Ian's Cherry Toy Box

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Project by Sandy posted 12-07-2009 02:21 AM 6964 views 13 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My daughter and son-in-law gave me the gift of my first granchild, Ian, eight months ago. Last week I gave Ian this cherry toy chest.

The sides are all 1/2” cherry plywood inset into rabbets formed on solid cherry rails and stiles. The overall outside dimensions are 39” wide, by 20” deep, by 22” high. The front and rear rails and stiles, and the side rails, are 3 1/2” wide and 1” thick, so the side stiles were made to be 2 1/2” wide so that when the sides were joined to the front/rear assemblise, all would have the same appearance. The top was made a bit differently, as its undside shows when opened, so I made it as a raised panel, so that it has the same appearance from the outside and inside. The top was made to overhang the box by 1/2” all around, so its rails and stiles were made to be 4” wide so that they would align with the front, back, and sides. The top was hinged to the carcase using Rocklers’ Toy Chest torsion hinges for safety, and a hand hold/air hole (again for safety) was routed into the top of the front. As the Rockler hinges require 3/4” material, I used a chisel to mortise them into their locations on the 1” thick back rail. All edges were rounded over, and it was finished with two coats of thinned shellac, followed by two coats of rub on polyurethane.

I made extensive use of my Festool Domino Joiner, with each of the front/rear/sides/top using 8 dominos (2 in each joint), and an additional 20 dominos (5 into the front and 5 into the rear on each side) being used to join the sides to the fronts and rear, for a total, in all, of 60 dominos used for loose tenon joinery. The bottom of the box is 3/4” plywood (oak that I had in the shop stained with cherry stain), set into dados cut into the sides, front and rear before the sides were joined to the front and rear.

Interestingly, the photos taken in the shop did not show the cherry to be as “red” as the photos taken at my daughter’s home, due to the different lighting in the shop. There was just an article about that in Fine Woodworking.

12 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4088 days

#1 posted 12-07-2009 02:52 AM

Sweet box. Sweeter kid.
My first GC is due in March. Can’t wait for the retribution cycle to begin.

The pic from the shop does look almost golden, where the pics from the house look nice and read. My Dad built toy chests for my kids, so I guess it is now my turn.

You did well,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3783 days

#2 posted 12-07-2009 02:55 AM

This is a great toy box almost to nice to put toys in.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3879 days

#3 posted 12-07-2009 03:01 AM

Nice looking toy box and grandson.

View Sandy's profile


217 posts in 4130 days

#4 posted 12-07-2009 03:15 AM

@ a1Jim, my daughter kept it empty for about a week, as she didn’t want to “scratch” it. She finally started to put toys into it, yesterday.

@Beginningwoodworker, you must be young enough to have good eyes, as you didn’t say “nice looking grandpa” :(

View jim1953's profile


2736 posts in 4048 days

#5 posted 12-07-2009 03:39 AM

Great Lookin Toy Box

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Diamondback's profile


88 posts in 3345 days

#6 posted 12-07-2009 04:18 AM

Great idea! And nice! I am going to have to do that for my first grandchild from last April. Thanks for the idea! I’m going to use your style and dimensions. And I like cherry, so there you go.

-- Oshkosh, Wisconsin

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3458 days

#7 posted 12-07-2009 04:41 AM

Awsome job, i agree with a1jim comment, it looks to nice for a toy box, but nothing is to nice for a Grandbaby. Excellent work. Thanks.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4028 days

#8 posted 12-07-2009 04:58 AM

Sandy, this is a really nice looking toy box. I am sure Ian will get a lot of use out of it and, if he is anything like my grandchildren, one toybox simply is not going to be enough. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3764 days

#9 posted 12-07-2009 03:05 PM

Nice job on the toy box and please enjoy the grandkid. I know he’ll enjoy the toybox for years to come.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3326 days

#10 posted 12-07-2009 08:11 PM

Taht will be a treasure for your grandson forever

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3256 days

#11 posted 02-28-2010 04:47 PM

Sandy, I definitely like how much thought towards safety for the little one that you put into this project. I especially like the multifunctionality of the air hole/hand slot.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3894 days

#12 posted 06-17-2010 12:08 PM

Perfection ! Great design and execution and congratulations on first Grandson !!! : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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