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Thread: Design of a lightweight box

  1. #1
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    Design of a lightweight box

    I have a customer that wants a lightweight box, it will be about 13" wide, 6" deep by 42" long.

    This customer is a friend of the family that practices various martial arts, he has various practice weapons that he takes with him to the training center. Now he is using a bag, but it does not work well for some of the weapons, and it does not protect the weapons from being banged around.

    The weapons are made from aluminum, and are EXPENSIVE to buy, they are only used in Kata, not stuck against anything, so they are fairly lightweight and somewhat fragile.

    My plan, thus far, is to make the corners of the box from some hardwood, I have Ash on hand so I'll go with that, and the flats of the box from some nice 4mm thick plywood (5/32"?).

    The box will be about 4" deep on the bottom half and 2" deep on the top half, both halves will be used for stowing weapons.

    This is the joint I have worked out, I think it should be strong enough, I want to only glue it, no fasteners................

    Attachment 6835 Attachment 6836

    Attachment 6837 Attachment 6838

    Attachment 6839 Attachment 6840

    The lip of the box also gets a strip of hardwood.

    Attachment 6841 Attachment 6842

    Attachment 6843

    The outer edges will be rounded over on the router table (as soon as I put new bearings in my Hitachi M12 router!!).

    Do you think that regular Yellow carpenters glue will be good enough for this?

    I do have some Gorilla glue, but I've not used it much, and when I did, it was not the best of times

    This is just a mock-up that I made to see how it would work, it is tacked together with some CA glue, the joints are not PERFECTLY tight etc, but it will give you some idea of the way it is designed and made.

    Hints, suggestions etc please!!

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    i`d use yellow glue stu........plenty strong so long as you`re able to bring the mating surfaces together with sufficient pressure....tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Stu, before I got to the part where you describe what you've got alreay, I was thinking about some thin (1/2" or better 3/8"), quarter sawn spruce with narrow box joint fingers.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  4. #4
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    Thanks Tod, I really would rather avoid that Gorilla stuff

    Dave, I was thnking that too, but this thing will take a fair bit of abuse, and the thin solid wood would be more likely to crack (?) and it would bruise more than the plywood....would


    ......or at least that was my thinking....

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Well, I'd say your thinking is correct.

    I think with the corners as you have designed them, you could bevel the inside corners and bevel or round over the exterior ones.

    If the contents would allow it, you might consider designing the box so the sides and top are curved a little to increase strength.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  6. #6
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    The inside looks a bit clunky/chunky on that mockup. I would agree with Dave about beveling the inside corner, but that would make it trickier for you to glue.

  7. #7
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    PS: Like this, Dave?
    Attachment 6848

  8. #8
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    What about narrow (4mm ?) finger joints directly on the ply then maybe 3/4" triangular glue blocks on the inside corners. to stiffen it a bit more? Or are you trying to avoid showing plywood edges?
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  9. #9
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    Yeah, I'd rather not show the plywood edges.

    I thought about just a 45 on the insides, but then it all gets really small and would be tough to clamp etc....

    A small round over, to knock off that corner on the inside would be good too, maybe I'll just do that.....

    Thanks guys!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Art, yes, I think that is close. I was actually thinking of a slightly larger cove so that there's almost a feather edge where the post meets the plywood. The outside could be rounded over similarly.

    I did this several years ago on a small box of mahogany with maple corner posts. The idea worked well but I didn't put the cove on the inside edge of the posts. I didn't like it that way at all. It is a neat method of joining the corners and you can make the corner post stock in long pieces like a molding and then hack off pieces to suit. It is much like a common method used for building cabins on some wooden boats. It is desirable for in that case because you end up with no exposed end grain once the coach roof has been added.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

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