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Tools & Hardware

Desk Treasure Chest

Treasure Chest Complete.jpg

Skill Level: Beginner


Time: 4hrs


Tools and Materials:

14’ – 1 ½” x ¼” Pine Lattice

  • ·         Cut list:
    • o   14 – 6”
    • o   4 – 4”
    • o   4 – 4 ½”
    • o   8 – 5”

Miter box and saw

Drill (optional)

Screw driver


Wood glue


Tape measure


Hasp lock (Optional)

Decorative corners (Optional)

7/16” Upholstery nails (Optional)

Leather strapping (Optional)



Step 1: The easiest way to go about constructing the desk chest is to separate planks into working groups. This makes it easier to focus on individual sections and have the planks you need within easy reach. Make two groups each containing three 6” planks and two 4” planks, these will form front and back of the chest. Create another group with three 6” and two 4 ½” planks for the chest bottom. Lastly another group with five 6”, two 5”, and two 4 ½” planks to create the chest lid. The remaining six 5” planks can be placed aside for now.


Step 2: Take the two groups of planks that make up the front and back of the chest. Beginning with the planks for the front apply a thin bead of glue along the edge of one of the 6” planks. Place another 6” plank against this edge, apply another bead of glue and place the final plank. Allow a few minutes for the glue to tack. Apply glue to one side of the two 4” planks and place them along the edges as shown below, you should have a gap of about ½” between the bottom of the 4” plank and the bottom most edge of the chest front. Repeat the same process for the group of planks for the back of the chest. Once both front and back are glued carefully place aside to allow glue to continue drying.

Treasure Chest 01.jpg


Step 3: Next up we’ll tackle the bottom of the chest. Grab the bottom group and glue the three 6” planks together much as we did for the front and back. Glue the two 4 ½” planks across the three planks right out to the edges. Carefully place aside and allow glue to dry

Treasure Chest 02.jpg


Step 4: The chest lid is constructed almost identically to the bottom. Glue the three 6” planks together along their edges with the 4 ½” planks overlapping. Once this section is dry enough to manipulate, glue the two 6” planks along the 6” sides of the lid (4 ½” braces should be toward the lid inside. See drawing) and the 5” planks along the 5” edges. Place aside and allow to dry.

Treasure Chest 03.jpg


Step 5: With the front, back, bottom, and lid all assembled and dry you can now begin to put the chest together. Place the bottom section in front of you with a 6” edge towards you and the 4 ½” planks up. Run beads of glue along both 6” edges of the chest bottom and align the front and back sections so that the chest bottom slots into the ½” gap at the bottom of the front and back chest sections. It’s helpful if have a couple of heavy books handy so that you can place the chest between these to make sure the front and back sections stay upright while the glue dries.

Treasure Chest 04a.jpg


Step 6: Now is the time to grab those remaining 5” planks you placed aside back in step one. You should have six 5” planks available. Glue these one by one up the sides of the portion of the chest we already have constructed. After all pieces have been glued into place allow the entire thing to dry.

Treasure Chest 05.jpg


Step 7: You should now be looking at a completed chest and lid. Place the lid on top of the chest and line up your hinges in the desired locations and mark the positions of the screw holes. Since the wood is soft you can drive the hinge screws with only a screw driver and a bit of pressure, optionally you can use a drill to predrill the holes and then run the screws in with the screwdriver.



How you finish the chest off is entirely up to you and the desired look you want to achieve. Straps and buckles, brass and braces, carvings and scratches anything is pretty much possible. Take a look at some image references of different styles of chest to help you figure out the exact look you want. I made the chest below specifically for work so I used yardstick planks instead of the lattice.




NOTE: If you intend to paint or stain the chest and the hasp lock or hinges you select use nails, apply the paint/stain first. If the hasp and hinges use screws attach them and then remove them before paint or staining. For an aged look feel free to bang up the hasp, corners, and hinges a bit.







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Posted 2012-12-31T19:18:52+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL Chris_HD_ATL