Pirate Treasure Chest/Trunk for My 6 yr Old

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Project by skogie1 posted 11-24-2014 08:47 PM 1872 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a treasure chest with a hidden drawer that I made for my son’s 6th birthday. I’d never done anything like this before (I’m a total newbie) but it came out pretty good I think. It’s made out of pine. The bottom molding is maple. I’d never made box joints before. I made a jig for it but I think if I need finger joints again I’ll buy a machined jig like the i-Box because I ran into a few problems. (However, once I’d decided to distress the box I was easily able to “fix” those problems with a hammer and a torch! ;) I torched it quite a bit as you can see to give it an old worn appearance. My boy’s name is Max, hence the “M” on the ends. To make that I routed an M template into a piece of MDF and then just placed it over the boards and torched it in. The false bottom and secret drawer were my favorite part of the project. I raised the box off the floor an 1/8” with some wood strips so he can get his finger under the trim just enough to open it. The drawer runs on slides. To keep the drawer closed snugly, I glued magnets to the backside of the drawer and mounted a piece of wood just behind the drawer in the closed position and glued magnets to that as well. When the drawer is closed there is about a 1/16th gap between the magnets and that gives it just enough hold to keep it tightly closed but not so much that it can’t be opened with a small tug. I was planning on making feet for the chest but I ran out of time. I finished it with stain and shellac.

I’d love hear any suggestions for improvements or comments on it. As I said, I’m new to this.

My boy really likes it, but to be truthful, he was much more excited by the presents it contained than the box itself. He has however put all his change in the secret drawer and makes damn sure his younger brother never knows about it.

14 comments so far

View Lanaug's profile


188 posts in 1632 days

#1 posted 11-24-2014 09:26 PM

that is gorgeous, great job on the finger joints and overall look. That might just need to go on my project list. Thanks for sharing!

View Diwayne's profile


265 posts in 2114 days

#2 posted 11-24-2014 10:13 PM

Nice job.

-- What one man can do, another man can also do.

View Ken90712's profile


16864 posts in 2613 days

#3 posted 11-24-2014 11:25 PM

Great job there is a happy little boy telling all his friends how great his daddy is! Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View dawsonbob's profile


1844 posts in 1179 days

#4 posted 11-25-2014 02:51 AM

Great job. Just the thing for a boy to keep his treasures in. Just out of curiosity, what stain did you use?

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View skogie1's profile


94 posts in 787 days

#5 posted 11-25-2014 04:59 AM

Great job. Just the thing for a boy to keep his treasures in. Just out of curiosity, what stain did you use?

Thanks for your comment (thanks for everyone’s comments!). I don’t remember what the stain was. It was a blend I made for another project of two different shades. It was either Minwax or Sansin. I had some left over and it looked nice enough for this project so I used it up. I attempted to use up some extra stuff in the project. For example, I used maple for the bottom trim just because I had some lying around. FWIW, I find Minwax leaves an unattractive sheen and Sansin masques the grain so I don’t really like either.

View Tim's profile


3032 posts in 1385 days

#6 posted 11-25-2014 12:58 PM

Very cool. What kid wouldn’t like a pirate chest?

View hoss12992's profile


3814 posts in 1317 days

#7 posted 11-25-2014 05:30 PM

That is really cool. I got a good laugh about hiding his change from his younger brother part. Im sure your son will treasure it more and more and time goes on, and is certain to be a heirloom that he will no doubt pass down to his kids. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3001 days

#8 posted 11-25-2014 06:07 PM

Looks super cool ,very well done.

-- Custom furniture

View dawsonbob's profile


1844 posts in 1179 days

#9 posted 11-25-2014 07:35 PM

Thanks for the info, skogie1. I like the look of your pirate chest, and the finish looks pretty close to what I want for a project of mine. I’ll experiment some more.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View majuvla's profile


8739 posts in 2291 days

#10 posted 11-25-2014 07:58 PM

It’s realy authentic. I like this hidden drawer.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View BurlyBob's profile


3494 posts in 1689 days

#11 posted 11-26-2014 03:48 AM

Thanks for an example. I was telling my wife I plan on building our first grandson a pirate’s chest toybox in a couple of years. He’s only 2 weeks old. It’s a little early to start building for him, but I’ve got lots of ideas.

View DocSavage45's profile


7658 posts in 2266 days

#12 posted 11-26-2014 05:27 PM


You do have a smart boy! And because he is smart he will treasure this chest! Hope you dated and signed it with something that will last as it will be valued more later on.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View oldsawtooth's profile


113 posts in 699 days

#13 posted 11-28-2014 11:12 PM

great job friend !

-- James,Alabama,

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12504 posts in 2581 days

#14 posted 01-06-2015 04:02 AM

RRRRrrrr Matey! Nice treasure chest you’ve created there!

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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