Step 1: Lay out and cut the parts

Lay out and cut the parts
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Using a tape measure and straightedge, mark up some birch veneer plywood to make the two 12-by-12-inch top and bottom pieces and the two 11-by-12-inch sides. Also, mark up some lauan to make one piece that’s 12 by 12 inches and one that’s 11 by 11 inches. Clamp the plywood tightly to a worktable. Then, using a jigsaw (a handsaw or circular saw will also work), cut the four sides.

To parents: Here’s a chance to do a stealth math problem with your kids. Ask them why the two sides have to be shorter than the other parts to make a perfect cube.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • straight edge
      Straightedge ruler
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw, circular saw, or handsaw
    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses
    • random orbit sander
      Random-orbit sander or sanding block
    • bar clamps
      Bar clamps
    • hammer with nailset
      Hammer and nailset
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • paintbrush
      2-inch paintbrush
    • Artist's Brush
      Artist's brush
    • staple gun
      Staple gun
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 1/16-inch drill bits
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. One quarter-sheet of ½-inch birch-veneer plywood

    2. One quarter-sheet of luaun or ¼-inch plywood

    3. 4d finish nails

    4. 1-inch box nails

    5. 120-grit sandpaper

    6. Stainable wood glue

    7. Stainable wood putty
    8. Clear acrylic finish or latex paint

    9. Acrylic artist’s paint

    10. ½ yard of fabric

    11. ¼-inch staples

    12. ¼-inch staples

    13. 2-inch screws with corresponding washers and wall anchors

    14. Velcro tape