Sunday, 6 May 2012

How to Build a Plyo Box in Five Easy Steps

I'm sure many of you were on the edge of your seats this weekend, wondering how the box would go. Well, rest assured, it went awesome, and I now have a box on which to do box jumps.

If I were to build one again, I would make sure to watch for a few things, which I'll list at the end of the post. In the meantime, follow these Five Easy Steps to build your own Plyo Box. (Thanks Steve, for the correct terminology, "Plyo Box" is much more descriptive than "Box". To those that don't know Steve: I sat beside him when we went to see Avengers this weekend.)

Step One:
Pick up some pallets at your local hardware store, shipping depot, or friendly potato farmer. You should be able to get them for free if you ask nicely. If you ask extra nice they will also help secure them into the trunk of your Civic.

Step Two:
Gather your tools and prepare your space. It was a nice day, so we worked outside. You'll need a reciprocating saw, drill, screws and a hammer for prying. 

Step Three:
Use the saw to cut the pallets roughly in half. You might need to eliminate the middle slat completely to make the two halves equal size. The width I chose was 21 inches, it seemed to work out perfectly on two of the pallets. Keep the bottom slats on, and try to ensure you have a bottom slat near the outside edges. You might need to pry one off and re-position it. We also reinforced one of the pallets that I would be landing on with some extra braces that were left over, you can see on the top pallet below.

Step Four:
Place a half-pallet on top of another and line it up so the edges are square. Take your drill and, on an angle, screw the bottom slat of the top pallet into the top slat of the bottom pallet. It sounds complicated, but basically you are just screwing them together to keep it safe. Repeat 2-3 times on one side, and 2-3 times on the other. Repeat until all the half-pallets are screwed together. 

Step Five:
Place in a spot where you have some headroom. I had some extra foam, so I placed the foam in front for softer landing. I might pick up some more foam to place under the box as well, so the box sinks a bit, and therefore less chance of it moving on me. I have some pallets left over, so I can increase the height easily as I  need. This is currently at 19.5 inches. 

And there is your Plyo Box! Easy peasy.

Some lessons learned:
  1. Pick pallets that are of equal width. My bottom two are about an inch and a half wider than the top two.
  2. Pay extra attention to the bottom slats. We didn't pay enough attention, and left a half-pallet missing a bottom slat on one side and didn't realize until we were ready to screw it together. Then we had to scramble to make it even.
  3. The pallet's wood is very, very dry. We encountered a lot of splitting, so if you have a magic trick against splitting, now is the time to employ it.

Good luck on building your own Plyo Box.

(I have some pallets left over, so I'm excited to try something from the list of 35 Amazing Uses for Old Pallets...even though, after this weekend, the count now should be at 36.)

Happy box jumping!

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