An outdoor storage chest that is both kid friendly and easy to build. That's what we do here.
As a parent, it's important that you do everything you can to keep your kids safe. One way is to make sure that the storage chest you give them is as safe as possible.
I'm going to clean up my backyard and teach the value of good organization with this great outdoor storage solution.
This version of storage chest uses dadoes for joinery. If you would like a version that uses pocket holes click here.
DIY OUTDOOR STORAGE CHEST
3 - 1x3s
10 - 1x4s
1 - 2x3
1-1/4" Brad Nails
Lid Support Hinge (x2)
8 Lid Slats @ 3.5"x36.5"
Lid Sill Plate @ 1.5"x33.5"
Exterior Sill Support Piece @ 3.5"x33.5"
Sill Support Fill Piece @ 2"x 30.5"
Interior Sill Support Piece @ 2"x30.5"
9 Bottom Slats @ 3.5"x25.75"
2 Bottom Slat Ledges @ 1"x30.5"
8 Front & Back Slats @ 3.5"x31.5"
4 Legs @ 1.5"x2.5"x18"
Here is the Project Build Video:
Here is the Extended Bonus Footage Video:
Cut the legs to length. Then route the dadoes into two of the sides.
NOTE: Route the dado a quarter inch from the edge of each side. This way you only have to set your fence once to route all the dadoes throughout the project. If you center the dadoes then you will have to set the fence at one spot to route for the short side of the leg. Then reset your fence a second time in order to complete the process on the other side of each leg.
The dadoes should start and stop 2" from each end of the legs. Refer to the project video for the process I used via my router table.
Then you will need to square off the ends of each dado with a chisel and hammer. I took a short cut by simply routing the dadoes an extra half inch longer than it calls for here in order to skip that step.
Sure it leaves a small gap at each end and if I was building a legacy chest to be passed down through generations I would have taken the time to square the ends. I also would have used better building materials.
In case your wondering the strength of a dado comes from the increased glue surface around the adjoining piece(s). So the width of the dado is immensely more important. Be sure your boards are snug in your dadoes or else that will negatively effect the strength of the storage chest.
I filled the void with wood putty and moved on.
Now glue and fit the shorter slats in place.
Once the glue sets up you can attach the shorter sides with their longer counterparts.
Flip the carcass on it's side and attach the ledges for the bottom slats.
The Bottom slats may be laid in place and after laying a line of wood glue, tack them in place with 1-1/4" brad nails.
Some notches will need to be cut into the sides of the two end slats. I cover this in the project video above.
Place the exterior sill support piece along what will be the rear legs and glue and tack in place.
Their will be a small void of 1/4" between the exterior and interior sill support pieces. I planed a piece down using my thickness planer to fill it. However, you can also purchase boards that are 1/4" thick. The cut list above does not reflect purchasing this piece as a quarter inch.
Glue and clamp the interior sill support piece.
Now the top sill piece can be glue and tacked in place along the back edge of the outdoor storage chest.
The lid slats are edge glued together now. Do not leave this glue up, to its own devices. Because of the orientation of the boards running lengthwise and opening in the opposite direction it will not be long before one or more of these slats breaks apart along the glue lines. The slats not only help straighten out the top side of the boards, but they lend strength and stability to the lid of the chest.
If you would like a larger version of this kid safe outdoor chest without using dadoes. You can check out the design plans by clicking on the image below or click here: