Boat Bed #3: Bow footboard Toy box

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Blog entry by Chris Davis posted 04-29-2009 01:47 PM 5195 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Headboard and siderails Part 3 of Boat Bed series Part 4: The Finish »

I worked on the bow of the boat bed. This is a design that I came up with. You may have seen them with drawers in the bow, but I find those not very practical. Because of the shape the drawers must be a triangle shaped. Because of that they can’t hold much stuff. My design has been to use it as a toy box.

I first cut the shape of the bottom. I now have templates. The top is the same shape but with a cutout, to make a face frame of sorts. I attach both of them to a back board using pocket screws. The top and bottom part are connect with 1” wide pieces of popular to act as ribs. This give something for the skin to attach to and to give the piece some support. At the front I have to do a little angle work to make the nose of it a little wider for the wave breaker to fit on later.

I didn’t take a picture of this step so this is of another that I did:
Boat bow frame

I cover this piece with 3/8” bending plywood. Usually I just let it over have about a ½” on either side and router it off. On this one, the customer wants it on casters so I am hiding the casters by dropping the bending plywood down 2” Since I have that overhang, I need something to guide my router to trim the bottom to exactly 2” and also I need some reinforcement. 3/8” may be too thin and may get damaged by unruly sailors. What I did was to cut a 2” wide piece of bending plywood and glue it to the inside curve. Now I have something for the router baring to follow and a full ¾” thick skin on the bottom overhang.

All edges were trimmed and sanded. The front of the toy box used a hand plane to take the skin down to flush.

I filled some of the larger void and staple holes with Bondo and covered it with some oak veneer. Trimmed that the same way.
The bow bed bow.

Now for the top. I used ½” birch for the top substrate. To get the shape us the toy box as the template. I rough trim it, screw it down to the toy box and router it to size. The trim is cut by templates that I made with all three corners mitered. The templates weren’t hard to make. I just drew out the design using the top as the guide and to miter the corners I just let the templates overhang, marked the intersection points, connected the lines, cut on the lines and then you have a perfect miter corner.

The trim was grooved on the bottom/inside edge. This allowed for me to put some beadboard in the center. I groove was 3/8” deep so I didn’t have to worry too much about getting it very accurate.

The wave breaker was made with a few cuts on the band saw out of 1 ½” thick oak.
Wave breaker

Here are the raw recorded videos:

Wave Breaker

Lid trim 3

Lid trim 2

Lid trim

Toy box Lid Build

Sticking the Veneer

Cutting Veneer and Glue

Veneer Prep

Sanding Toy box

Toy box Bow 3

Toy box Bow 2

Toy box bow 1

Watch live video of the rest of this build or visit the site to see more at and

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

2 comments so far

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5269 days

#1 posted 04-29-2009 06:20 PM

Hi Chris

Just wanted to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to present these series you provide on building your different projects. It is a wonderful thing you are doing for both the new and old woodworker alike. I hope others appriciate this shared knowledge as well. Thank you once again!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Gene47's profile


74 posts in 4823 days

#2 posted 04-30-2009 04:14 PM


The boat is looking really nice and I think that the natural finish rather than painting will look excellent.

-- Gene Miller - it only took me 3 days 9 hours and 28 minutes to get that top flat!

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