What type of wood

I am planning to make a fitness jump platform/board for a friend. Basically, it's a height platform to jump onto. The platform will be 20" x 24" with a height of 30" perhaps 1/2 or 3/4 thick wood. I was thinking of making the base just a bit wider to establish that tapered look. It'll be a simple box with an extra board in the center for strength then cutting a hole on each side for handles. With this type of construction, I didn't want to use heavy wood, yet I don't want to use cheap stuff which may break over time, if not soon. Any recommendations to what type of wood to use. Any other recommendations also appreciated.
Thank you
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Please double check your numbers, if I understand what you are making. You said 30" tall, making it taller than its own base. This thing will fall over at the drop of a hat. Most of these I've seen are more like 4 to 6" with really tall ones about 12" tall. Here are some: http://www.sportsunlimitedinc.com/steps.html . Many are designed to stack when the exercisee (is this a word?) needs more challenge.
Baltic birch multi ply has good resiliency.
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Plywood. Any wood can split and splinter, plywood can take more stress and it less likely to have catastrophic failure. Use the most plies you can get.
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30" seems high for one of these. You may need to check the dimensions. 8-10 inches in height is about what they normally are. The commercial ones are designed so you can stack and interlock several if more height is needed.
If I were making one of these I would use 3/4 inch 11 ply birch plywood, slope the sides about 15 degrees for better stability and round all external edges with a router. Then after sanding, several coats of polyurethane followed with a piece of non slip tread surface for the top and some rubber feet to keep it from slipping. Handle holes, also rounded with the router, is a good idea.
Look carefully at some of the commercial ones and take measurements before you build. The interlocking feature can be incorporated in wooden ones with a little planing, but then you may get to build several :-).
Charley

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Thank you Charley. Your advice will mostly be used.
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Thanks for the replies. I'll clarify on the height issue which two of you were concerned about.
The box will not be used as a "step" aerobic type box. It'll be used as a platform to land on for strength/jump training. In simply terms, you stand next to it, squat and jump straight up on to the platform. This is the height he wants it. I would assume with the base being larger than the platform, I won't have to worry about tipping. My concern is board strength, yet fairly light enough the move.
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Here is a link which provides the same thing made of metal.
http://www.jumpusa.com/jumpboxes.html#1
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wrote:

I need a stretch and a nap just watching that video.
-Leuf
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"Leuf" commented

I just kept thinking, easy chair, recliner, cold drink, the game, etc...
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Plywood.
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