I'm getting ready to start working on my property this summer and instead of hauling a bunch of tools back and forth all the time, I'm going to build a large wooden box to keep all that stuff underground, away from the elements as well as anyone who might be moving around the area. It's fairly isolated but I don't want stuff just lying around, just to be safe.

Of course, I'd like the box to last for years, so my worry is how long would the wood last against the dirt? My brain is telling me to wrap it in black plastic to keep water and insects out but is there a better way?


  • 2
    High on a hill in an arid climate, it might stay dry. About anyplace else that will be damp and wet inside. Seal it up too tight and ground water can float it out of the hole depending on deep the water table is there. As it is, this question is pretty much impossible to answer without climate and water table data. It might be possible to accomplish (if the water table isn’t too high) with proper drainage installed. You probably can’t just dig a hole and put a wooden box in it tho and achieve a secure dry storage vault.
    – Tyson
    Apr 29, 2018 at 14:40
  • I'd be tempted to buy a used Jobox/equivalent and bury it. It won't be perfect for water resistance, but better than a box. Throw an old sheet of ply on top and it'll disappear. Plus, you won't have the liability problem of having somebody accidentally drop through the lid of your impromptu grave. Apr 29, 2018 at 16:51

2 Answers 2


Use pressure-treated wood and coat the outside with asphalt emulsion (some call it bitumen). Remember- high & dry, like on a hill. And if you bury anything above the frost line and leave it over winter, it will at least move and maybe break (climate depending). Pay careful attention to the lid closure to make it watertight, and add some sort of dessicant to combat condensation inside the box.

  • Dessicant as in wood oil? The same stuff that's put on lawn furniture, decks etc?
    – Ray
    Apr 29, 2018 at 16:13
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    Moisture absorber, like silica gel packets. Apr 29, 2018 at 16:39

I like the idea of a job box. Gasket the lid.

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