Teak and Cypress Outdoor Storage Chest

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Project by JayG46 posted 10-28-2013 12:26 PM 2420 views 7 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this chest for the golf course I work at. It will stay outside on the driving range and hold bags of practice balls. The previous piece that the club had bought was hinged in such a way so when you opened the top, any water on top would be poured directly onto the bags of balls. It was also made of that synthetic, green, Trex-style junk and was fairly hideous. Consequently, I offered to design and create something more suited to the job.

Since this is going to be a piece of outdoor furniture and subjected to the elements, I chose teak and cypress as my materials. Cypress is pretty common down here in Florida and fairly inexpensive. It contains and oil called cypressine which makes it highly resistant to insects and rot. Teak is obviously the quintessential outdoor wood.

While I was sketching the piece out, I drew a slight angle on the top so that water would roll off of it instead of puddling on top of it. Instinctively, I drew a curve on the front legs to compliment it. Not sure if this is some sort of a design principle at work, but it instantly felt right and I went with that basic shape.

The top of the piece is built around some old decorative teak trim panels salvaged from a sailboat. The small pieces are separated with teak decking caulk, which is a rubbery black substance.

To accomplish the curve on the front legs, I laminated a piece of 3/8” teak between two pieces of 3/4” cypress. They were first rough cut on the band saw, then glued, then flush trimmed on the router table. The idea is that the lamination will protect the legs from the “short grain” problem that would made them prone to breaking where the grain only travels a few inches across the curve. It also has the side benefits of looking pretty cool and not requiring 8/4 stock to make legs. I suppose you could call it curved lamination instead of bent lamination.

Basic frame and panel technique was used for the sides, front and back. I used the Festool Domino, which made joining the angled rails on the sides a breeze, no different than 90 degree pieces. The bottom is made up of cypress slats to promote air circulation. I also added some small teak pads to the bottoms of the legs and sealed them with epoxy to prevent excess water absorption.

The inside of the piece is also finished with epoxy while the outside has two coats of teak oil. Since the outside is going to be beaten by the sun all day long, I decided I would use a finish that is easy to reapply when that time inevitably comes. On the inside, where there will be no sun but darkness and moisture in abundance, I went with epoxy to protect the wood from mold and mildew and make it easy to clean.

This is the first piece of outdoor furniture I have built and hopefully I prepared it for the punishment it is destined for. Thanks for checking it out.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

21 comments so far

View Spoontaneous's profile


1324 posts in 2573 days

#1 posted 10-28-2013 12:53 PM

Tell me which golf course and it won’t be there tomorrow. Better bolt it to concrete. Very nice design and construction! Nice work!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View JayG46's profile


138 posts in 1101 days

#2 posted 10-28-2013 01:05 PM

Thanks, Spoonie. Your desire to steal it is high praise, indeed!

I enjoy your work as well.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View deon's profile


2454 posts in 2268 days

#3 posted 10-28-2013 02:13 PM

Looks pretty cool. Love the top, it looks kind of 3D in the photographs

-- Dreaming patterns

View Woodbridge's profile


3396 posts in 1661 days

#4 posted 10-28-2013 03:48 PM

That is a beautiful piece. It should be in the clubhouse it looks so nice. Using the teak sail boat panels was a great idea and looks super.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View BTimmons's profile


2291 posts in 1728 days

#5 posted 10-28-2013 04:14 PM

I’d be proud to put my balls in that. (Please pardon my sense of humor.)

-- Brian Timmons -

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3340 days

#6 posted 10-28-2013 04:16 PM

Looks great.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Sanding2day's profile


1001 posts in 1089 days

#7 posted 10-28-2013 05:08 PM

Beautiful work Jay… Grats and thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View bobasaurus's profile


2304 posts in 2427 days

#8 posted 10-28-2013 05:09 PM

Teak and cypress should be very rot-resistant, great choices for outdoor furniture. If the outside finish doesn’t hold up, consider trying a spar urethane.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Diwayne's profile


265 posts in 1933 days

#9 posted 10-28-2013 05:31 PM

Smooth work.

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

View ColonelTravis's profile


986 posts in 1137 days

#10 posted 10-28-2013 07:58 PM

I used to work at a golf course a long time ago. Don’t now but I want this at my house anyway.

View gsimon's profile


1004 posts in 1356 days

#11 posted 10-28-2013 09:31 PM

Really nice job – way to go with your design instinct
The curved legs set it back a bit and give it some allure

-- Greg Simon

View Joshua Oehler's profile

Joshua Oehler

164 posts in 934 days

#12 posted 10-28-2013 10:05 PM

Hmmm…I know a neighboring, competing golf course who may just end up with this…I just have to sneak my way into your course! Great work Jay! Absolutely love the lid!

-- - "But old news can change, as memories float downstream. So don't judge me by my failures, only by my dreams"

View gfadvm's profile


14719 posts in 1933 days

#13 posted 10-29-2013 12:24 AM

That is a VERY classy storage chest! Love the top design.

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

View hoss12992's profile


3685 posts in 1136 days

#14 posted 10-29-2013 12:51 AM

Awesome design and craftsmanship. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View doubleDD's profile


4515 posts in 1286 days

#15 posted 10-29-2013 02:17 AM

Beautiful build on the chest. Nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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