Andy's Toy Chest

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Project by Woodbutchery posted 03-28-2010 04:10 PM 5751 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have to preface this with a thank you to all the ‘jocks out there who have inspired me to create, work with wood, and offered advice, even though they may not have known that it was advice to me. This site is helping me with almost every aspect of this hobby.

So last year my step-daughter asked if I could make a toy chest for my grandson. With the tools at hand, etc., how could I refuse the request?

While I’m not up on the terminology (Did I mention that I play Irish traditional music and I can corrolate 16 tunes with their names out of the 100+ tunes I can play?), I wanted to do a simple panel box. I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like, and so I started the plans in sketchup (tried to upload the sketchup picture, but it didn’t work. I’ll add it later). I had some redwood available, and wanted the panels to use maple plywood, with a nice curly maple solid wood top.

Each new item is a learning experience for me, and this was no exception. There were several design changes (I LIKE sketchup!) as I pondered frame sizes, panel sizes and thicknesses. After finishing up the design I captured a picture from Sketchup and sent it to my step-daughter for final approval (did I mention that I like Sketchup?), and she had a change to the leg length for the chest, and we were good to go.

I tried two methods for creating the channel for the panels, routing and a dado blade. I don’t have a router fence for my router table yet (Ya, I know, I need to build one), and to make a long story short, I ended up going with the dado blades and filling the “extra” channels with wood.

I found some nicely figured curly maple in the cutoff bins at Houston Hardwoods, and after some fine-tuning of the boards and figure layout, I had a top configuration that I liked and glued.

Hinge is a 30” piano hinge and two lid supports (that maple is heavy and I felt better w/ two supports for safety of little fingers and balance of the load). It turns out that my design doesn’t necessarily jive with the design of most lid hinge supports, so the configuration I chose doesn’t allow the lid to open a full 90 degrees, but it’s wide enough to accept most toys that will fit in the box, so I’m good with it.

The end result is EXACTLY what I wanted. Considering that I designed and built the whole thing, I’m very happy with the result. I learned a ton of stuff on this one project, and have a better appreciation for all the work others in this site display.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

5 comments so far

View jim1953's profile


2744 posts in 4902 days

#1 posted 03-28-2010 04:23 PM

Great Lookin Chest

-- Jim, Kentucky

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1930 posts in 4732 days

#2 posted 03-28-2010 04:27 PM

That’s some pretty lumber!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 4091 days

#3 posted 03-28-2010 05:20 PM

Very pretty chest. A great build.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4650 days

#4 posted 03-28-2010 07:26 PM


-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 4414 days

#5 posted 03-29-2010 12:32 AM

looks good

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