How to Build a Toy Chest

Toy chests are readily available in all price ranges, sizes and shapes. There is nothing, however, appreciated as much as the one that you build yourself. You can accomplish this task with basic hand and power tools in 4-to-6 hours. Use MDF or plywood and follow the steps shown below.

Steps

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    Sketch out the toy box design on paper. Make note of the shape and size of the chest you want to build. Include the hardware and a cutting list for the parts to the toy chest on the sketch.
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    Purchase the necessary materials and hardware from a home improvement store.
    • The materials list will be 3/4-inch (19 mm) MDF or plywood, applicable hinges, and (if using MDF #8 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) MDF) torx flat head screws or (for plywood) 1.5-inch (3.8 cm) deck screws.
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    • Have the home improvement store use their panel saw to cut the sheet down to the approximate sizes you need for the top, bottom, front, back and ends.
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    Lay out the pieces you need to cut on the MDF or plywood using a carpenter square and pencil.
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    Cut the MDF or plywood down to size using a circular saw.
    • This will be 2 pieces of 18 x 36 inches (45.7 x 91.44 cm) for the front and back.
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    • You need 1 piece of 16.5 x 34.5 inches (41.9 x 87.6 cm) for the bottom.
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    • A single piece of 19 x 37 inches (48.3 x 94 cm) will be for the top.
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    • The ends will be made from 2 pieces cut to 17.25 X 16.5 inches (44.5 X 41.9 cm).
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    • Mark the pieces lightly with a pencil as you cut them to show where each part goes.
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    Begin assembly by putting glue along the front and back edges of the bottom piece.
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    Clamp each piece with 2, 24-inch (70 cm) bar clamps to hold the pieces in place while you screw them together.
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    Apply glue to each side and the bottom of the 2 end pieces.
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    Slide these into place using the clamps to hold them while screwing the front, back and bottom to the ends.
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    Wipe all off the glue that has squeezed out from the joints with a soft cloth.
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    Make sure you sink all of the screw heads below the surface of the panels.
    • Fill all the countersunk screw holes and joints with paintable wood putty.
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    • Sand down the toy box after drying, readying it for paint.
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    Round off, or ease, all sharp exposed corners while sanding gently. Start with 120 grit and finish with 240 grit sandpaper.
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    Paint the exterior and interior of the box, as well as the lid and bottom with the color of paint you chose. Follow manufacturer's recommendations.
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    Attach the top to the toy chest using a 30-inch (76.2 cm) piano hinge centered on the lid's back edge.
    • Make certain the hinge is flush to the back of the box.
    • It also needs to be centered so that it is 1/2 inch (13 mm) off each side of the box, corresponding to the each end of the top.
    • An easy way to center the hinge is to mark the center of the hinge on top and back of the box. The center would be 15 inches for a 30-inch (76.2 cm) piano hinge. Then mark the center on the lid and back of the box. Align the marks and attach the hinge.
    • This should give you a 1-inch (26 cm) lip at the front to make it easy to open.
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    Connect casters on swivels at each corner to make the toy chest easy to move when it's loaded.

Tips

  • A countersink drill bit will predrill for the screw and countersink for the head, making it easier to screw the pieces together and have the heads below the surface.
  • Use special toy box lid supports found at woodworkers' supply and home improvement stores to keep the lid open.
  • Use MDF torx flat head screws if you're making the box from MDF in order to keep from splitting the material.

Warnings

  • Follow all tool manufacturers' safety rules when operating power tools and wear a dust mask and safety glasses when cutting or sanding.
  • Make sure to follow paint the manufacturer's recommendations for safety.

Things You'll Need

  • � inch (19 mm) MDF or plywood
  • #8 MDF 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) flat torx pan head screws or 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) deck screws for plywood
  • 30-inch (76.2 cm) piano hinge
  • Toy chest lid supports
  • Circular saw with plywood blade
  • Cordless or corded electric drill
  • Tape measure
  • Paint and brushes
  • Wood putty
  • Casters on swivels
  • Electric sander
  • Different grits of sandpaper 120 to 240 grit
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Wood glue
  • Torx or Phillips tip screwdriver bit
  • 24 inch (62 cm) bar clamps
  • Countersink drill bits


Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating | Furniture and Cabinets