Buildable boxes

Jun 24 2014

I like to put many of my things in boxes.
For my tools I build special purpose boxes, typically out of plywood. It takes time.

Why not have box building pieces like lego, meccano and fischertechnik but more sturdy?

Say the pieces are built of 100mm x 100mm pieces. Then one could build a box in any multiple of 100mm size.
The best would be if the pieces weren’t glued together so when your box is too small, too big or your tool is broken and no longer needs a box – just rebuild.
Still, having a bunch of cheap pieces to just build a glued box is better than having no pieces.

One idea

Build the boxes like log house. The “logs” could be “small planks” with already made corners to fit to each other, like the log houses have, but more relying on fastening and less on timber weight.
The corners could snap together or be fastened with a rod going through or an outside fitting corner piece.

I am not necessarily thinking of only wood as material here; plastic or metal or sturdy paper would be just as fine, possibly even better with mixed material.

Another idea

The construction could be more like ordinary plywood boxes with metal edging but as DIY. The edging is easy – buy it in 500mm lengths and cut as needed. The plywood can be considered easy too, just buy a 2 square meter piece; but that only works if one has plenty of storage space. Instead have them 500mm long and 50 mm high; cut them as needed and fit together with metal edging and some sort of metal not-edging.

Yet another idea

One could get away with less tools if the pieces came in 100mm x 100mm pieces with fasteners already attached. Say continuous casted aluminium profiles made to fit each other with or without a third piece. Just join the pieces and have a box. This idea looks like it would possible to pick apart and rebuild too.


I found the OS project that solves many of the question regarding dimensions.

At Low tech magazine is an article that talks about modularity and reuse.


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