Introduction: Wooden Storage Box

Picture of Wooden Storage Box

This instructable will show you the basic concept behind the construction of this box. These boxes can be different sizes but this one is roughly 32in×17in×18in

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

Materials Needed
2 boxes of 1 1/4in wood screws 50
3 hinges (what ever you decide)
4 18in×4in panel board
2 1in×2in×6ft
1 clasp hinge

pocket hole jig
miter saw
table saw
tape measure

Step 2: Cut the Boards and Drill Pocket Holes

Picture of Cut the Boards and Drill Pocket Holes

Cut the 4 panel boards into 32in lengths. Use the pocket hole jig on the two of the excess boards left from the 32in cuts and drill on the on short ends (about 16in) and two of the 18in ends. Use the pocket hole jig on two of the 32in panels only on one of the 32in sides.

Step 3: Making the Frame

Picture of Making the Frame

screw the pieces together. I used clamps to hold pieces together but it's not necessary. After all 4 pieces are connected, place the frame on one of the left over 32in panels. Mark the excess and cut off with table saw. Screw frame onto your new base. measure the height on the side and cut the 1x2x6 to size (4 pieces) and screw them on from the inside.

Step 4: Lid, Handles, and Hardware

Picture of Lid, Handles, and Hardware

Lay the last panel on the top of your box and mark it and cut it just like you did the base. cut 2 6in pieces from the 1x2x6 and these will be the handles. measure how high you want to have the handles and screw them into place from the inside. Place the hardware in the places you want them and screw into place. lastly measure the short length of the lid and cut 2 pieces to that length out of the 1×2×6. Use the miter saw to cut the ends at 45 degree angles. Screw them on the lid from inside.

Step 5: Done

Picture of Done

Just like that you're done! Made this for a coworker and he wanted to stain it so I don't have a picture of it stained but I can guarantee you that it looks a lot better stained.

Step 6:

Picture of


RaulP18 (author)2015-12-16

Thanks for sharing. I've been looking for ways to make my kids a "treasure" box so they can store their toys. This seems pretty simple for me to make (I'm new to woodworking) but I may try to stay away from the pocket screws idea since the few times I've used pocket screws, the project seemed sort of loose. (It may be an operator error) also, I may join my own panels or use plywood. I'm a sign maker and the one time I used the same type of panel boards you used the wood split almost at the end of my elaborate sign. I just lost faith in those boards...anyway, thank you for sharing this idea. Thank you for your service and Go Navy!

pradeepkokangekar (author)2015-08-19

i made it

cricket1997 (author)2014-06-01

How much did it cost to make?

SuzukiDHP (author)cricket19972015-04-01

if I remember correctly it was under $100

CameronRobertson (author)2014-11-30

I love how this storage box looks with the coat of varnish on! I would prefer it to be a bit more stained, but it's an awesome job all around. Well done!

thank you! I would have liked a darker stain as well but I made it for someone else and that's what they wanted lol

slamda made it! (author)2015-04-01

Great plans! Made interior structure change bc I couldn't afford the jig, but it came together and looks great with stain. The ratchet clamp things were really helpful to dry fit and position. Thank you for sharing!

SuzukiDHP (author)slamda2015-04-01

Glad it helped. yours turned out awesome!!! keep it up and sometimes you just gotta improvise when you don't have everything you need lol

FN64 (author)2014-02-22

Hey there "flyboy" and a salute for your service from an old "coastie"...

Nice 'ible.. and a nice looking finished job.

Drop over to

Great bunch of people helping each other with woodwork projects.


kleinjahr (author)2014-02-13

Nice bit of work. There are several variations on the theme,of course. Rope handles or battens set across the corner battens, for instance. You could also put the battens on the inside or frame each panel . Cut nails or roseheads for a decorative rustic touch. Set on end you have a small cupboard. Set on it's side, so the door opens down, a campaign desk. The list goes on.

