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Toy Storage Chest

This toy chest is a basic tiered shelving system with five openings for baskets that can be removed when it's time to play.

Materials and Tools:

3/4" oak veneer plywood
circular saw
wood glue
nail gun
oak lumber strips
tack cloth (or rags)
wood putty
1/8" luan plywood
220-grit sandpaper
storage baskets


1. The key to the whole construction of the toy storage system is the two sides and the center divider. Determine the desired height of the unit, and then cut these three pieces out of the plywood. To make sure they're the same size, clamp all three pieces together. Draw the tapered layout lines on the top board; clamp a guide into position, and then cut all three at once using a circular saw.

Figure A

2. Since the two sides and the center divider are tapered, the top and bottom piece need to be cut to match that taper. Set the circular saw blade at a 12-1/2-degree angle and rip the boards to length using the guide again for straight cuts.

Figure B

3. When you hold the sides against the bottom, you see how nicely the taper continues on up. Assemble the outer shell of the cabinet using wood glue and nails.

4. Use the same type of plywood for the shelves. The one on the left side is just about centered and the two shelves on the right are evenly spaced. Use the same angle on the saw as above and cut the three shelves. Secure each with glue and nails from the sides of the cabinet.

5. To finish the piece and hide the edge of the plywood, attach one-inch strips of oak along all the edges. Fill the nail holes with wood putty and let dry. Sand all the edges smooth and remove the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag.

6. Cut the back out of luan plywood and stain the chest and back as desired and apply two coats of polyurethane, allowing it to dry between coats.

7. Attach the back with nails.

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