Wooden box

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Wooden box with full cleated ends (Style 2)
Man with wooden box or chest, 1625

A wooden box is a container made of wood for storage or as a shipping container.

Construction may include several types of wood; lumber (timber), plywood, engineered woods, etc. For some purposes, decorative woods are used.

Boxes as shipping containers[edit]

Wooden boxes are often used for heavy duty packaging[1] when

  • high strength is needed for heavy and difficult loads
  • long term warehousing may be needed
  • large size is required
  • rigidity is required
  • when stacking strength is critical

Boxes and crates are not the same. If the sheathing of the container (plywood, lumber, etc.) can be removed, and a framed structure will remain standing, the container would likely be termed a crate. If removal of the sheathing resulted in there being no way of fastening the lumber around the edges of the container, the container would likely be termed a wooden box.

The strength of a wooden box is rated based on the weight it can carry before the cap (top, ends, and sides) is installed. "Skids" or thick bottom runners, are sometimes specified to allow forklift trucks access for lifting.

Performance is strongly influenced by the specific design, type of wood, type of fasteners (nails, etc.), workmanship, etc.

Some boxes have handles, hand holes, or hand holds.

Ammunition in wooden boxes, steel strapping

Nailed wood box[edit]

Cleated box[edit]

A cleated box has five or six panel faces with wood strips attached to them. The panels can be made of plywood, solid or corrugated fiberboard, etc. Wooden cleats reinforce the panels.

Wirebound box[edit]

Very thin lumber is used for a wirebound box. Wires are stapled or stitched to the girth and to wood cleats. These are sometimes used for produce and for heavy loose items for military or export use. These are lighter than wood boxes or crates. They have excellent tensile strength to contain items but not much stacking strength.

Skid box[edit]

A skid box is a wood, corrugated fiberboard, or metal box attached to a heavy duty pallet or platform on a skid (parallel wood runners)

Other wooden boxes[edit]

Decorative boxes[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Twede, D (2001). Cartons, Crates and Corrugated board (PDF) (Second ed.). Institute of Packaging Professionals.

ASTM standards[edit]

Performance testing a wood shipping container: Rotational corner drop test, ASTM D6179

ASTM standards:

  • D6179 Standard Test Methods for Rough Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates
  • D6199 Standard Practice for Quality of Wood Members of Containers and Pallets
  • D6251 Standard Specification for Wood-Cleated Panelboard Shipping Boxes
  • D6253 Practice for Treatment and/or marking of Wood Packaging Materials
  • D6254 Standard Specification for Wirebound Pallet-Type Wood Boxes
  • D6256 Standard Specification for Wood-Cleated Shipping Boxes and Skidded, Load-Bearing Bases
  • D6573 Standard Specification for General Purpose Wirebound Shipping Boxes
  • D6880-05 Standard Specification for wooden boxes

General references[edit]

  • McKinlay, A. H., "Transport Packaging", IoPP, 2004
  • Yam, K. L., "Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology", John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 978-0-470-08704-6