No, you don't need a shop full of power tools to do the work. They are handy, but a decent set of hand tools will do as well, perhaps better in some cases.

spark master (author)2014-02-02

gasoline on a fire, here goes,

get a milk crate,

first cut 5 pieces of old wooden wall paneling, that will make up the insides of the box screw them into the plastic crate first bottom, then walls so they cover the edges of each other.

Then cut 12 piece of 3/4X3/4 or 1X1 into lenghts that fit into the corners of a milk crate, screw 1 or two screws into each piece (predrill holes). You may remove the screws holding in the panels first, You may wish to make one side the back and make the piece of wood 1X4 and place at the back top part, so you can use hinges. Now cut 5 pieces for out side. Screw them in right through the plastic/outer sides, and into the inner wood corners. If you want the lid to open on a hinge, make a lid from 3/4 inch plywood, and if your wall board is nice, cut a piece and glue/mail it to the top, attach hinges and hasp

I never used hinges I left an inner edge and scew nailed my lids lids on. I also sometimes took strips of 3/4X3/4 and screwed on rails on all long sides and two handles. If you want handles reenforce the sides so they have somethig to screw into.

I made these to pack tools, to move into a new place and storage I never used hinges.

Tools, razor knife, screw gun, hack saw screw drivers, and either a jig saw or a small underpowered circular store.

Materials were milk crates, old wall board, scrap crap 3/4 inch square, screw nails, maybe some I also used some plain old white glue (permanent type, wood glue IS better)

cost to me Zero. except for time. If I still have one I will post a picture. Some one dropped one off a scaffold at six feet, snapped some wood, never opened. I gave them all away , but there could be 1-2 lurking in basement! I am not a carpeter, I do electric, these were transporter boxes for me. Anone who might want to steal, did not know what was in the boxes. I used enough screws to slow down people with screwdrivers! Today batt operated tools would make these easy prey! But if you added two hasps and locks even if hinged, then drive 4 screw nails into the outer edge (in mine), you make it much harder.

This project is very expensive, but if that is what was needed it is a great instructable. Could the author do better, sure, and if NASA kept up the pace, we would be on Pluto by now, every advance helps us be better!

keep it up, take a class if you can, it will improve your stuff.


SuzukiDHP (author)spark master2014-02-04

I appreciate your input! I know I could have done better as a author and I know this isn't an excuse but I posted it on my phone and my time was limited. I would love to take classes but I'm in the military so my time aside from work and taking care of my 7 month old is pretty limited. Once again I appreciate your comment and if you could find a picture that would be awesome!

spark master (author)SuzukiDHP2014-02-04

First off,

Thank you for your service. I am amazed you have time for anything.

Wood working is an excellent relaxer, I know a number of people in high stress jobs that use hammers and wood saws to detoxify. I carve.

Heck, your wood working abilities are way way better than mine. I, having few wood skills adapted what we used on the job. We used milk crates to store electrical components. But always the issue was things like Nail On 1900/switch boxes and ceiling bar boxes would always get entangled in the mesh of the crate. So putting a piece of cardboard on the inside of each using tape to make a bed liner was a nice fix.

I merely took a good Idea and made it from all the 1950's wall paneling I had ripped out, by making panels, the 1X1 or 3/4X3/4 sticks were used as corner braces, and were scraps. They really act as "nailers" to the outer panels. If you use short inner blocks just right you can have layers like a tool box.

I think your box is way nicer then anything I ever built, and it cost real money, mine were functional semi ugly.

I will look for a box, and also a pick of a little treasure chest I made for my kid. From that I learned, small boxes, make them as a regular shape that is 1 sealed box, you can even do basic finishing, lay down tape on the box draw the separation line on the tape, Use a band saw or table saw to slice off the lid.

Since your looks enormously nicer than mine I respectfully suggest you use thin mixed hardwoods on the exterior, as your skills are very good and well, your boxes will be really infinitely nicer. Great for heirlooms and special things.

