I've been reading the comments regarding patrol boxes and find the discussion very interesting. Our troop recently decided to try the patrol box idea instead of the plastic containers that we had been using for so long. The problem as I see it with the plastic containers is the top loading feature. They frequently become a catch all for junk that really shouldn't be in there and they offer no compartments to help organize gear. They are also not strong enough to stack in the limited space where we keep out equipment. When I was a scout back in the dawn of time, my troop had patrol boxes patterned on the old standard with the removable legs, toggle bolts, etc. They were really a pain and very heavy.
When we decided to make new boxes recently, the design criteria had to be as follows:
Maximum weight when empty- 30 pounds
Maximum weight when loaded-55 to 60 pounds
Legs or no Legs? - No legs
Gear to accommodate - Cook kit, dutch oven, cooking utensils, common tools, axe, tarp, some consumables that need restocking such as paper towels, soap cooking oil, salt pepper, etc.
Must be able to load side by side in the back if a minivan or small pick-up. One box must fit in the trunk of a mid size sedan.
The reason we decided to not put legs on them is after a review of our car camp history, 75 percent of the campsites have picnic tables. Where there are no tables, the scouts can use poles to lash together a stand that will also fulfill their camp gadget requirement.
Well the scouts were able to approve a custom design that I developed and construct the boxes. We tried the prototype on our last campout and it worked great, much better than the plastic bins. Our boys just finished the construction of three more boxes that we will be taking to the next campout and to summer camp. (we are going to camp Baldwin where we cook our own meals)
3/4 inch plywood is overkill. We were able to build them with a combination of 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch plywood and with hardwood strips to reinforce the joints. All joints were glued together and they are quite strong. The handles are integral to the design and do not rely on hardware that can fall off or get loose.
just another note, we modified one of the boxes to have removable legs just to test the concept. This box has been designated the adult leader box and the higher work surface height is better for our middle aged backs. The leg attachment is simple and requires no hardware. It is very stable.
I would be willing send a PDF copy of the plans to anyone who is interested.