In this article I will go over the process of building a toy chest. Don't need a toy chest? No problem, this can be used for any type or storage, not just toys! I built this for a client and they wanted a dark rustic chest to go with the rest of their decor. If you'd like plans for this chest, you can find them here.
Tools and supplies used
- WEN Belt and Disc Sander (Steel Base)
- WEN 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
- Evolution RAGE3 10-Inch Compound Sliding Miter Saw
- FastCap Glu-Bot Glue Bottle
- Wixey Digital Angle Gauge
- DEWALT Palm Sander
- DEWALT Jig Saw
- Makita Cordless Drills
- Bosch Palm Router
- Mask Filters
- Wood burner/soldering iron
- Minwax Ebony Stain
- Minwax Polyurethane
- Waxed Canvas Apron
- Sugastune Soft close lid stays (hinges)
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I started off by cutting the pieces for the main body down to length on my miter saw. Using 1x4x8 furring strips, I was able to get one long and one short side from a single board. I stacked four boards at a time to speed things up.
With all the the outside pieces cut to size, I moved on the internal structure. Here I'm just ripping 2x4s and 2x6s down to size on my table saw. I used a mixture because that's what I had on hand. You should be able to get two pieces out of the width of a 2x4.
After ripping them down I realized I should probably put a chamfer on the corner stiles. Not thinking, I ended up putting the chamfer on all the stiles, not just the corners.
I adjusted my table saw blade to 45° using my digital angle gauge and then cut the chamfers.
Next, I used one of the short rails against the edges of the long rails to get the long rails flush. I then used another short rail to get the spacing right for the stile.
Once spaced out currectly, I drove in one screw per rail.
I repeated this on the other end, this time I used a clamp to pull all the rails together. Then I repeated these steps for the other long rails.
I didn't get a shot putting the short rails on, but it was just one screw per rail, the same as the long side.
Once both short sides are attached, drop in the other long panel and screw that in the same as before.
I used a router to make a rabbet big enough to inset the bottom into. I used 3/4" plywood for the bottom, the rabbet was inset about 1/4" in.
Using a circular saw, I cut down the plywood to fit into the rabbet. I screwed up on my marking here and ended having to recut this panel. Measure twice and mark well!
Next I glued the panel in and put some weight on it while the glue dried.
Again I missed some shots of me assembling the top. This goes together just like the base, but smaller. I clamped up everything so it didn't shift while screwing everything in.
The only difference here from the sides is that I had to toe screw from the stiles into the outside rails.
With the top done, I flipped it over and started attaching the piano hinge. I used a spring clamp to keep it in place while I screwed it in. I didn't screw it in to all the holes, as I still had to remove it later on.
I installed the soft close lid stays following the included instructions. I had to adjust it a little since the corner stile interfered with their given spacing.
With the contruction of the trunk done, I moved on to the steel base. My miter saw cuts both wood and steel, I just had to remove the dust bag to prevent a fire :). I cut 45° miters in the steel to create a rectangle matching the trunk size. I measured for this after the trunk was complete in case I ended up with slightly different dimensions than the plans called for.
I positioned the steel frame on the inverted trunk to make sure everthing lined up. I used magnetic clamps to hold everything in place while I tack welded it up.
Once tacked, I moved the frame to the floor to finish welding since my welding table is too small to hold the entire frame.
I had some scrap steel lying around that had a 90° bend in it already, so I used that to make tabs to attach the frame to the trunk. I drilled oversized holes just in case, even though the plywood shouldn't be moving enough to require it.
I cut the feet for the frame and then welded them on.
I used a jigsaw to cut out the curved hand hold to open the trunk.
The client wanted a rustic look, so I took a wire wheel on my angle grinder, a chain, hammer and prybar to the chest to give it some character.
I cut down some scrap wood to fit into the inside of the steel tubing for something to attach the furniture sliders to. I made them slightly oversized and hammered them in. One thing I didn't do, but you might want to, is to make these plugs as long as the legs so there is no risk of hammering it in too far or the wood being pushed in further than you want.
I attached the base with 3/4" wood screws. Then added the nail-in furniture sliders.
And that is the trunk done! I've included some beauty shots from my house as well as some shots the client took in it's final home!