Teacher's Homework Lock Box

Intro: Teacher's Homework Lock Box

This is a lockable cabinet to turn in homework or tests. I had a friend who teaches middle school and needed something like this. So here are the materials and steps I used to make it.

Step 1: Materials

I used 1/4 inch hardboard for the shelves, thin plywood for the top, bottom, front and back (also called the door). I wanted to use 1 inch plywood for the two sides, but didn't have any and did not want to spend the money on a full sheet, since I only needed a foot by two for each side. So, I doubled the sides and glued on the spaced out pieces (instead of cutting a slot for the shelves). Also need are two hinges, and a hasp or lock clasp. Also you need to cut your plywood (table saw, circular saw, or you could use a hand saw), a router to round off the corners and make the make room for the hinges, and even out the sides. Also wood glue! and clamps (I used lots of clamps. I also used a drill and a jig saw for the slots. I would paint or stain it to make sure it lasts.

The sizes: each shelf is 2 inches (this is where I started), the front and the back or door are one foot wide and 18 tall, the sides are one foot deep and 18 inches tall, the top and bottom are one foot by one foot. the shelves are one foot by 11 inches (and they overlap in each slot 1/4 inch).

Step 2: Cutting the Material

The sizes: each shelf is 2 inches (this is where I started), the front and the back or door are one foot wide and 18 tall, the sides are one foot deep and 18 inches tall, the top and bottom are one foot by one foot. the shelves are one foot by 11 inches (and they overlap in each slot 1/4 inch).

Cutting the material: I recommend cutting the sides first, that way you can make each shelf as deep as you need or make some different, then cut a front and a back, then cut a top and a bottom. I used a scrap of the hardboard to be used as the spacer between the slats inside the cabinet to hold the shelves. Once I cut the front and back I picked the best sides and the best of those I made the front. I measured a 1/4 inch from the top of the shelf and marked a line for the slots for the papers to be put through. The holes are 1/4 inch deep and are 11 inches wide, (making them a 1/4 inch from each side). I drilled a hole at each end of each slot and then cut each slot out on a jig saw.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

Next step, is putting everything together. I put the shelves in the slots and measured the top and bottom pieces, because adding that extra will make the front and back slightly taller. I left a little extra (1/4 inch or so) and then clamped and glued the pieces together and then routered off any excess (see the pic with the router with the straight bit). Which makes the box look so much better. I did not glue in the shelves, thinking that they might need bigger boxes and could remove ant extra shelves. Once the sides are attached to the bottom and top I sanded the slots in the front and then glued it on. Next I used a router with a round-over bit on all the sides except the back because the door will go on it (see the other picture with the router).

Step 4: Hardware

Next step is to attach the hinges and the locking clasp. I cut out the area for the hinges by first drawing out where they will sit and then using the router again and removing about an 1/8 on an inch. The screws that come with the hinges work perfect on the side going into the box, but are way too long going into the back door! SO... you can either replace the screws with really short ones or use the longer ones and cut off the metal that sticks out. I used a Dremel tool to cut off the screws, but be careful not to burn the wood where you are cutting. I took a few pictures to show this problem. Same thing with the locking clasp. However you may want to think out where you put the lock so that you do not screw into a shelf!

Step 5: Finish It

Now it is time to sand and stain or paint it. I went with school colors, but you can go with whatever. Now that I have painted it, I really wished I hand painted it and not sprayed it with spray paint. Because this is the result after 5 coats of paint.

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    Alex in NZ

    5 weeks ago

    This looks really neat. Thank you for sharing :-)