Maple Toy Box

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Project by cheller posted 01-19-2007 12:17 PM 5328 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this maple toy box for my nephew a couple of years ago. Maple plywood panels fit into dadoes in the legs. The top edges of the box are trimmed out with 1” solid maple strips. The top is maple ply with solid maple trim. I had some trouble with the alignment of the solid maple which led to the v groove in the top. By cutting the groove the slight misalignment is less obvious (although I’ll always know it’s there!).

The design is original and is the result of finding 4 or 5 designs for toy boxes and blanket chests and picking the features I liked best from each.

When I went to attach the lid I realized that I had made a design error. The back panel is set in from the back of the legs (like the front and sides) which made it impossible to use the piano hinge without a lot of work to determine the correct placement. I solved this by adding a 1” x 3/4” strip at the top of the back between the legs.

The lift is a pneumatic one designed for uplift cabinet doors. We tested carefully to be sure that the lid would not fall onto little hands and that my nephew could get out of the closed box (at the time he loved hiding inside). I also added a piece of a bathroom rug to the bottom to help muffle the noise of toys being tossed into the box.

The plywood I used for the top had a pretty nasty looking knot. I solved this by pulling out my router inlay set. His parents are partial to stars so the star was the logical addition to the box. The dark spots in the center of the bottom edge are my brand. I have one of the fairly common ones that says “Handmade by” and has my full name.

-- Chelle

8 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#1 posted 04-02-2007 05:50 AM

Very nice toy Box

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Lou's profile


178 posts in 4079 days

#2 posted 04-02-2007 05:53 AM

where did you find the pneumatic lift? i was looking for one for my pine box to keep it from swinging all the way back 160 degrees. i ended up just using a chain, and some o rings with screws attached. it worked ok… but great box!!! i like the simplicity of it!

-- "What one can make with good tools is limited only by one's talent" (

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 4106 days

#3 posted 04-02-2007 07:34 AM

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4157 days

#4 posted 04-02-2007 11:46 AM

excellent – and good problem-solving.
Rick and I have had more trouble with hinges…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Wooder's profile


163 posts in 4183 days

#5 posted 04-02-2007 01:02 PM

Rick, very nice chest. The things that you know are there is what gives it that personal touch.! Been there, done that!!

-- Jimmy

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#6 posted 04-02-2007 03:44 PM

It’s always good to here someone else’s tales of covering up wood flaws and design errors. On the other hand, if we didn’t tell on ourselves, nobody would know we weren’t perfect. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4308 days

#7 posted 04-05-2007 03:29 AM

Nice clean look.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#8 posted 04-05-2007 03:35 AM

The pneumatic lift could also be automobile parts. like Windows on rear tailgate windows.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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