Newby need some suggestions & advice on a mini-project.

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Forum topic by MW425 posted 05-17-2009 06:48 AM 1171 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3297 days

05-17-2009 06:48 AM

Hey, I’m new here and wanted help on what to choose for a small project I was considering.

I simply wanted to create a miniature sandbox for exercising purposes. I was inspired by seeing a coach who was running drills in a large sandpit. Now I don’t have that convenience, I wanted to make a sandbox 3 1/2 ft x 2ft x 5in. (LxWxH).

I’m going to Home Depot for materials, but seeing as I have zero experience in doing anything like this, a few concerns of mine are:

1) What solid wood material is ideal for this? Quality vs. price is a worry seeing as how I’m trying to be on the cheap-side.

2) How thick should these boards be? If I put sand in it & had to carry it, is there a certain thickness for strength? I was considering 1.5-2 inches.

3) Is a finish necessary? I’m just tossing sand in it and going to be barefoot.

4) I also wanted one or two regular 3×2 or 4×2 pieces for elevating myself during certain exercises. How bad would it chip/splinter if I used dumbbells and it hits the boards moderately-lightly?

I just want to be smart about this before attempting anything. Thanks for taking the time to read this too.

8 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3577 days

#1 posted 05-17-2009 07:27 AM

this is pretty confusing to me. a sand box only approx 2ft by 3ft that you want to carry? Sand is heavy so even that small of box may weigh 60-80 lbs and have maybe 6-10 cubic ft of sand. so you must only stand in it with those dimensions. If the weights not an issue you will need to build it out of 2X6 material in affect is only 1.5 inches X 5.5 inches and then you will need a floor made from 3/4” plywood big enough to be nailed or screwed to the bottom.approx, your out side dimensions of 3’6” X 2’ and if you are going to store this were you don’t want cats to use it as a litter box , you will also need a top the same size. I really don’t get what the other measurements are about. If you but a relatively smooth wood for the frame say 3×6 cedar decking then it should be smoother than say fir or pressure treated wood . If you don’t have tools to cut or nail this together you will need to borrow or buy those also.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View MW425's profile


2 posts in 3297 days

#2 posted 05-17-2009 08:01 AM

Sorry for the confusion. It wouldn’t be to carry very far seeing as how it would only stay in my garage. I did figure the sand would be heavy, but not anywhere near 60-80lbs.

I thought as an alternative, making 2 smaller boxers roughly larger than each foot might be better. I’m not sure if it will be cheaper, but it definitely shouldn’t be as much sand. I’d assume all things stay the same except the outside dimensions, which would be more around 1’ X 2’.

If you got confused about the other measurements in regards to question #4, that’s completely unrelated. I just wanted something to stand on for extra height. I thought wood is an easy enough platform to go out and buy then some fancy fitness marketed product.

Thanks for the help Jim, and sorry for the unclear description I gave initially.

View Eddy's profile


25 posts in 3360 days

#3 posted 05-17-2009 08:15 AM

One each foot would limit you in exercises. Make it something you can do anything; from dead-lifts to jumping jacks, even put a bench for bench press. Stretching is something you may need room for. I think Jim is on to something with cedar.

-- Edward

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18272 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 05-17-2009 09:44 AM

I think the cedar would be more spendy and apt to split if a dumbbell were to be dropped on it. I think I would make a 3/4 plywood bottom, then frame the sides with 2×6s or 1×6s depending on how strong you want the sides and how likely the are to get hit by the dumbbells. I wouldn’t bother to finish it. I would glue and screw it together to keep it sand tiight.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lew's profile


12062 posts in 3756 days

#5 posted 05-17-2009 05:30 PM

Your box is 2.9 cuft. Sand weighs about 100 lbs/cuft. Just moving it from one place to another would be exercise enough!!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View David Freed's profile

David Freed

113 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 05-17-2009 05:58 PM

What Lew said. The charts I have looked at shows 100-120 lbs/cu ft.

-- David, Southern Indiana

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18272 posts in 3676 days

#7 posted 05-17-2009 11:46 PM

That’s why we have wheels :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 3623 days

#8 posted 05-18-2009 06:02 PM

The only way you could move something that heavy is with friends or wheels. If you don’t have a yard or somewhere to keep it, make it the inside measurement of the car that parks there -minus a few inches for driver error. Check the height between the deck (floor) and the lowest level of the vehicle, give it an inch or two clearance, so the car’s wheels can fit on either side and drive over it. Buy the sand from a cement mixing establishment, should be cheaper. If you need height above the sand, can you put a board at either end which would allow the 2 X ? to support it? I’d make it with 2×6, It will give you 5 1/2 inches in height. I’d also put something down over the plywood bottom on the inside -single ply membrane (rubber roofing), plastic tarp, something to protect your feet from splinters. Oh and either outside or inside, I’d put a cover over it -keep the cats and/or oil out. :) Have you checked to see if there’s a child’s sand box on craigslist or in the neighborhood that would fit the bill cheaper?

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