How to Build a Toy Chest

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Children's toys seem to multiply overnight and soon fill an entire room. Building a toy chest can be a good remedy for the problem of a crowded toyland. Your child will have a lasting heirloom.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw
  • Combination square
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Finish sander
  • Bit set
  • Jigsaw
  • Two 1 x 10 boards 4 feet in length
  • One 1 x 8 board 6 feet in length
  • 3/4-inch plywood or particleboard
  • Six 4-inch strap hinges and screws
  • 10 2 1/2-inch double-wide corner braces and screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane
  • Wood glue
  • Select the wood for this project. Make sure the boards are free of knots and as flat as possible.

  • Use a 4-foot long 1 x 10 to cut one side at 34 inches long and one end piece at 13 1/2 inches long. Repeat this step for the other side and end of the chest.

  • Cut the two lids from a 6-foot 1 x 8 board. Make each of the lids 34 inches long.

  • Use particleboard or plywood for the bottom. Cut this to 32 1/2 by 13 1/2 inches.

  • Sand all of the edges smooth. Cut handles out in the lids by either cutting a circle or diamond pattern in the center. Place these together before cutting to ensure they are equal in size and are aligned properly.

  • Construct the chest with braces for an easy assembly. Place the bottom of the chest on a level surface and abut the side pieces to it. Screw in two corner braces for each side-to-bottom piece, then add one corner brace near the top of each side piece. Add on the end pieces, using one corner bracket for each end-to-bottom piece.

  • Place the two lid pieces on the top of the chest. They should be flush to both sides and bottoms. Place the three strap hinges on each lid and attach the lid pieces to the chest with the hinges connecting to the sides of the chest.

  • Disassemble before applying a finish to this project. Paint the hinges if desired. If applying a decoration of any sort, either freehand or with stencils, do this before applying polyurethane. Be sure to finish the inside as well. Allow to dry.

  • Reassemble the toy chest. Apply wood glue for added strength and stability.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply casters to the toy chest for mobility.
  • Work on a flat surface.
  • Always wear eye protection when woodworking.

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