I'm planning on building a platform for Olympic weightlifting. I'm trying to minimize the weight, so I'd like to be able to properly estimate the sturdiness. The first one is for a piece of wood sitting on beams of some sort. I know that as the beams move father and farther apart, the board can support less and less weight inbetween the beams. What is the formula for estimating the strength difference for the board for different spacings of the beams? I.e. If the board has a limit of 10 lbs with the beams x inches apart, what is the weight limit with the beams y inches apart? The second question has to do with relating the strength to the thickness of a board. For a scenario like above, imagine that the distance of the beams are fixed, but the thickness of the board is not. What is the formula that lets me relate the strength to the thickness of an item? Ex: If a board 1/2" thick can support 10 lbs, how much weight can a board 3/4" thick support? In case you can't tell, I'm hoping to have a board sitting on beams, and I'm trying to estimate how thick to make the board and how far apart to have the beams. The thinner/farther apart, the lighter it will be. Sorry to post this in two different places. I'm hoping that the reason I didn't get a response in the General Physics board is that it was the wrong place.