And you can also use any rectilinear object in making a box, so if you have nice square bricks or cinder blocksplace a block on a piece of crappy old paneling, square it on as may sides as possible, use a razor knife and cut the pattern in the wood, cut it out anyway you like. Place the block back on the bottom piece and go about tracing patterns onto 4 more pieces. Cut a side piece first, measured tot the work surface to the exact outside edge of the block. (Each Piece should be measured to the outside work table surface, so that when all 4 pieces are glued you do not see the bottom piece.) Put a line of glue on the bottom piece edge and the bottom inner edge of the side panel, let them get tacky position and you can use many methods to push the wood in contact when dried, do the other side Now you do the two long sides.

For a reasonably strong box made from old wall paneling, you make it 3 layers. You will need to laminate a corresponding number of layers for the lid.

You then remove the solid object, glue on the lid, cut it off with a saw.

Remove solid object, cut strips of size you like, place the top piece on the work surface, follow same sequence as before.

Now you can sand it and finish it!

some tricks

use waxed paper everyplace to stop glue from destroying projects, by gluing the box to the solid object , or the table top, clamps straps etc.

Solid object may be dipped in hot wax left in the sun and buffed should work, but I use wax paper as well.

solid object can be cut into 3 pieces, so if they are not perfectly square/cubular, you can lift out the center then the ends.

I used to have a small sheet of doubled up 3/4 inch plywood with blocks wood with drilled holes, it was my wood vise sorta. One block (the immovable object) was set and then object to glue to was put next to it. I then used more blocks with wedges, rubber bands, inner tubes slices ANYthing that would let me exert reasonable even pressure against the wood being glued to something else.

I know there are jigs and toys and wonderful devices that do these things, but that takes money, and when $ is tight and your hobbies can't use too much money, this is the way. Provided you do not have time to sole a problem someone has already done if you are willing to pay the tariff.

And people may love the stuff you build and ask how you did it. Then some will tell you everything you could have used to make it better faster, or tell you of the 52 tools you don't have, that they do. I own maybe 150 carving tools, I use about 6 to make a face on a walking stick. I actually need to find a set I can afford, that has maybe 18 (6 in 3 sizes, for different sized faces), but better quality than what I own.

If I sounded acidic, I do apologize, it just seemed expensive. I used to let people buy me a few leather tools then make them what they wanted. They were people I would do it for regardless, I just let them pay a little for the tools I needed to make their project. I got to keep the tools and learned how to make it. Plus it was fun.

I will seach for a box to snapa pick and post to you. If I have anymore paneling in the Gay-Raj perhaps I will build something and post it. There is one thing I have been meaning to make for myself.



SuzukiDHP (author)spark master2014-02-05


Thank you for the support! I really do appreciate it. Some people do not realize how hard it is at times to be in the military (especially when you have a 7 month old and your wife serves as well). You're input was great and it was definitely constructive criticism which I do like. It will only make my projects better in the future. I did enjoy your little part in your comment about "some will tell you everything you could have used to make it better faster, or tell you of the 52 tools you don't have, that they do" It definitely made me chuckle. It would definitely be awesome if I could see exactly what you are talking about though. I'm a visual learner and unfortunately I have to see things to fully understand. You're comments are definitely appreciated and I still have a lot more to work on, not all of us can have the knowledge from childhood to their 70s on woodworking. Thanks again!

OldEd (author)2014-02-02

Since you have a "nice" comment policy I won't comment.

SuzukiDHP (author)OldEd2014-02-02

Go ahead and comment I really don't mind criticism. It will only make my future build better.

OldEd (author)SuzukiDHP2014-02-02

YOU invited my criticisms, so here goes.

(1) anyone with a table saw, etc. almost certainly doesn't need to be told how to make what amounts to a foot-locker. At least shouldn't need to be told. Especially when you throw in the Kregg jig (or knock-off).

(2) Assuming that someone with the tooling you specified DOES need instruction, Step 3 is rather incomplete.

(3) Again, since the reader is supposed to have a table saw, the miter saw is rather superfluous: you are cross-cutting the four reinforcements for the corners. Big deal.

