This instructable shows you how to make your own decorative coconut chest. I actually made this a few years ago, so there will not be any pictures posted that were taken during the process. However, I will explain the steps the best to my ability and feel free to ask any questions.
Step 1: Materials
0.5'' to 0.75'' thick piece of wood (I used what I had on hand, pine) and a smaller piece for the inside platform
Small latch and hinge
Piece of rope
Clear spray on (or liquid) coating (coating the coconut)
Gloss spar varnish from ACE hardware (coating the wood)
Step 2: Obtain Your Coconut
Obtain your coconut, find a way to open it so you have roughly two even halves, remove (or drink) the milk and the white edible part from inside and let the coconut dry.
Spray or brush on a coat of some type of clear coating. I believe I lightly sanded the shell in order to remove the larger exterior fibers. You might have to coat, lightly sand, and re-coat a couple of times depending on how smooth and glossy you want the shell to be.
Remembering back to when I opened the coconut, I think I took a hammer and hit the coconut around the center part (equator) until the crack formed. I rotated the coconut and hit it with a hammer around the equator.
Watch the youtube video below, this is how I did it and it worked well.
Step 3: Cut Your Wood
I cut my wood to about a 3.5" square, sanded it to make it smooth and rounded the edges, and covered it in about three coats of Gloss Spar Varnish from ACE hardware.
If you have an extra/spare piece of wood, use a jig saw to cut out a circle piece to fit the inside bottom half of the coconut. After cutting out the circle, you need to angle the outer edge of this piece in order to make it flush with the inside coconut wall (See above picture). This can be done with the use of a grinder.
After grinding the inside circular base, give it a couple coats of varnish. Then, glue the circular base to the inside bottom half of the coconut and let it dry.
Step 4: Attach Coconut to Wooden Base
Again, sorry I do not have pictures of the actual process. Instead I made a pic of what I did.
Take your rubber washer and glue it to the center of your base. Then, take a wood screw and screw it into the the bottom of the wooden base so that it emerges from the top of the base in the center area of the rubber washer. Make sure the screw is long enough so that you can screw through the wooden base, through one of the coconut holes, and into the circular piece of wood that was glued into the bottom of the coconut (from the previous step).
See the image for a visual reference.
If you have a hard time trying to attach the coconut and wooden base with the screw, try instead using only gorilla glue. Just make sure to find a way to tightly hold the coconut onto the wooden base while the gorilla glue dries. I find that taping the coconut down may help if you decide to go this route instead.
Step 5: Add String/rope
Find a nice piece of thick rope (but not too thick) to add between the point where the bottom of the coconut and wooden base meet. This allows you to hide the rubber washer and/or any glue that may be visible. You can measure the amount you need by wrapping it around where you will place it and marking on the rope where to cut. It can then be reattached with a small amount of hot glue, or, if it is a synthetic type of rope, it can be melted and quickly reattached/pressed together at the cut. I made sure to hide the cut in the back straight below the hinge (as seen in the picture).
Step 6: Adding the Latch and Hinge
Depending on the latch and hinge you find, you may have either screws or tiny nails to attach them with. The set I had came with tiny nails. The problem is that the coconut shell was thinner than the length of the screws.
First, after knowing where you want the latch and hinge to be placed, take a very small drill bit (one that fits the holes of the latch and hinge) and drill through the latch and hinge holes into the coconut shell. The nails will probably protrude through the other side of shell on the inside, so mark how much protrudes through and then file or grind the nail so that it no longer protrudes on the inside of the shell.
See the picture.
After the nails have been "trimmed to a proper size" spread a very very small amount of glue on them and then insert them through the latch and hinge and into the previously drilled holes. This is to add a little stability to the latch and hinge.
Step 7: Touch Up and Optional Additions
Check your new coconut chest and add any touch ups that may be needed (glue scraping, more clear coat, etc.). Also, I added pads to the bottom of my coconut chest since it is now sitting on a table in my living room. Hope your chest turns out. Thanks for viewing.
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