Free Pirate Treasure Chest Plans
How To Build A Pirate Treasure Chest

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Free Pirate Treasure Chest Plan
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A Great Toy Treasure Chest!

Build the treasure chest shown on the right with just a few tools and a small investment in materials!

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Another Free Treasure Chest Plan

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Introduction:  The measurements for the Treasure Chest in this plan are: 

18" Wide x 13 1/2"  High x  11 1/2 " Deep

Of course, you can adjust these measurements to suit your requirements.

Select desired species/type of  finished, hardwood plywood; to replicate this treasure chest, select a piece of 3/4 Inch, hardwood plywood:  14 Inches Wide x 6 Feet Long.

Step One, Rip the Base

Rip the 14" x 6' plywood to 10" for the base of the chest; front/back and sides (be aware that the remaining four inches will be used for the lid; the grain of the base and lid will be matched).


Step Two, Rip the Lid

Rip the remaining 4" x 6' plywood to 3 1/2 " for the lid front rail /back rail and sides (cut the outside edge so the grain matches where the lid and base meet).

Step Three, Cross Cut Base

Using the 10" x 6' plywood, cross cut the base pieces in the following order so the grain is continuous and flows around your chest (mark each piece, #1 to #4, with a pencil on the top edge):

1.  18" Front

2.  11 1/2" Right Side

3.  18" Back

4.  11 1/2" Left Side

Step Four, Cross Cut Lid Frame Pieces

Using the 3 1/2" x 6' plywood, cross cut the lid frame pieces in the following order so the grain is continuous (mark each piece, #1 to #4, with a pencil on the top edge to match with the base markings/wood grain):

1.  18" Front

2.  11 1/2" Right Side

3.  18" Back

4. 11 1/2" Left Side

Step Five, Rip Front Lid Rail and Back Lid Rail

Take the two, 3 1/2" x 18" lid rail pieces (#1, Front rail and #3, Back rail) and measure up 1 3/4" from where the lid rail will meet the base and rip each piece to the 1 3/4" x 18":

#1 Front rail is now 1 3/4" x 18"

#3 Back rail is now 1 3/4" x 18"

Step Six, Cut the Two Side Lid Pieces To 45 degrees

Take the two 3 1/2" x 11 1/2" lid side pieces (#2, Right Side and #4, Left Side) and measure up and mark with a pencil, 1 3/4" on each side of each piece, from where the lid will meet the base, and cut mirrored 45 degree angles.

Step Seven, Cut Angles At the Corners

With the exterior side facing up, lay out your Base pieces in order, #1 - #4.  At this time, mark the edges of the base as top and bottom.

With the exterior side facing up, lay out your matching Lid pieces in order, #1 - #4.  All the wood grain should match; side-to-side; bottom-to-top. 

Set your table saw blade at a 45-degree angle.

Using your panel cutter and a 1" piece of spacer wood clamped to your rip fence, set your table saw to make all cuts at 45-degrees precisely to the pre-cut pieces where the corners will meet.  All exterior dimensions for the Base and Lid should remain the same:  18" Wide x 11 1/2" Deep

Step Eight, Make BASE Dado Cuts

Select a piece of plywood for the bottom panel of your treasure chest; for this size of chest, 7/16" stock was used. 

Set your table saw with a dado blade to receive this dimension, 7/16", and cut to a depth of  3/8" (half the thickness of the base material which is 3/4"). 

Set your saw's rip fence at 3/8" from the dado blade; this will allow the dado cut to begin 3/8" from the bottom of all base pieces to receive the bottom floating panel..

Proceed to make your dado cuts to the base pieces #1 to #4 at the bottom on the interior side of the four pieces to receive the bottom panel.

Step Nine, Make LID Dado Cuts

For the top of the Lid, determine the thickness of the material to be used; in this case, old wood flooring strips 3/8".

Using a depth gauge or a sample of the wood, set the height of the dado blade to 3/8".

Using a piece of 3/8" stock as a guide, set the rip fence on your table saw to 3/8".

Proceed to make your three dado cuts to each of the two side pieces of the Lid (#2 and #4) along the top edge on the interior side of the two side pieces to receive the wood strips for the top of the chest.

Step ten, Cut Bottom Panel

Cut the 7/16" bottom panel material to size: 17 1/8" long  x 10 5/8" High (the slight undersize will allow the panel to float in the slotted base.

Dry fit the base pieces to include the bottom to ensure proper fit.


Step Eleven, Cut Materials for the Top Lid Frame

Dry fit the four lid frame pieces; determine the distance of the top pieces/slats from side to side; in this example: 17 1/4".  Determine how wide you would like to rip your top slats; for this chest, there are five @ 2" Wide x 17 1/4" Long; determine how many you will need for your chest, and rip them and cross cut them to size.  The two edges of each slat should be cut at a 45 degree angle (one edge to fit over the adjoining rail/slat; the other edge to fit under the adjoining slat). The last slat will require trimming for the exact fit.  Dry fit the slats in place.

Determine the width of the two starter slats that rest on the 45 degree angles of the Lid framework (front and rear of the Lid); for this chest, 3 1/2". 

Cut the two starter slats with a 45 degree bevel and dry fit them in place.

Step Twelve, Assemble Base and Lid of the Chest

After the slats have been dry fitted, sand all the interior services with 220 grit sandpaper.  Glue the base and lid pieces together with a good quality glue and nail the pieces in place with 1 1/4" brads.

After the glue has set overnight, apply plywood edging veneer (nail on or iron on veneer) to all exposed plywood edges of the Lid and Base of the chest. 

Trim the veneer to size and sand all exterior services with 220 grit sandpaper.

Stain to desired color and apply two to four coats of polyurethane.

Apply the handles, hinges, lid support chain, and hasp; add corner brass covers, if desired; also add felt pads to the bottom of the chest.

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