Toy Box

4 09 2015

I’m back!  After nearly 3 years since my last post, I finally found some time around changing diapers, putting kids to bed, sleeping (or not sleeping), and living life to get around to posting about a project I completed.  It’s not that I haven’t done anything since late 2012, but my wife and I had a son shortly after my last post (something about a toilet), and a daughter a couple years later.  So here I am.  After some heavy duty landscaping, hanging blinds,  finishing a basement, building a bar, and installing a toilet, what is my first long awaited post as a dad?

Building a toy box!

I don’t know where I got the inspiration for this.  We needed to do something about the sorry cloth Mickey Mouse toy bin that has seen the blunt treatment of a 2 year old for far too long.  We decided that we either needed to buy a new, more sturdy toy box, or I could try and save a bit of money by building it myself.  I’ve never built anything that requires such precision, craftsmanship, and imagination before, and I had no idea where to even begin.  So of course, what the heck, right?

My basic design was a box (real creative, I know).  After an initial trial that failed miserably, I landed on a plan that I conjured up all in my head (with maybe some picture concepts to spark the imagination).  I would make it very simple.  I would build a rectangular frame out of 1x4s and then create the sides with 1x4s positioned vertically.  Then I would fashion a lid similarly.

After finishing the box (including screwing in all the 1×4 side pieces) and dry fitting the lid pieces in place, I realized that the box itself wasn’t square.  The lid was supposed to line up along the back with about a 1/2 inch overhang along the sides and the front.  When I realized the problem (the lid was square, the box was not), I attempted to “remedy” the situation by just shaving off a little bit of an angle on the back of the lid, thus maintaining the illusion that the box was made by a professional.  So I lined everything up and drew a line along the back of the lid where I was going to cut off a small piece with my new jigsaw.  What resulted was 2 wasted lengths of 1x8s and somehow one of those sections ended up in 2 somewhat jagged pieces (it slipped, I swear).  Eventually I just went with the “big deal” option (you know, the “it’s not square? Big deal” option) and decided that if my kids want a professionally made toy box, they should have hired a professional.  It’ll be a lesson to them down the road: you get what you pay for.

Anyways, I stained it and applied a few coats of polyurethane, and attached a couple of hinges.  The last thing I need to do is find an appropriate support hinge to prevent the lid from slamming down on little fingers.  The ones I bought from Menards this morning didn’t work like I had hoped.

So goes my first official project (posted on the blog anyway) as a dad.  I hope someday my kids will have fond memories of this toy box and realize that sometimes what you don’t realize you can’t do is the secret to all of life’s success.  Either that or they just remember the toys.

PS. If you are interested in my plan, I can provide you with the dimensions and pieces that I used.


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