It's been a long time since I posted on this project, because you know, life happens. I'm using plywood as a frame. I'd tried to add lightening holes manually with a spade bit, but it tore up the wood pretty badly, and I decided to start over with another piece. Well it just so happens I have a friend with access to a laser cutter, and he let me use it. Without further ado...

Even with so much material removed, it's still nice and stiff. I can bend it a bit by hand, but I think it will work nicely in the backpack. It's still surprisingly heavy though! I don't have a very precise scale, but I would hazard a guess at around 8oz. It'll just have to work though. The next step is to make it reasonably water resistant somehow. I'm thinking polyurethane. I think I've still got an old can in storage somewhere, but who knows if it's still any good?