(4) You seem to be depending on the pocket hole screws to hold the base on. Given a table saw, why not cut dados in the lower edge of the sides and inset the bottom in them? You could then drive screws into the bottom through the sides, if you want to, but this would be a bit of overkill. I have built many such "boxes" and not had a bit of trouble with the bottom falling out. You simply run your dado 1/2" to 3/4" up from the floor edge, and make it 3/8" to 1/2' (max) deep.

(5) Glue in the dado would add a lot of strength.

(6)Also pocket holes for the sides is a bit much. Pilot drill (with countersink) through the sides into the front and back after putting glue in the joints is stronger. You are, after all, covering the corners with the 1x4 strips, so this would hide the plethora of screw heads.
(On further consideration, I get the feeling that you just got the pocket hole jig and were just going to town with it.)

londobali (author)OldEd2014-02-02

Hi SuzukiDHP,

Thanks for your ible.. i'm really new at woodworking but keen to learn, and a wooden chest is in my "to do" list.. :)
It's really good to have a look at how other people make their chests, there are many techniques around, and i get the feeling that the more i see the better mine will be.. specially for the lack of machinery on my part..
I have a hand saw and a drill.. :p

In my case, i'd put the two pieces (that you put on the lid) at the bottom, adding strength and lifting the chest off the floor.. it gets damp in my place.

OldED, your experience seems to be comprehensive, do you mind sharing your projects or just a short guide to the power tools you've used?
It'll really help me out getting started..


OldEd (author)londobali2014-02-02

My experience? I started when I was only a child - I'm now 73.

My current shop is built around a table saw. I have, in addition, the following stationary (they sit on the floor) power tools: drill press, band saw, joiner. I have the following non-sit-on-the-floor power tools: several (3) drills; two battery-operated and one with a power cord. A couple of sanders: a "palm sander" and a random orbital sander. A circular saw, a couple of jig saws, a couple of routers, one of which I can mount in a portion of my work bench, a thickness planer that I have to put on the bench to use, for lack of space for long pieces of wood, a workbench, of course.

Hand tools, such as planes, chisels, etc, that I have no exact count of.


I could have built that "foot-locker" as I described using only my circular saw, one of my battery-operated drills, tape measure, straight-edge, speed square, maybe three different drill bits, one of which could also countersink the screw heads, a couple of sawhorses and three 8ft 2x8's to form a work surface, and some clamps - the long (36"?) ones visible in the photos, and some smaller ones. The smaller ones are only for convenience, so I don't need help holding things stable while I cut.

In fact, I have done similar projects with the above assortment of tools, minus the sawhorses and 2x8's while living with my wife in a one room (not one bedroom) apartment.

londobali (author)OldEd2014-02-03

one-room apartment and still able to do carpentry! WOW!!
Now i dont have anymore reason to complain... :D
I envy your inventory.. :)

Last year I made a bench that i called the frankenbench, it's made from iron wood scraps leftovers from another project (made by professionals). Looks fine until you take a closer look.. :p
I didn't have the tools to make proper joinery, but it's holding on great considering the weight of the thing.. all thanks to the Kregg Jig thinggy.. :)

SuzukiDHP, i'll try to make one soon, if i do, i'll certainly click that "I Made It" button and put an image here..

SuzukiDHP (author)londobali2014-02-04

We all gotta start somewhere. That would be awesome if you put a image of it on here! Can't wait!

SuzukiDHP (author)OldEd2014-02-02

OldEd I would love to see your work shop and your projects.

SuzukiDHP (author)londobali2014-02-02

Hey I'm new to this woodworking too. You gotta start somewhere. I'm far from good (especially according to OldEd's input lol). I'm still working on different ways to build things as well. Good luck with your Chest! Hope it turns out the way you wanted, cause I know I'm happy with mine.

londobali (author)londobali2014-02-02

Oh, i forgot to mention to OldEd,

Your criticism is good for all of us, dont hold them back..
"be nice" is not the same as "dont criticize".. :)

SuzukiDHP (author)OldEd2014-02-02

Thanks for your input. I never did say I was a pro. Just started building this year. For my lack of experience I'm pretty happy with this box. Maybe you can post some of your projects so I can make my builds better.

tlebsack (author)2014-02-03

Thanks for a great Instructable. I'm a beginner but you've made me realize that I can handle this.

