overview for how to build a storage chest
Illustration: Doug Adams


Day-to-day timeline
SATURDAY Cut the lumber and build the panels (Steps 1-5).
SUNDAY Assemble the box and attach the base and lid (Steps 6–14).

Download the cut list for this project.

1x4 box front- and back-panel long pieces: six @ 36 inches

1x4 box front- and back-panel short pieces: four @ 34½ inches

1x4 side-panel long pieces: four @ 20 inches

1x4 side-panel short pieces: six @ 18½ inches

1x6 lid pieces: four @ 40 inches. After being glued and clamped, bevel-cut the sides and front edge to 38 by 21½ inches

1x6 skirtboard base pieces: two @ 37 inches (from long point to long point)

1x6 skirtboard base pieces: two @ 21 (from long point to long point)

½-inch oak-plywood floor: one @ 36 by 20 inches

1x1 cleats: two @ 29 inches ripped from scrap 1x6

1x1 cleats: two @ 13 inches ripped from scrap 1x6

1x nailing blocks: four @ 1¼ by 1¼ inches square

Ask TOH users about Storage

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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • bar clamp
      36-inch bar clamps. At least three
    • finish hammer
    • belt sander
      Belt sander
    • random orbit sander
      Random-orbit sander
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • jigsaw
    • brad nailer
      Brad nailer
    • drill
    • TruFit step bit
      Miller 2x TruFit step drill bit
    • flush cut saw
      Flush-cutting saw
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • multi-bit screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. Red oak 1x4s to build the box. Get six 8-footers.

      2. Red oak 1x6s Get two 6-footers for the base and one 8-footer for the lid.

      3. ½-inch oak plywood for the floor. Get a 2-by-4-foot sheet.

      4. Miller 2x dowels in black walnut. Go to Miller Dowel Company.

      5. Torsion hinges

      6. 1-inch brad nails

      7. 1-inch deck screws

    8. 1½-inch deck screws

    9. 80-grit, 180-grit, and 220-grit sandpaper

    10. Stain and finish of your choice

    11. Wood glue