Magic Coin Banks

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Project by gfadvm posted 07-26-2012 09:45 PM 4063 views 14 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Someone posted a link to these in the April, 1996 issue of American Woodworker recently and I thought this would be a good bank for my granddaughter. You pull the drawer out, put a coin in the drawer, close it, and the coin drops into the box. The bottom is removable when you want to empty the bank. Dimensions: 3×5x3”. One on the left is Jatoba, the other is walnut and maple. Finished with several coats of wax. My pics made the box joints look terrible for some reason. But it was too hot out to retake them.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

23 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


2023 posts in 2274 days

#1 posted 07-26-2012 09:50 PM

Hmm, the mechanism is interesting. Is the bottom piece of the tray spring loaded, to get pushed back when inserted into the main box?

-- Allen, Colorado

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 2084 days

#2 posted 07-26-2012 09:50 PM

They look good !

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View Roger's profile


17851 posts in 1894 days

#3 posted 07-26-2012 09:51 PM

Really nice Andy. Teach them to save when they are young. I think your box joints look jus fine

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View eddie's profile


7744 posts in 1704 days

#4 posted 07-26-2012 09:54 PM

Andy those look great , like the Jatoba ,i got to learn to make these boxes ill try to find the plans ,im few doors down from ya in Louisiana so i under stand about the heat ,she will love it and learn to save too ,thanks for sharing

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18613 posts in 1428 days

#5 posted 07-26-2012 09:58 PM

Looks good. I should make some also. How does the mechanism work?

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Granddaddy1's profile


181 posts in 1291 days

#6 posted 07-26-2012 10:11 PM

Looks great Andy. I’m sure your grand daughter will love it.

-- Ron Wilson - maker of fine firewood!

View Theron's profile


23 posts in 1321 days

#7 posted 07-26-2012 10:13 PM

Andy, they look great and the joints look tight – your just suffering from builder bias.

I built one of these for my son and told him that it was “magic” (he’s 5 years old). He jiggled the drawer till the brads finally gave out and I had to drill a hole and used a wire rod for the false bottom. I put a post office door on the front as he has not proved to be much of a saver.


-- Theron W., Enid, OK - as a young man I enjoyed boxing, now I just like making them.

View gfadvm's profile


13944 posts in 1780 days

#8 posted 07-26-2012 10:18 PM

The mechanism is really simple (no springs) but hard to explain. I’d post the link if I wasn’t so computer illiterate. Maybe I can e mail it to a buddy and get him to post it. Theron, I didn’t like the nail stop so I used a screw. Edit: my wife tried to post the link and failed. She said to just Google American Woodworker, 1996 and then go to Magic Coin Bank. I remain clueless!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JL7's profile


8127 posts in 2055 days

#9 posted 07-26-2012 10:22 PM

These are really cool Andy….. they look great! Need to try this one!

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View DocSavage45's profile


6704 posts in 1932 days

#10 posted 07-26-2012 11:01 PM

Another fine journey into box making!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DonnyBahama's profile


215 posts in 1621 days

#11 posted 07-26-2012 11:33 PM

Great stuff, Andy!

Here’s the link if anyone wants it:

-- Founding member of the (un)Official LumberJock's Frugal Woodworking Society -

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 2168 days

#12 posted 07-26-2012 11:56 PM

Hey Andy, I didn’t know you build For Knoxes!! Well done!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Blackie_'s profile


4270 posts in 1602 days

#13 posted 07-27-2012 12:12 AM

They look nice Andy and I’m sure your grandaughter will love them.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View lumberjoe's profile


2883 posts in 1338 days

#14 posted 07-27-2012 12:41 AM

These are awesome! What a fantastic idea

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

View gfadvm's profile


13944 posts in 1780 days

#15 posted 07-27-2012 12:43 AM

Hey Donny, Thanks for posting that link and good to hear from you. It’s been a LONG time.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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