SuzukiDHP (author)tlebsack2014-02-03

I'm a beginner too so if I can do it anyone can lol! Glad I could help :)

rfelty (author)2014-02-03

Wanted to make a camp box for my son to take to Scout summer camp, this looks like a good design! Might add brass straps to mine for a pirate-y look. :D

SuzukiDHP (author)rfelty2014-02-03

That would be pretty awesome! I've been looking to build a pirate chest. Let me know how it turns out if you get a chance! Good luck!

guzman2517 (author)2014-01-29

Wats the price rage I really wanna make this

SuzukiDHP (author)guzman25172014-01-30

It was about $120 but the price could drop drastically if you use plywood instead of panel board. Hope this helps! Good luck!

OldEd (author)SuzukiDHP2014-02-02

Do you mean that that stuff ISN'T plywood?

That it is that glued-together stuff that the BigBox (mostly HD, from what I've seen) stores sell?

Ouch. Not for a food-locker type thing that is going to see some rough use. Use plywood. Furniture grade for the sides and top, if you really want, but plywood: you can find half-way decent BC stuff at HD if there is a Lowe's nearby. In fact, shopping at a HD NOT near a Lowe's is usually a waste of time and money. Over-priced and lower quality.

Those glue-ups look sort of nice, but they aren't that strong. When I do panel glue-ups I use biscuits (forgot to put that in my tool list above - wouldn't be without it for lots of projects), spaced every 6" or so if the finished piece going to undergo a lot of stress.

When you do glue-ups like that, you should alternate the curl of the wood: one strip with the heart-wood in, the next with the heart-wood out. This equalizes the stresses from humidity changes.

I've seen "project panels" that had split along the glue-lines in the store...

uncle frogy (author)2014-02-02

I got no problem with pocket screws per say I use then when needed.. I was wondering how much trouble those on the inside ends were to install, looks pretty tight.

The design of the box is reminiscent of old wooden crates. They have strapping all the way around making it banding and the corners would have strapping on both sides of the corners all held by clenched nails. Without hinges and and hasps of course they are quite strong.

uncle frogy

spylock (author)2014-02-02

I have no criticisms,I think is a nice chest,if it was going to be a tool chest,then I would have done it different,or using high dollar wood,I like the straight lines.I would have probably done a little art on it after a coat of stain,and then sealed it.Nice job.

Remag1234 (author)2014-02-02

I would not have put on the end slats. I agree with loachridge that the lid should be a little longer.

A good job, nicely done.

SuzukiDHP (author)Remag12342014-02-02

Thank you. I made it how my friend wanted. This wasn't my design but I'll keep it in mind when I build one for myself

loachridge (author)2014-02-02

I would just make that top a little longer to cover the end slats.

And for added grip, you can taper the handles so fingers slip under.

SuzukiDHP (author)loachridge2014-02-02

Yeah I asked the guy I was building it for if he wanted me to build it like that but he wanted the WW2 footlocker look. Thanks for the critique though, I'm always open to suggestions

loachridge (author)SuzukiDHP2014-02-02

Oh, well in that case. Spot on.
I didnt catch that it was a repro.

SuzukiDHP (author)2014-02-02

It is one that I bought from Harbor Freight. It was $40 cheaper than the Kreig Jig

foolishcop (author)2014-02-02

Is this all 1x material?

SuzukiDHP (author)foolishcop2014-02-02

Yes it's all 1x material

jpstafford (author)2014-01-29

very nice job, I'm gonna definitely make this project!

SuzukiDHP (author)jpstafford2014-01-29

Thank you very much! Hope you enjoy it!

Ireneusz (author)2014-01-29

Nice job.

SuzukiDHP (author)Ireneusz2014-01-29

Thank you! I really appreciate it!

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Andrew and I just really enjoy creating/building things. I love me some Star Wars... and other nerdy things. I also love ... More »
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