Chuck Box Plans

Rather than buying a chuck box, I was thinking of building one. Does anyone know where I can find a good set of (free) plans?

Thanks in advance.


Been thinking about that too
My Dad made one for when we camped as a family in the old pop up trailer. The one he built was about 38" x 18" x 18" and the opening was on a long (38") wall. It was hinged at the bottom, with chains to hold the door out horizontally so you could use the surface of the open door for food prep. That surface (inside of the door) and top of the box were covered with formica countertop stuff. It had a simple padlock that locked it shut, and kept the raccoons out.

I’ve been thinking about building one for the past year or two now. Are you going to use yours for canoe camping trips and/or car camping? That should determine the overall size.

I’ve been scribbling out ideas, trying out various combinations of material, dimensions, etc. What I’m planning is a 2 compartment box - sort of like 2 cubes side by side, sharing the center wall. Opening would be on one long edge, like the one my Dad built, and hinged at the bottom with book hinges.

In my last sketch, I was thinking of using 1/2" ply for the 2 ends and center divider, 3/16" for the remaining walls, putting grooves front to back in the verticals to accept 1/8" or 3/16" masonite shelves. If you groove the shelves at multiple locations, you can slide the masonite in at various heights to accomodate your stuff.

Then I think about how much work this would all be, how heavy it would be, and I revert back to the Rubbermaid tubs I use already. LOL

Good luck,


Chuck box plan sources
I did a little research on them recently. Take a look as these sites:

And for a commercial model, go here:

Best of luck,


$250 for a FREAKIN BOX???..
I am a builder & if I would’ve actually known that there are “IDIOTS” out there that would pay $250 for a box that takes less than $30 to make, I would’ve never got into building things that people actually need (houses). I would’ve whipped out 4 or 5 of these “little” boxes in a weekend and slapped $200 each on em’.

Maybe I’ll quit my job and build boxes and watch the “suckers” roll in. Maybe I’ll sell em for $490 and throw in a free Hennesy Hammock & a Tilly with every purchase! :wink:

Paddle easy,


P.S. They ARE nice looking boxes, but not nice enough to cost $250!! For that price I want “brass handles & hinges”, not rope…

I just finished one last week
I’ll put the photos up now and come back with a link. It was free except for the hardware, made from some salvaged 1x12 cedar

OK photos up…if you want a copy

– Last Updated: Feb-01-04 10:57 PM EST –

of my shop drawing of this project let me know and I'll go out in the shop and dig it up.

Everything you need for a large group is in this box including, coffee pot, 2 stoves, single mantel lantern, pots and pans, cups, plates, flatware and cutlery, spices, can opener, spare parts for lanterns and stoves, 5 fuel bottles, and on and on right down to the napkins....... in the Chuck Box Album

hey, it’s gear season…
Cool thread. I saw an interesting plan for making a chuck box from an old cooler. In a book called ‘The One Burner Gourmet’ by Harriet Barker. Lots of good ideas and recipes.

Dave Hadfield
Dave Hadfield has plans for a grub box and other stuff. While you’re at it order a copy of his cd “Wilderness Waltz” excellent music for canoe types such as us. Nope, don’t know the guy or get royalties.

Awesome box, NT!

Thanks for the links!
and thanks datong for posting the subject. Good ideas starting to sprout… Cedar would be light too. A bottom that conforms with a hull shape. It would be easier to lash in than my 5 gal. buckets.

thanks for all the great idea. What I’m learning is that I can make a box that fits the needs of my wife and I.

I made one of these years ago when we were stationed in South Dakota. Just figure what you want inside and start drawing plans.

I made mine out of scrap plywood that I had laying around the shop. My wife provided the the list of “stuff” that she wanted inside.

Got lots of comments from other campers.

If you had a
copy of the plans, I’d love to have it!

How do you
create the notches for the partitions?

Rabbit cuts…
are made with a radial arm saw but a table saw will work also, or if you don’t have all the tools you can make due without the fancy cuts. Use some Gorilla glue or equivlant and long drywall screws to hold everything together if you pre drill the holes. The new poly glues are waterproof and unbelievably strong. The drawing I have is a simple hand drawing showing the dementions, I’ll go find it and scan it so I can email it to you, But the best way to determine the size of the different compartments is to get out your gear and lay it out the way you want it in the box.

The first box I made was just half inch plywood screwed together…it lasted 15 years and is still good.