I need to make a very simple box with inside dimensions of 12 inches by
18 inches by 3 inches high. The problem is that this will contain a
granite surface plate that weighs eighty-five pounds. Box material will
be 4/4 white oak.
The sides are easy - four dovetailed corners. The top doesn't matter
much as it won't support any weight. But the bottom... I really don't
want to pick this thing up and have the bottom fall out and drop a
heavy piece of rock on my foot.
How would you attach a bottom to this kind of box? Extend the eighteen
inch sides below the twelve inch sides and use a sliding dovetail?
It's less than a pound and a half per linear inch - and the plate won't
flex at all. It sure sounds flimsy, but the math says it's not. There
is no point of uneven pressure unless I drop the box. At that point, it's
going to come apart - as will whatever is under the point of impact.
If you really want to use dovetails how about dovetailing all the 18" joints
together? ie top & bottom pins DT'd into front & back tails. One end
opens to allow slipping the box onto the stone which has been slid (less
than 1/2 way) off the benchtop. Reverse to extract the stone. I'd expect
there to be less wrangling of the stone, and cursing, this way.
Instead of lifting the box, I'd think in terms of putting two handles
on each side, for a two-man lift. Easiest would be two
2x2 oak sticks, protruding beyond the 12" dimension to
let you grab 'em. Use 2" x 2" x 21.5" sticks, set the box
atop 'em and glue/screw together. Then put the stone in the box.
The top is a dust cover, basically...
How to gently lower the stone into the box:
Drill drain holes in the bottom
Fill the box with ice
Set the stone on the ice
... take a long lunch break.
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