.5 (skid) = ID.  Crate Pro allows you to enter multiple calculations in each field so you can deduct each material separately if easier
  • Now in the same example you include Rub Strips, we'll use 2x4's and place them flat. A 2x4 is 1.5 actual thickness. So in the height field our formula will be Height OD - 3 (top/base panel) - 3.5 (skid thickness) -1.5 (rub strip thickness) = ID

Crate Pro 6 will auto-calculate the Inside Dimension but you'll need to know the materials you intend to use at the time you create the design. You can make changes after you make the design as well and the Wts/Dims tab will show you how material changes affect the outside dimensions. If you make a change that affects other components you'll see yellow lights appear on the tabs that are affected. If you do so you must remember to go to the Rules tab when you make a change and 'Run Rules' to allow Crate Pro 6 to recalculate the other materials. For lumber sheathed panels, you need to go to the panel tab and click on Run Rules on that tab.

If you're not sure of the thickness of a material, the ACTUAL thickness that Crate Pro 6 uses to calculate is in the Inventory module. 

One mistake that might get made - Using a non-square material on the Skid and/or Rib Strip component. The dimension of the Flat versus On Edge position does change the value of what you'll deduct from the OD.

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Answer

Converting from outside dimensions (OD) to inside dimensions (ID) is very simple in Crate Pro 6. However, there are potential issues that you need to be aware of.


  • Based on the crate materials you chose to use, the available space, your inside dimension, will increase or decrease. This can lead to a crate too small for the content or too big which will require more packing materials than intended and a heavier and more costly crate than wanted.
  • You could under build the crate for the content and transportation method, and the risk of damage will increase
  • You could over build the crate and the cost/weight will deter from the customer using your services

Often it's an uneducated customer or one that says, "That's always the way we've done it", that provides only outside dimension.If you can comfortably get more information you may be able to better serve your customer. Sometimes they provide the OD because of their spacing requirements or method of transport limitations.
  • Information on the content, such as size, weight, you can better decide what materials should and can be used to meet their requirements if they don't specify.
  • If the customer provides the materials they want used, then you're able to easily determine the inside dimensions but if so then your assuming they also have determined the materials meet the content and transport requirements. It's not likely they'll take the blame if the materials they ask you to use allow the content to get damaged because it didn't meet standards.
Use your judgement to best serve your customer.

HOW TO DETERMINE THE ID FROM THE OD:

> Determine the thickness of each panel based on the materials you'll use. Here's some examples:
  • Using 1x4 cleats + 3/4 plywood == each panel is 1.5" thick. So the thickness of two End panels is 3" ; the thickness of the two side panels is 3" ; the thickness of the top and base panel together is 3"
  • When you enter the outside dimensions in the length / width / height fields minus the thickness of the panels.  So in this example the OD - 3 = the ID in each field. Crate Pro 6 will auto calculate the correct inside dimension.
  • For most crates you'll have Skids and/or Rub Strips so for the height field you need to deduct the additional thickness of those materials as well. So for our example lets use 4x4 skids. These are 3.5" actual thickness. So in the height field it would be Height OD - 3 (top and base panel) - 3.5 (skid) = ID.  Crate Pro allows you to enter multiple calculations in each field so you can deduct each material separately if easier
  • Now in the same example you include Rub Strips, we'll use 2x4's and place them flat. A 2x4 is 1.5 actual thickness. So in the height field our formula will be Height OD - 3 (top/base panel) - 3.5 (skid thickness) -1.5 (rub strip thickness) = ID

Crate Pro 6 will auto-calculate the Inside Dimension but you'll need to know the materials you intend to use at the time you create the design. You can make changes after you make the design as well and the Wts/Dims tab will show you how material changes affect the outside dimensions. If you make a change that affects other components you'll see yellow lights appear on the tabs that are affected. If you do so you must remember to go to the Rules tab when you make a change and 'Run Rules' to allow Crate Pro 6 to recalculate the other materials. For lumber sheathed panels, you need to go to the panel tab and click on Run Rules on that tab.

If you're not sure of the thickness of a material, the ACTUAL thickness that Crate Pro 6 uses to calculate is in the Inventory module. 

One mistake that might get made - Using a non-square material on the Skid and/or Rib Strip component. The dimension of the Flat versus On Edge position does change the value of what you'll deduct from the OD.

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