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Plyo Boxes by Lincoln Brigham - CrossFit Journal

Plyo Boxes

By Lincoln Brigham

In Equipment

September 01, 2006

PDF Article

Plyo boxes are very popular in CrossFit gyms. They're great for all kinds of workouts—or for just sitting on after a good workout with your head cradled in your hands waiting for the room to stop spinning. However, commercial plyo boxes can cost as much as $100 to $200 each, plus shipping. Homebuilt equipment—a favorite CrossFit brand—can be constructed with quality at least equal to that of the best commercial designs and at significantly lower cost. Square boxes and open-sided boxes take a bigger toll on the shins from missed jumps, and slant-sided boxes are stackable, so they require less floor space for storage. So this month's journal brings you the do-it-yourself CrossFit custom plyo box with slanted sides. Your friends, relations, workout buddies, and clients will be sore impressed! Or just plain sore after a hard workout on one of these babies. Total cost for this project should be in the neighborhood of $40-60 per box or less, depending on the size and your bargain-shopping abilities

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11 Comments on “Plyo Boxes”


randy wrote …

Thank you for this. This is exactly what I was looking for!!!


wrote …

The angled cuts are tricky, even with an adjustable table saw. I ended up with some slightly uneven corners, which I had to rasp-file even. Overall a fun project with EXCELLENT results! THANKS!


wrote …

made two of these with my dad at the weekend-they are fantastic-going to do fight gone bad with them tonight!


wrote …

very usefull, here in argentina these box doesnt exist. i would made one


Ryan Powell wrote …

Just made a box. A tip to future builders, screw the sides that are opposite of eachother when the box is together (the ones with the same dimensions) and cut both pieces at the same time. Did this after my first attempt resulted in 4 different sized sides.


wrote …

A buddy and I made the boxes following the articles instructions. Overall the instructions were great. Definitely make templates(we used roofing paper instead of cardboard and it worked well)! Cost ends up being more like $125-$150 for 2 boxes depending on what tools/paint you might already have. Still a lot cheapper than buying boxes and having them shipped. We had 2 table saws that allowed us to cut the angled sides which was nice. We also suggest recessing the screw holes, filling with wood putty, and using a power sander before painting. This really makes them look sharp! We constructed and painted four boxes (2 24s and 2 20s) in about 12 hours.


wrote …

Also I reccommend going with 2 inch screws for extra bite!


wrote …

Just made a 24" ish box for myself. I use MDF. weighs a ton, but should be plenty durable. Used 2" decking screws. I had the same problem as others not getting the sides just right. I matched them up the best I could and applied a belt sander to smooth everything up, wood putty where the seams weren't perfect, primed then painted. Look pretty nice, IMHO. Next up is a 12" box for my 6 year old.


wrote …

The article was great, as always, but it only gives directions for 2-20" boxes. I don't really use a 20" box, let alone 2. I was, however, making these for my fire department to use. With the 2 pieces of 3/4" by 4' by 8' plywood, I was initially able to make a 20" and a 24" box with no problem and had at least a whole half a board left over. Then when it became apparent that some of the guys didn't feel confident or comfortable with the 20" height, I was even able to make a 16" box! The dimensions are easy to adjust for the 24" and 16" boxes. Just add or subtract 4" to all measurements. The only advice that I can give to avoid the problems that I ran into are... Don't let anyone try to help you. I asked for help at first because I was timid about the measurements and cuts (because the cuts determine the rest of the project). When I let someone help, the measurements were off, the cuts were off, and I spent way more time than I needed to (mostly on fixing the mistakes). I haven't done woodworking since high school, and even then it was 1 class, but when I just did it myself the cuts were x10 better than when I procured help. I'm pretty sure it's just because I cared about the finished product and wanted to take my time to make sure it turned out great rather than just done. Take your time, check and recheck measurements and take your time with the cuts as well!!! Other than that, Constantly check the alignment of your table saw guide and when you are making your angled cuts, use the angle produced by the side cuts as your guide, not the angle degree guide on your saw. You are making the angled cuts to compensate for the angle of the side cuts, which will not always (or ever) produce a 10 degree angle or whatever it says in the article. Also, have fun and take some pride in making them!


Shaun Stuto wrote …

We just built 4 boxes today out of 3/4'' plywood. The key is getting your angles right and getting everything set up before cutting.We set the angles at 10 degrees. With 2 pieces of 3/4'' plywood, I was able to build one 24'' box, one 18'' box, and two 12'' boxes. They all have 17.5'' square tops. We used square bit trim/finishing screws instead of drywall screws and they look really nice. I believe a table saw would be much nicer than a skill saw for making the cuts. You also might consider having a wood rasp and good sanding block with tough sandpaper. E-mail me for pictures


wrote …

Great plans! Just one note on the screws. When fastening materials, you want a fastener that is at least 3 times as long as the thickness of the material you are fastening. Since this uses 3/4" ply, you'd want to use a fastener that is at least 2-1/4". Also, I wouldn't recommend using drywall screws. Drywall screws are meant to hold drywall to a wall (I guess that goes without saying), but the shear strength isn't very high because they are hardened. It would be safer to use actual wood screws or structural screws. Otherwise - awesome, and I'm looking forward to making my own set!

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