Thickness for cherry storage chest/bench

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Forum topic by JoshinDC posted 05-21-2017 07:23 PM 645 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 973 days

05-21-2017 07:23 PM

I’m in the design stage of building a storage chest that I also intend to use as a bench at the foot of my bed. The sides will be frame and panel construction, and the rough dimensions will be 48” wide, and 18” deep. I’m second guessing myself on the thickness needed for the top. It will be supported around all 4 edges, but needs to support the weight of a ~200lb adult daily without harm. I plan to make it from cherry boards edge-glued together.

I was thinking of making it from 6/4 stock, but I’m wondering if that will be overkill. This is my first project working with hardwood, and this seems like one of those things I will eventually just have a feel for, so I figured I’d ask for advice. Thanks in advance for your help!


7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4249 days

#1 posted 05-21-2017 07:50 PM

4/4 is fine. It takes a lot of force to break
a 3/4” thick piece of hardwood.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4249 days

#2 posted 05-21-2017 07:52 PM

View rodneywt1180b's profile


185 posts in 987 days

#3 posted 05-22-2017 08:13 PM

3/4” finished size is plenty strong enough.

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA

View LittleShaver's profile


608 posts in 1220 days

#4 posted 05-23-2017 06:04 PM

Awesome link. Thanks for posting.

No problem using 3/4 material for the top. I have a tool box about 24×36 with 1/2 ply lid panel that I have no problem sitting on.

-- Sawdust Maker

View jmartel's profile


8685 posts in 2751 days

#5 posted 05-23-2017 06:15 PM

4/4 is fine for the top, but generally speaking, thicker tops look better.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Robert's profile


3598 posts in 2082 days

#6 posted 05-24-2017 12:03 PM

The problem with 4/4 for tops is yes you may get a 7/8” if you’re boards are nice and straight and behave well during milling. But that rarely happens so start big and give yourself less headache.

For tops I start with 5/4. Often this is 1 1/8” actual thickness, so material selection is still crucial.

6/4 may be necessary depending on bows, cups, etc, but would be more wasteful.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bonesbr549's profile


1586 posts in 3668 days

#7 posted 05-24-2017 12:52 PM

Me i work with what i got. If I got 5/4 handy then it will be 4/4 finsished. If I got 4/4 then it will be 3/4 finished.

Even if its only 5/8” or 1/2” if engineered properly it will be fine.

Go with your gut.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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