Safari Toy Chest

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Project by Twodeuce posted 01-23-2014 07:52 PM 1736 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My infant son is 8 weeks old and I got this done for him a week before he was born…whew! I wanted this to be a toy chest he could “grow” with for years. It can be used for a blanket chest as he gets older, hence the cedar lining on the panels and floor.
Dimensions are 48” wide, 22” high, 20” deep.
The carcass is Sapele. I just discovered this wood not long ago and I’m in love. It is just stunning when finished with Tung Oil. In this case, I used Formby’s High gloss Tung Oil.
The panels (I don’t have a shot of the back panel, but it is the same as the front) are redwood burl. The burl I used was only 6” wide, so I resawed them to give me a wider panel. For the most part the “stripes” lined up nicely.
The most labor intensive portion was the side panels. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but is clear when you look at it in person, but they are conave on the exterior. For that technique I had several options, but ended up choosing a rounded top bit for my router in my router table. I then took what seemed like a million passes and each one I raised the bit by 1/32 of an inch. Until I hit the middle, which I then started to lower it again. A lot of sanding later and I really enjoyed how they came out!
2 Rockler 60lb lid torsion-stay hinges is the only hardware I used. Love these hinges – but boy howdy expensive!
The only thing I would do differently next time is to put the screws on my lid cleats wider apart, I noticed a fraction of a bow in the lid (not much, but I tend to be a perfectionist) after some time in the dry winter air of our house here in Kansas.

7 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3718 days

#1 posted 01-23-2014 07:56 PM

When your son gets old enough to play with his toys he will love this. Way to go, Dad.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View wood_maestro's profile


137 posts in 3544 days

#2 posted 01-23-2014 09:48 PM

nice work. i made one of theses about nine years ago, thinking we we will use it as blanket chest after my son grows older. well he is 12 now and does not want to let it go!!!!

-- wood maestro....... Be Well, Do good work, and Stay in touch

View CFrye's profile


11074 posts in 2691 days

#3 posted 01-23-2014 11:25 PM

Wow! That front panel is stunning Twodeuce. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View LesB's profile


2600 posts in 4294 days

#4 posted 01-24-2014 01:03 AM

Nice Job. He will have it for ever.
At 48” long it will definitely take two people to move it.
I made my first one for my son and daughter 44 years ago and they are still in use (no longer for toys). Now all 7 grandkids have one too. The first one was a pine colonial style chest seat the grand kids all got various types of hardwoods in a more trunk type design.

-- Les B, Oregon

View CL810's profile


4058 posts in 3839 days

#5 posted 01-24-2014 01:36 AM

Good job – great execution.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Natalie 's profile


367 posts in 2818 days

#6 posted 01-24-2014 04:20 AM

Wow, I didn’t know Redwood did that! Beautiful job.
I started wood working a little later in life and the first thing I built was a hope chest for my daughter. She now has babies of her own and I built her a cradle. Not sure I recommend that, cuz it’s a family heirloom that is only useful for a few months per baby, and now she has no place to keep it and I’m stuck with it. My son will use it when he has kids, I’m sure,but most likely I’ll get it back again, at which point, I might spiff it up like new and sell it or at least threaten to.


-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3027 days

#7 posted 01-28-2014 03:16 PM

Great looking and sturdy toy chest, attractive wood combo and the front stripes are fantastic. An heirloom piece for sure. Great job!

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