Introduction: Cedar Treasure Chest

This is a simple project that can be completed in an afternoon.  Tools that I used are as follows ( not all are necessary, use what you have available!):
- chisels and mallet
- drill press
- table saw
- sand paper
- wood glue and tack nails
- router ( I did not have one but this tool is a great asset)
- treasure and lots of it to fill your chest
- trust worthy treasure guardian

Step 1: Ripping the Lid and Marking the Template

To start this project off, I first ripped a 1/2" inch off my 4x4 piece of cedar using the table saw.  This will act as my lid.  I also marked a square in the center of my soon to be box where I will begin hollowing.  I measured 1 inch in from  the ends and a 1/2 inch in on the sides to give me a nice sized template for where the box will be drilled out.

Step 2: Hollowing the Box Out

Next we are going to use the drill press and a 1 1/2"  forsner bit to hollow out the inside of the block.  Make sure you set the drill press to drill to a consistent depth, I chose 1 inch depth from the bottom.  Try doing all 4 corners first and then work your way into the middle of the block.

Step 3: Chiseling Out the Block

Now we must chisel out the inside of the box and make the walls of the box flush.  The sharper your chisels, the better the finished product.  The ends of the box will be the most difficult as you will be chiseling against the grain.  Work slowly and you shall have success!  Try and make the bottom of the box flush as well so when you place the bottom plate in the next step, it sits flush on the bottom.

If you have a router, it would be handy at this point as you could router along the inside edges of the hollowed block to give a nice flush finish.

Step 4: Inserting the Bottom and Side Walls

Now you will want to rip a couple of 1/8th of an inch slats that will be cut to size to fit into the bottom and and sides of the box.  This will hide your chisel work and drill press marks.  Cut your bottom piece first and place into the box and then cut and place the sides.  Make sure to leave an 1/8th of an inch gap to the top of the box as this is where the lid will fit snugly in. 

Use wood glue and clamps to hold the side pieces in place until they dry.  You can get creative at this point and build spacers if you prefer.  I need all the room possible for my treasure so I decided not to insert spacers.

Step 5: Making the Lid Fit and Sanding

Finally we will glue and tack a piece of 1/8th inch slab onto the bottom of the lid so that it fits snugly into the top of the box.  Make sure to measure the opening precisely and the cut out this piece exactly.  I used sand paper to round the edges so that the lid fits well into the box.  I then used wood glue and small tack nails to hold it in place, the nails add additional strength to the lid.

Finally I sanded the box down starting first with a rough sand paper and moving down the line to a fine sand paper.  You can stain the box if you prefer, I didn't as I enjoy the smell of the cedar!

Step 6: Filling the Box With Treasure and Finding a Gardian

Of course with every treasure box you'll need treasure to fill it.  I filled mine with millions in Canadian currency. 

With so much value at stake I needed to find a treasure keeper worthy of protecting my loot.  She does a fine job when she's not sleeping or outside chasing elk!

Lastly, I didn't mention this earlier but I built a small hidden compartment in the box where my girlfriend inserted a secret note.  When drilling out the bottom, I drill an 1/8th of an inch lower in one corner and placed the note in this depression.  When I inserted the bottom plate, this covered the secret compartment which has now become part of the box.  Someday many thousands of years from now, some space archeologist will discover this box and the secret it contains and the world will be saved.... maybe.