wannigan (canoe box) thoughts

I want to make a more or less traditional wannigan (a wooden chest for cooking gear and food, used on canoe trips). The design goals are:
    * Sturdy (if I have to coddle it I won's use it)     * Not too heavy.     * Should feel "nice" rather than "nasty" (e.g. plastic crate)     * Flexible contents (it should still be usable if I change      stove, pots, etc).     * Anything breakable and critical should be fields repairable      with knife, axe, swiss army knife and a few wood screws.
Some thoughts on design choices are:
1. Since it will be abused (water on the bottom of the canoe, rain, rough handling, etc) overdoing the "fancy" bit is useless.
2. Plywood (birch? luan?), pine boards, or what? I'm leaning towards the pine boards, using grove and tennon stock, but is not quite sure. I was planning on using tar/BLO/turpentine as a treatment (it will have all winter to cure...). Will 10 mm be thick enough?
3. Just screew the boards to corner pieces, or glue as well? Glue the tounges/grooves? The glue would be stronger, but unglued might leave some room to swell when wet... Remember, it will go from bone dry (stored indoors all winter) to rather wet (week long rains). It will also be carried in various ways when full of stuff (say 15-20 kg as an absolute maximum, usually more like 5-10 kg), so any side/bottom must be able to take that load.
4. The lid will have a short lip on the outside ("quarter round", 10-15 mm) to keep rain/splash out of the box, and there will be short "sacrifical" runner type "legs" on the bottom of the box (say 20-30 mm high, screwed from the inside; no metal against the canoe bottom if I can avoid it, and if they need replacement the binding part of the screw will go into fresh wood).
5. Brass or stainless hardware?
6. No hinges or catches on the lid, just a couple of good straps is more flexible.
7. I'll make flexible internal dividers by slotting in plywood sheets (double as cutting boards, etc) between pairs of quarter round stock.
8. Carry handles on the short ends, attachment points for a thumpline on the long sides.
Advice? Suggestions?
/Par
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Par snipped-for-privacy@hunter-gatherer.org
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Par wrote:
> Advice? Suggestions?
Forget wood, use epoxy, DB170 knitted glass and 3/4" Divinicell foam.
Lew
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Ehuwww. Icky. I'm on a long term campaign to _reduce_ the high tech plastic components of my wilderness kit, not increase it. But yes, it would be sturdy and impervious to water.
/Par
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Par wrote:
> Ehuwww. Icky. I'm on a long term campaign to _reduce_ the high tech > plastic components of my wilderness kit, not increase it. But yes, it > would be sturdy and impervious to water.
As long as you remember the reality of wood in the marine environment, "From compost you come and to compost you shall return".
Use cedar and bronze, NOT brass fasteners, if you ever expect to be in salt water.
Lew
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Sure, but if I get a decade or two of use from this I'm very happy (a few weeks a year, not continual living). And wooden boats survive centuries...

No salt water; lakes and rivers.
/Par
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Par wrote:

If I have my facts straight, fir would be lighter than pine and more resistant to rot/water damage.
Jess.S
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Jesse R Strawbridge wrote:

Here's a link to one fitted to the shape of the canoe http://www.wcha.org/wcj/v25_n6/wanigan.pdf Joe
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That's true, and should be available for not too outrageous prices (this is a lumber wasteland). Now that you mention it ISTR that birch is rather rot prone as well. Leaves the choices of luan plywood and fir. If I could get ash for a decent price...
/Par
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"Par"

snip
Par I would make it from 12mm cypress, dovetailed corners, polyurethane/resorcinol/epoxy glue, with the bottom reinforced with brass box corners. The cypress will stand the wet/dry cycles very well and the dovetailing will provide strength even if the glue fails.
http://www.horton-brasses.com/products/chestlifts/266
If you don't like the weight of cypress, use redwood. It will be lighter and not as durable but it too will handle the wet/dry cycles fine. You trade weight for durability.
Dave
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I could not get cypress here for anything but silly money.

No brass; I now I trade durability, but the canoe would take wear from sharpish brass corners.

True, dovetailing is probably the way to go. I was forgetting that, since most of the versions I've seen on the net is either quick jobs from plywood or "canoe" chests make like a section of a wood/canvas canoe (you need a plug for that; overkill for a one shot project).
/Par
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Make it out of redwood, lightweight, capable of handling the moisture and dryness cycles, soft enough to not harm the canoe, durable enough to last. Again, dovetails and if you want to avoid chemical glues, use hide glue.
Dave
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