In 2013 I built a toy box for my niece Abby. I have wanted to build toy boxes for my other 2 nephews, but wanted to wait until they got older so they could appreciate it more and remember who it came from. This year I decided to build the other two, but i wanted to make it different then the first since I already built two from the first design.

I searched on and off for a couple months until I came across an article from the 2010 August/September issue of American Woodworker (Keepsake Trunk). It was actually a post on LumberJocks, but it made reference to the article they used for the plans. I found the issue and looked it over. It was for a much smaller chest, but I loved the look of the completed chest. It used box joints on the sides and curved top. I never made box joints before and was excited for the challenge.

Since I wanted something substantially larger, I would only use the plans to reference the design. I used Big Print program to bring out the side view of the toy box top and printed it out to the end size I wanted. I then measured the angles I would need and width for each piece of the curved lid.

After milling, cutting the angles and gluing the top, it was time to attach the sides of the top. I decided to deviate from the plans a bit and not round the inside of the lid where the sides meet the top and just held the lid on top of the sides and traced the curve. This would mean a lot more cutting by hand, but I thought it would have a better look.

The construction of the bottom box went fairly smoothly. After milling enough lumber for 2 complete boxes, I planned out my box joints. After testing the joints on a scrap piece of wood a few times I was confident enough to proceed.

The box went together smoothly and I sanded the joints flush and was read to move on to the names for the front.

Instead of using Purpleheart wood for the lettering that I used on my last two toy boxes, I used Padauk instead. Padauk has an orange colour to it. I printed the two names out using a font size and style I liked and attached it to the wood. I then used my bandsaw to cut out most of the lettering and sanded smooth. I just glued the letters onto the front instead of attaching them with screws or dowels. That way if they ever want to remove the lettering down the road I could cut them of and sand the remnants off.

I bought some antique brass hardware to make it look a little like a treasure chest and made sure I added soft close lid stays. They are expensive at $50 a piece from Lee Valley, but the $200 spent on the safety of soft close is worth it. Two on each lid was required due to the weight of the solid birch top.

The end result of the two toy boxes is amazing. I love the look of the two. I had the birch already for the two toy boxes, but I estimate I spent approximately $300 total on the hardware and Padauk wood.

I am very happy with the result but what is even better is that my two nephews love their toy boxes. And that is what matters most.



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