I need to build a storage box that is 6 inch high by 66 inch long by 24 inch deep that can withstand a weight of 72 pounds. What kind of wood should I use? Thank you for your help.

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    Which side is supposed to be open? Plywood or MDF would be obvious inexpensive materials; depending on thickness and where the weight will be applied a bit of additional bracing might be needed. – keshlam Jul 9 '16 at 21:27
  • Just about any wood would be OK. You may wish to make your decision based upon appearance and use. Will it get a lot of wear and tear? – Ashlar Jul 9 '16 at 23:55

Depending on your exact requirements and a few details of the final design you could use many different woods for this, possibly including pine if the centre of the 66" span is supported in some way or otherwise stiffened.

But I think the perfect solution for this would be to use a readymade board material, with plywood topping the list. MDF can also be a very good option, but may also require stiffening so as not to sag across the width when the box is fully loaded.

Cheap plywood these days can be very poor, so for strength and a good finish it's usually worth paying a bit more for quality stuff. 'Birch plywood' is often the thing to look for and this can be sold as 'cabinet plywood' or 'cabinet-grade plywood'. Sorry to say that unfortunately none of these are absolute guarantees of quality any more so try to buy in person and select the boards individually, don't just take the first one or two off the top of a stack.

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    To add to Graphus' answer, a hardwood dealer or specialized woodworking supplier is more likely to stock higher-quality plywood than a home improvement center. Baltic Birch traditionally comes in 5'x5' sheets instead of 8'x4' sheets, and typically has more plies. The price of plywood is usually a very good indicator of the quality. – rob Jul 10 '16 at 18:27
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    @rob Though Baltic birch is a superior product (voids, consistency), cutting a 66" piece from a 5' by 5' sheet might prove to be challenging.:) – Ast Pace Jul 12 '16 at 1:07
  • @AstPace oops, I totally forgot about that "minor" detail! :) That said, you can cut a 66" long piece out of a 5'x5' board if you're willing to be a little flexible on the grain direction, but I haven't done the math or Sketchup prototyping to see if you can cut a 66"x24" piece out of it. – rob Jul 12 '16 at 15:11

This Old House had a design for a platform bed with storage underneath that was basically a set of three five-sided MDF boxes, two opening to the sides and one at the foot of the bed, with two internal dividers to make the space more useful and help carry weight. Since then I've seen a similar design based on very slightly modified Ikea bookcases, which I think are melamine-coated chipboard or something similar rather than MDF; there, the fixed shelves acted as the dividers/supports. Not exactly high-precision engineering, and more than strong enough for any semi-reasonable distribution of weight.

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  • Might be worth clarifying "melamine" here since it's really the core that's the board material and not the coating/surface laminate. Hard to find solid melamine panels :-) – Graphus Jul 15 '16 at 13:42
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    Done, @graphus; tnx. That's the only form I generally use melamine in, so I tend to be sloppy about terminology. – keshlam Jul 16 '16 at 21:43

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