Toy Box

For Christmas I was supposed to make up a “toy box” for the grandson. I had made a “hope chest” for the granddaughter (there was a lot of hope put into its construction. As in: I hope this works!). Due to time, materials, finances, and tool availability this project ended up being delayed.

Today I did the first dry fit of the box. It mostly worked.

I am doing this in my apartment’s kitchen so space is really limited.

I did use a router to cut the cope & stick (a.k.a. rail & stile) panels used to make the four side panels. I used a mitre saw to cut the pieces to length.

The corners are all dovetails that were cut by hand (hand saw and chisel) which is where a fair amount of time has gone. Originally I was going to use the router but had issues making a jig/template. I could of purchased one but as the joints are 24 inches the cost became prohibitive with no return on that investment (ROI).

The first dry fit came together fairly well. The bottom-left corner is the best fit as it slides together easily. The upper-left is too tight and only slides halfway before stopping. The upper-right and lower right slide together at the top okay but the bottom is too tight. So I’ll have to scrape away at the tight spots.

The bottom fit in like it was supposed to and everything is as square as it can be right now.

As you can see I have partially finished each piece. The poplar is stained using the Provincial gel stain by Varathane. A couple coats of water based polyurethane has been applied. Once everything is glued up then I can touch up the corners and apply another couple coats of polyurethane.

I need to find, or make, the corner pieces for under the bottom. These are to have a 1/4-20 nut to support additional feet (optional). The bottom will be attached using pocket holes from underneath.

The lid is partially complete as well. All four sides have been glued together. One side has the rabbet cut for the plywood top, three more sides to go. This rabbet was cut using a block plane and a chisel. I broke the dovetails a few times while cutting, chiselling, and gluing.

I have black hardware (hinges and handles) to use. The original design was to be “pirate” inspired but did not work out quite that way. Stays with a slow close are also to be installed. There is no latch or lock as that is too tempting.

For a five year old, quality construction does not really matter. It looks good and is a gift from his grandfather. His mother will appreciate it in that he has somewhere to put his toys thus cleaning up his room a bit (I know, the clean room will only last a day!).

[Update 2020-06-04] The toy box was delivered on May 30. My daughter says my grandson was happy about it and excitedly went to decide on where to put it. I have yet to receive a picture of it in use though.

gluing the box

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