How to build a sturdy wood box

Written by david mcguffin | 13/05/2017
How to build a sturdy wood box
Power tools will make box building go much faster. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The ability to build a sturdy box is a skill that can be used for different purposes, such as crafting plyometric exercise equipment, a step for reaching tall spaces, or as storage containers. However, it's important to note that the design and dimensions of the box should depend on its intended application. Building the box should take no longer than a few hours once all of your tools are set up.

Design and plan your box, and write down the dimensions on a sheet of paper. Plyometric exercise boxes can be anywhere from 15 cm to 90 cm (6 inches to 3 feet) tall. Plan to build in at least one reinforcement stud spanning the width of the box, however you may utilise more studs for bigger boxes. For boxes more than 80 cm (32 inches) in length, put a stud every 40 cm (16 inches) -- this will provide enough support for nearly every application. Choose your timber pieces based on the application of the wooden box. For most applications 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards will work, however, if you want something sturdier or heavier, move up to 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) boards. You may want to use 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) pieces for the frame and studs and 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards for the sides of the box.

Measure and cut your pieces with a skill saw or chop saw according to the dimensions on the plan for your wooden box. Nail the pieces together into a frame using galvanised nails. If you are making a larger frame, you may choose to use steel brackets to help reinforce the corner pieces, and to ensure they are properly aligned with the rest of the frame. Insert the studs into the middle sections of the frame.

Nail your 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) pieces over the top, bottom and sides (if necessary) of the box. If you plan to have an opening for the box, either leave one side open or use a powerdrill to screw in hinges for a plywood box top. Alternatively, you can also use 6 mm to 1.2 cm (1/4 to 1/2 inch) plywood for the top and sides.

Use a palm sander to sand out the rough edges and remove splintered wood from the box.


Apply stain if you plan to leave the box outside for a long period of time.

Things you need

  • 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Extension cord (optional)
  • Chop saw
  • Skill saw
  • Steel brackets
  • Palm sander

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