Toy Box

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Project by Scott Wigginton posted 02-24-2008 08:17 PM 3493 views 6 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I live in an older house (built in the 1880s) which lacks any sort of built in storage. As my daughter’s collection of toys has continued to grow I finally decided to build her a toybox to alieve some of the overflow.

Similar to my first project (Toddler Bed), and also built in December 2006, this toybox made with only a miter saw, circular saw, and cordless drill using dimensional lumber, plywood, and a complete lack of knowledge on woodworking techniques and jointery. I made the front and back sections similar to the toddler bed, but then was at a loss for how best to connect the sides, bottom, and top. Luckily us engineers tend to view everything as a problem with a solution set waiting to be found.

I managed to edge glue the top boards without clamps using some wedging action between some immovable objects and some hefty things found around my garage to keep things flat. Nothing like the delicate smoothing ability of my 6” angle grinder to break the edges.

To attach the bottom prior to knowledge of dados I ended up adding a support rail to nail the plywood onto. The sides of the box were simply nailed onto the existing frame and a piano hinge for the top. Another white primer and painted to match the bed and she had her first furniture set.

The largest struggle was to find a good stop-fall to prevent my daughter from hurting herself with the top. At first I could only find items that cushioned the blow from a full fall for the last few inches. I wanted something that would assist in the opening so my daughter could get her toys out without having to hold the top open, and still not let it crush her fingers if she lets go. I finally managed to find the correct type of hinge at Lowes and it has been a blessing in allowing her to use it without any injuries (except for her falling off the top!)

-- Scott

9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#1 posted 02-24-2008 08:25 PM


This is a nice project and one that I sure was a necessity. This toy chest gives her some personal space where she can put her valuables. It amazing how possessive they get about “their toys”. It also gets them off the floor, furniture, etc.

I have said it before, too often we tend to view obstacles as the reason why we can’t complete a task rather than looking at them as challenges to be overcome so that we can complete the project.

Nice post.

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

View Scott Wigginton's profile

Scott Wigginton

51 posts in 3742 days

#2 posted 02-24-2008 08:48 PM

Another fun aspect was using a sheet of plywood in the back of my pickup as my entire shop and workbench since my detached garage was completely full of lawn equipment.

-- Scott

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3871 days

#3 posted 02-24-2008 10:01 PM

You got a lot done with a little. I am guessing your daughter loves it. Good job.

View Scott's profile


63 posts in 3858 days

#4 posted 02-24-2008 11:54 PM


I am impressedwith your positive attitude. Keep working at it. Being a follow engineer I can understand that each problem is just a challange waiting for a solution. I recommend that you put your first bit of money into a good router and a tablesaw first. There are books on both and you will be amazed on what you can do with them. I also have had very good luck getting used books on

Best of luck with your future in woodworking.

-- Scott, Kentucky ----- "Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry" Mark Twain

View cpt_hammer's profile


133 posts in 3809 days

#5 posted 02-25-2008 12:20 AM

Here’s an idea that I saw on a HGTV show for toyboxes to prevent finger pinching. Cut a 1/2” gap along the top pieces and only let the lid contact at the corners. That way, even if the lid were to come down real fast, the last 1/2” won’t be closed in by the lid, except on the corners. That’s what I plan on doing with the toybox that I’m planning to build.

View Scott Wigginton's profile

Scott Wigginton

51 posts in 3742 days

#6 posted 02-25-2008 02:11 AM

I placed some 1/4” thick felt on the corners to help the finger threat. My daughter’s biggest danger was from dropping the lid on her head while she was trying to reach in for a toy.

-- Scott

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3931 days

#7 posted 02-25-2008 03:30 AM

Scott, The bed and the toybox both look real good. Great way to just tackle a a project.
I need to start thinking about building my daughter’s toybox here soon.

Look forward to seeing more projects.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3809 days

#8 posted 02-25-2008 02:09 PM


-- Jiri

View Sawdustmaker's profile


295 posts in 3794 days

#9 posted 02-26-2008 04:47 AM

Hey Scott, Nice project on a shoestring. If you ever want to get together and talk shop over a cold one let me know. ShipWreck is just around the corner from me.

-- Brian, Virginia Beach

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