By Rob Brown
Bring a piece of paradise to your yard for the days you can’t get away for fun in the sun at the beach. The storage container can be filled with either sand or water for active play, limited only by the imagination!
What You'll Need Materials
- 2 x 8 x 12' cedar
- 1 x 6 x 8' cedar
- 2 x 4 x 8' cedar
- #8 x 21/2" exterior screws 2178-887
- exterior glue 2020-832
- exterior polyurethane
- storage container 2547-667
- play sand 2622-451
- Cut the two sides and the front and back to rough length of storage container.
- Mark the pieces so they can be joined in the same order they were cut from the board. (photo 1)
- If the parts are not flat, joint and plane them.
- Joint one edge of each part, and then rip them to final width of the storage container.
- Cut the two sides and the front and back to final length of the storage container.
- With a dado blade set up to cut a 1/2" wide x 1/2" deep dado, set the fence 21/8" away from the blade and use your mitre gauge to cut the four dadoes in the front and back pieces. You could also make this joint with a standard blade and multiple passes, or with a router and straight bit. (photo 2)
- Adjust your fence and dado blade to create a 1/2" long x 1/2" wide tenon on the ends of the four sides. (photo 3)
- Test the four joints and make any adjustments for a good fit. (photo 4)
- Cut a 3/8" deep groove in the inner surfaces of the sides to accept the two bottom supports. Multiple passes will be necessary.
- Cut the bottom supports to finished length and check their fit in the grooves.
- Do a dry assembly to ensure all the parts fit together.
- Sand the outer surface of both sides.
- Apply glue to the joints as you assemble, and clamp the parts. (photo 5)
- Add a glue block between the front/back and each bottom support to add strength to the bottom supports during use. (photo 6)
- Cut the legs to length, and glue, screw and clamp them to the inside corners. (photo 7)
- Use a router or sanding block to heavily ease the four ends of the front and back, as well as the upper edges around the project.
- Sand the outer surfaces, as well as the upper edges of the parts.
- Apply three coats of exterior polyurethane.
- Remove the four small wheels on the underside of the storage container.
|Mark the Parts |
The four main parts are labelled so they can fit back together in the order they were cut from the board. You can also add rough lines to locate the joinery cuts that are to be made.
|Cut the Dadoes |
To make the dadoes in the front and back, set your table saw up with a 1/2” wide dado blade set to cut 1/2” deep. Adjust your fence to leave 21/8” between the fence and blade, and make the cuts with a mitre gauge.
|Create the Tenons |
Clamp a sacrificial fence to the rip fence, and then adjust your saw to leave a 1/2” wide x 1/2” long tenon on the sides. If the resulting joint is a bit tight, you can fine-tune the fit with hand tools.
|Dry Assembly |
Once the four main joints are cut and the two grooves to accept the bottom supports are machined into the inner surface of the sides, do a dry assembly to ensure all the parts fit together at the same time.
|Final Assembly |
To assemble the upper section, apply glue to the dadoes and tenons and bring the parts together with clamps. Too much glue will only create a mess and potentially cause blotches during finishing.
|Glue Blocks |
To keep the bottom supports from bowing under the weight of the sand or water in the plastic bin, you should add a glue block underneath the bottom support, against the inner surface of the front and back.
|Attach the Legs |
With glue, screws, and clamps, attach the legs to the inside corners of the main structure. If the legs are cupped too much to ensure a strong glue line, joint and plane the legs before attaching them.
Rob Brown designs and builds custom furniture and is editor of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement magazine.