This is an attempt to ask a more-focused version of a prior question (How best to join (in reversible manner) 5 20"x20"x1" panels (4 air filters, 1 plywood) into open-ended box?), that was closed with the suggestion to "focus on one problem only".

I have 5 20in x 20in x 1in panels of lightweight material. (You can think of it as identical to the foam-insulation boards, sold in nominal 8ft x 4ft x 1in panels - as one or more of the panels will actually be cut out of such a board.)

I'd like to join them along the edges to make a cube that's open on top. Of course something like tape is one sloppy option, but I'm hoping to find a superior option that holds them rigidly and tightly in relation to each other, but is reversible, so sides can be individually replaced.

(More specifics about the intended home-air-improvement application of this box are in the original closed question, but my focused need here is to solve the home-insulation-materials joining problem.)

Is there a solution meeting the above parameters?


Build a frame with tracks for the filters to slide into.

Use U channel for the tracks.

Get 4 60.75" pieces of 0.5x1x0.5 U channel and cut notches in the sides at 20.25" and 40.5"

Fold them into U shapes then join them together to make a frame.

Something like this Picasso.

enter image description here

the U channels can be connected together using rivets or welding or whatever.

  • 1
    jasen, Does this mean you are a cubist ?
    – Alaska Man
    Aug 30 '20 at 2:27
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    yes, I was thinking "This looks like the style of Picasso", and then I realised why.
    – Jasen
    Aug 30 '20 at 2:29
  • 1
    I was going to suggest a wood frame with groves and structured roughly like what you suggested. Either groves or cleats to hold the panels. But wasn't sure what the skill level of the OP was or what tools were available. Great answer. + Aug 30 '20 at 2:36
  • 1
    The wood frame version is a good fit too since the OP is concerned about insulative values.This iis still a good solution.
    – Jack
    Aug 30 '20 at 8:10
  • 1
    these are filter panels not insulation, see the linked question.
    – Jasen
    Aug 30 '20 at 8:38

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