1. Team-
    What would you suggest for a non-plywood bottom? Tounge and groove or maybe ship lapped planks like the tool chest seem a little weak on the middle boards, but another panel’n’frame peice does not seem quite right either.

    I try to avoid plywood for personal projects. I used it a lot of it professionally and was just never fond of it.

    1. I’m using 3/4″ aromatic cedar for mine. Just a plain T&G flat panel, nothing fancy. Over such a narrow width, that will be extremely strong. My box and panels are hard maple and the lid will be birds eye in either a hard maple or wormy maple frame. Not sure on the frame yet but I have to make a decision pretty quick. I’m gluing up the box tomorrow.

      This project has been a lot of fun. And I’ve learned to hate my Stanley 45 on a whole different level! Seriously, that evil thing has a mind of it’s own at times, but Paul really came up with a nice design – those legs are awesome.

    2. Paul says that ship lapped, tongue and groove, or a solid board as long as it is stable in moisture content and not a wood prone to excess expansion and contraction should all work just fine.

    3. I used frame/panel for mine, topped with 1/4 aromatic cedar. Remember, it must be thick enough for a 3-year old to jump up and down on, because that is a distinct possibility.

    4. If you are going to use a none engineered wood for the bottom make sure it is cut for a loose fit to cope with expansion. For a small chest like this a 1/2″ T&G or ship lap would be plenty strong enough just make sure it has room to move.

  2. Hello all,
    I’m finally at the stage of fitting the bottom to my chest. I was intending on using 18 mm plywood for the bottom but it’ll have to be 4ft long by 15 inches wide to span the distance I need. I’m a little concerned that this may not be strong enough and I’m also wandering if anybody has any recommendations on a minimum size I would need to use for the supports that’ll hold the bottom. I want to make sure it’ll be strong enough as my girlfriends intending on stowing her workout stuff in it so will have to hold dumbbells, medicine balls etc, so quite a bit of weight.

  3. If there are cleats to support the plywood along the length (which there should be) then you’re only talking about spanning 15″. If you have a piece of good quality 18mm plywood the size you need, then support it along the long edges and pile 200-300 lbs on it and see if you get any flex. I’d be surprised if you get any. I would think 18mm thick cleats of whatever width you have room for should be plenty.

  4. Paul,
    In the last month, I have experienced swelling and stiffness in my left thumb’s joint, to the point where I can no longer bend it more than half way without pain. My Dr. says it’s the result of years of “abuse”, when I hit the wrong nail, leading to calcification in the joint.
    Considering I was able to work on the job as a residential carpenter for forty years, I consider myself lucky that this hasn’t happened until now.
    So I can understand what you’re going through.
    Be well, and stay safe.

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