I’m building a toy chest for my niece, or nephew. My sister-in-law is pregnant but we still don’t know the sex of the baby. Boy or girl, I’m sure they are going to have a bunch of toys and some can be stored in here.

 

My wife and I looked all over for toy chest inspiration. I put a few ideas together and built a 3D model.

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The design is fairly simple, but timeless. A shaker style chest with a soft close top.

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I bought a lot of red oak for a previous table that I built, and made sure to buy extra for this and other projects.

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I measured the boards out to their rough length and marked them out.

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Using a circular saw I cut down to those lines.

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Instead of using a jointer, I made a jig on the table saw to perfectly flatten the edge of a board. You clamp the board down and run the jig against the fence.

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Once I had a flat side to work with, I put that against the fence and rough-cut the boards to width.

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The project calls for some boards that are ¾ inch, and the rest are ½ inch. I rough-cut this board just like the other, but ripped it to different widths.

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I brought over the band-saw and installed a fence system to be able to re-saw the wider boards down to size.

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I set the fence to the correct width and locked it in place.

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I passed each board through the blade, making sure to go slow and keep pressure against the fence to make a straight cut. I also used a scrap piece of wood to push the very end of the board safely through the blade.

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The table saw is much faster than the band-saw at re-sawing, assuming your boards are not too tall. I passed all the shorter boards through, making a pass on one side, then flipping it over to make it all the way through.

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This was a big scrap from the kitchen table that I built. I cut it to width and then re-sawed to make it the same as the other pieces.

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I could now use the planer to bring all the boards down to their final thickness. I took off about a sixteenth of an inch with each pass. Every board goes through, then you move the blades down, then run all the boards through again.

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Back at the table saw, I ripped each board down to their final width according to the plans.

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I used the miter saw to cut the boards down to final length. These pieces I’m cutting are for the toy chest top, which are ¾ inch thick.

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I repeated the same exact process for the rest of the boards. These are only ½ inch thick and different dimensions than before. I ripped them to width on the table saw and then cut them down to their final length on the miter saw. For same sized pieces, I set up a stop block to keep them consistent.

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I finally had all my boards. For some reason they looked light a city scape when I put them flat on the table, so I arranged them for fun…then got to laying out my top.

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I grabbed some clamps and laid out the boards for the top. I added some wood glue and then spread it out using my finger.

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I added some light pressure, then used some additional clamps to keep the boards centered vertically.

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Once everything was secure, I let the top dry overnight.

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The next morning, I removed the clamps, made sure everything looked good, and then glued up the bottom panel in the same way.

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With a card scraper, I got rid of most of the glue from the joints.

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I used a belt sander with 80-grit paper to rough sand, then sanded to 220-grit with a random orbit sander.

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Using the table saw sled, I trimmed the top and bottom down to final length, then did some fine sanding and eased the edges.

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My Project Tools

CIRCULAR SAW

TABLE SAW

BAND SAW

PLANER

MITER SAW

PIPE CLAMPS

CARD SCRAPER

BELT SANDER

RANDOM ORBIT SANDER

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