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Boxes racking on me - HELP!

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Forum topic by Don posted 06-29-2015 11:27 PM 953 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don

551 posts in 2710 days


06-29-2015 11:27 PM

Hey folks, looking for some advice because I’m stumped.

I made three sand boxes for a restaurant and when I started to apply the finish on them, I noticed that all three are racked to some degree.

What causes the racking and can I fix it without having to rebuild the boxes?

Thanks

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca


25 replies so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 644 days


#1 posted 06-29-2015 11:29 PM

Could use more details. Type of wood? Size of box? Pictures? Type of joinery?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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Don

551 posts in 2710 days


#2 posted 06-29-2015 11:39 PM

Sorry, should have included more detail.

I used Spalted Maple for the sides and ends and 1/2” ply for the bottom. Ply sits in a dado and the sides are joined using screw bolts.

It racks from the near corner to the far corner in the first picture. This one is very (VERY) slight but the other two are driving me nuts!

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Daruc's profile

Daruc

459 posts in 601 days


#3 posted 06-29-2015 11:46 PM

More than likely the cuts aren’t square or you have not put them together plumb. Hard to tell what kind of racking without actually seeing them.
Or the wood is warped and when you pull the joints together it racks.
It doesn’t take much, but I don’t know how much they are racked.

-- -

View Jimarco's profile

Jimarco

15 posts in 575 days


#4 posted 06-29-2015 11:46 PM

Probably not the answer to the fix since they would be in teh box,but 90 degree braces?

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4037 posts in 1819 days


#5 posted 06-30-2015 01:12 AM

You need to check for square before you drill the bolt holes.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1420 days


#6 posted 06-30-2015 01:27 AM

I agree with the above. A plywood panel can often help prevent racking, but given the size of your box it isn’t up to the task. As was mentioned, you need to get the box square AND well clamped before drilling the pilot holes for the screws. The plywood panel helps out in this regard. A regular drill bit going into the end grain can really try to follow the grain pattern and it drifts off line a bit. Good clamping and perhaps a brad point bit with the shearing action of the spurs can help keep things on line. It doesn’t take much drift to be magnified into the racking you see over the length of your sides.

PS: WOW, a spalted maple sandbox! First time I have ever sent that!

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2228 posts in 1914 days


#7 posted 06-30-2015 01:34 AM

Could you take the worst one apart ? or at least loosen it a bit ?

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Don's profile

Don

551 posts in 2710 days


#8 posted 06-30-2015 09:25 AM

I’ll take the worst apart tonight and see if there’s anything wrong with it.

Maybe over torquing? Is that possible?

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2200 posts in 949 days


#9 posted 06-30-2015 10:50 AM

Looks like you should be able to crossclamp to square and once plywood is attached it should hold, no?

What are sand boxes?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Don's profile

Don

551 posts in 2710 days


#10 posted 06-30-2015 11:26 AM

The top plywood fits where the top slots are and only act as a cover so they will give no strength to straighten it out.

I’m not 100% certain what they are going to be used for. The chef and owner of a local restaurant contacted me and asked me to make him three sand boxes for his restaurant. It’s quite the high end, eclectic place so my steak and potatoes taste buds won’t be going there.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#11 posted 06-30-2015 11:44 AM

Do the tops fit in easily as they sit now? Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but could you hand plane the bottom so that it sits flush on the ground again, and perhaps the slight variation in height won’t be noticeable?

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Don's profile

Don

551 posts in 2710 days


#12 posted 06-30-2015 11:55 AM

Right now, two of the rock on the two corners where the arrows are.

The one in the picture is the best of the three. The other two are worse, about 1/4” gap when one corner is pushed down.

When they are full of sand (approximately 1 1/2” – 2” deep), wondering if it will force things flat on the table?

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#13 posted 06-30-2015 12:22 PM

Well, looking at that and estimating the size to be 36”x36”, at 2” deep youd be looking at 1.5 cubic feet of play sand, so 150lbs. You could load some tools or cinder blocks into it and see how much it straightens out. Or, if you have the bags of sand, toss them in.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Don's profile

Don

551 posts in 2710 days


#14 posted 06-30-2015 12:26 PM

Objects in the mirror are bigger than they appear :)

Actual size is 20” x 30”

Sides where the top slides in are ~3” high and the slot is 3/8” down from the top

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1837 days


#15 posted 06-30-2015 12:32 PM

OK, so you’re closer to 65-70lbs of sand.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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