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Small Steamer Trunk / treasure chest / Box - need help

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Forum topic by MolokMot posted 09-21-2012 05:47 PM 3227 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MolokMot

122 posts in 1080 days


09-21-2012 05:47 PM

All,

My niece wants a treasure chest, so I am thinking about making a couple for Christmas for the various kids in the family.

Ideas: Use a scaled down version of Duane's Steamer trunk as the basic idea of the box. I was thinking about 1/4 the size. The trouble comes in when scaling down on getting the dimensions on the stiles and rails. The parts seem like they are getting a little too thin / short to be effective.

If anyone can help here is what I am looking for:

Steamer trunk in the size of a box that children can play with but it would also last. I am also planning on building the box completely and then cutting the top off so that it matches well. Building the top would be difficult at this scale.

The attached sketchup is a scaled down version of the one Marc built and I would appreciate any help or suggestions on how thick, wide, tall etc to build the box. Seems making the sides too thin will cause a good deal of difficulty.

Regards,
MolokMot

Download Sketchup drawling Here

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek


10 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1215 posts in 1612 days


#1 posted 09-22-2012 06:17 PM

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1228 days


#2 posted 09-22-2012 10:37 PM

Daniel, You did not mention the age of your niece but you did say several for the various kids in the family. If I put my mind into child mode it thinks of treasure chests more like the things that HerbC posted. It might just be that I watched too many pirate movies as a kid, lol, but my minds Captain Kid would never bury a rectangular chest.

something like this could be done with rail and style parts 1/2” and panel parts 1/4 or 1/8” if you want that look and weight reduction. You might be stuck on Marc’s Steamer but I think it is rather a lot to put in a 1/4 scale 5” x 9” box. You also might consider that children often see things in fantasy, hope I said that right.

Good Luck with the design and build and I’m sure they will love what ever you come up with as much for it’s looks as the fact that you built it.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1745 posts in 1675 days


#3 posted 09-23-2012 11:04 AM

This is what I make. I developed the plan myself and adjusted it while making about 50 of these over 6 years. I have made them of cedar mostly but have made a few of yellow pine.

-- In God We Trust

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casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1228 days


#4 posted 09-23-2012 02:27 PM

Jim, did you make the chests for the movies I have seen? LOL nice job BTW

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2760 posts in 1104 days


#5 posted 09-23-2012 02:49 PM

Here is a link to Pop WW free plans for a kids pirate chest. Maybe this will be of some help.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MolokMot's profile

MolokMot

122 posts in 1080 days


#6 posted 09-24-2012 02:17 PM

Herb,

Thanks for those suggestions those look very nice. Here is my hesitation with all of them. The curved tops at this point seem like a very very difficult step. I know that the sketch-up I have had a curved lid too, but I am planning on making the lid flat. My wood working experience is somewhat limited and I am afraid that trying to do a curved top for three chests / boxes will end with missing the Christmas deadline and wasting a good deal of wood at this point.

I could be wrong, how are these normally constructed? How do people dial in that angle with out a reliable angle gauge?

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

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MolokMot

122 posts in 1080 days


#7 posted 09-24-2012 02:31 PM

casual1carpenter,

That is a pretty cool plan. How do you make the angle cuts for the top without wasting a ton of wood and getting the angles correct? I think that is my biggest hold up on making one like that. Do you know how they would do it on a normal steamer trunk?

Design thoughts: Two of the kids are younger 1st – 3rd grade and one of them is a little older, 7th grade. My thought was to make three very similar chest/boxes and modify the third one to be more of a jewelry box by lining it with felt and putting some ring / watch / etc. holding options in the top tray. By combining the ideas the older girl will still be able to play a bit, but as soon as she decides she is too old for that, the chest has a very “grown-up” purpose.

I know kids see things a little differently, but I also wanted to make these so that if they are well built and they last, that they can use them for other things later in life. Maybe I am over thinking that a lot? Perhaps there is very little chance they will last the year. :)

I would love to hear your thoughts on these thing. I am new and as you all can tell I have limited experience.

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

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MolokMot

122 posts in 1080 days


#8 posted 09-24-2012 03:07 PM

Jim Finn,

I like your design very much! The vertical split on the front as apposed to the normal horizontal seems like it would solve a good deal of the concept issues I am having and would still look the part. It seems that making a raised panel also adds quite a bit to the look as well.

One thing I wanted to try was to make the lid as part of the box and then separate it on the table saw. From what I understand this is the best way to get the lid to match up. Is it difficult to make the lid separately and then match it to the bottom?

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

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MolokMot

122 posts in 1080 days


#9 posted 09-24-2012 03:09 PM

bondogaposis,

Thanks for that link, I am checking it out and it looks pretty cool. Seems meg also goes into describing how to match up the angles to make the lid. I will have to give it some attention tonight when I get home.

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1228 days


#10 posted 09-24-2012 05:41 PM

Daniel, the hand tool guys would likely tell you to put the pieces on the curve so they touch at one edge and scribe parallel lines at the gap if that makes sense. Now a couple of passes with a plane and your good to go. There is also bevel square that you could use to pick up the angles and transfer to a power saw. Each piece might work out to being unique but there is something to be said for that too. I am sure there are lots of ideas floating in peoples heads on easy accurate ways to make the curved top but methods would depend on your individual tooling and preferred techniques. My individual thought is that I would not want it too perfect, actually I would look for reclaimed wood to add a bit of aging and abuse look while being mindful of splinters. As you said the children could have a treasure chest to store the sort of valuables a child might collect, a piggy bank, jewelry box or other future potentials.

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