Wood and build choice to take serious water and weight!!!!!

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Im wanting to build a battery box for my small boat, it will hold the marine battery, bilge pump and a few switches. It will have a hole in the bottom and handles on the side. Size will roughly be 18w x 8d x 12h. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold about 80# and be able to handle much water, sometimes completely submerged.

Im thinking 3/4 Maple with domino joinery reinforced with a few screws. Threw handles on the side with a strap bolted to the sides to act as a handle as well to cinch the detached lid with once on the boat.

Tite bode 3 glue, Rabbited sides for more surface to glue.


Joinery ?



This idea came from having my boat sunk this weekend from a large storm !

Sometimes you just need to build out of necessity!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

thank you


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I would not use maple on a boat, as it will rot just thinking about getting wet.

I also would not put a switch or a pump in the same box as the battery. It needs to be isolated. Also, it needs to support the battery through a complete knockdown. It also needs to be able to contain a spill, if the battery case were to crack. When it comes to acid resistance, plastic works better than wood.

Of course, I'd rather have wood than plastic on my boat. You might consider a plastic battery box inside a small chest. The chest could contain the pump and the switches, but the battery box would be isolated.

For glue, I'd use epoxy or resorcinol. Probably epoxy.

For joinery, I'd consider dovetails, mostly because old sea chests were always dovetailed. For a similar reason, I'd use light blue or light green as a painted finish, and I'd go with rope beckets. Do a search on Harvey Garrett Smith for suggestions.

For wood, I'd consider teak or white oak. both have difficulty with gluing at times, but dovetails will help you here. I might consider purpleheart. You could get by with pine (which would be preferable to maple. Some might consider painting teak to be blasphemy. Epifanes makes varnish. If you're willing to varnish, then you can have much more fun. Koa, chestnut, or yew could work, and you might try osage orange. Mahogany would work well too.

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Marine plywood or pressure treated pine. Come on guys this is utilitarian , practical box. Brass screws are usually available, run the same size steel screw in first to thread the pilot hole then replace it with the brass screw. They make exterior use Dominos if you already have one of those wonderful tools. Has anyone seen or tried the domino like jig that Jessem came out with?

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Have you thought about using Cyprus? It is rot resistance to water and is light. If you seal it, it will last a long time, and is easy to work with. I don't know what area your from but it is in abundance around here. Some of the other woods mention in some of the post are heavy dense woods, and unless Osage Orange (Bodark) is green it is hard on your cutting tools.

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