Treasure Chest



  1. Pick out “White Common Wood” from your local hardware store. Be sure to pick out the straightest boards. This project will most likely end up requiring (x13-x15) 1’x5’x 6ft.
  2. Cut all the required measurements using your miter saw or circular saw with a speed square.
    • 4×20 (x6)
    • LID ENDS 5″x20″ (x6)
    • LID SIDES 5″x28.5″ (x12) -> Later ripped to 2″ strips for curvature.
    • BOTTOM ENDS: 5×20 (x8)
    • BOTTOM SIDES: 5×28.5 (x8) 
  3. Using pocket holes and wood glue, create 7 panel glue ups.
    • x2 Lid Ends (20″ boards x3 )
    • x2 Bottom ends (20″ boards x4)
    • x2 Bottom sides (28.5″ Boards x4)
    • x1 Bottom base (28.5″ Boards X14″)
    Wood glue
  4. Allow for the boards to dry over 12 hours, and then square the ends off using a table saw sled or a circular saw with a straight edge.
  5. For the two bottom end pieces, establish a 13 degree tapered angle on both pieces and cut using a jig saw or circular saw. (Be sure to watch for screws.)
    Jig saw
  6. Establish a 13 degree Miter on the two bottom side pieces (28.5″). This it to have the side tapers match and flow with the tapered ends from the previous step. Be sure to miter both the top and the bottom of the sides in the same direction.
  7. Assemble the wood pieces using Wood Glue and brad nails. Because “White Common Wood” is not milled and therefore not perfectly straight, use clamps to ensure a strong glue up when assembling the sides.
    Wood clamps
  8. Using pocket holes, glue up 3 board (28.5″) for the bottom base. Be sure to place a 13 degree miter on both sides to accommodate the taper for a tighter fit. secure using wood glue and brad nails on the sides.
  9. Draw a symmetrical curved lid pattern that you find suitable for an animated Treasure chest lid and cut it out using a jig saw. Be sure the mirror the faces of the boards for a better match. (One option, stack the two panels together with the pocket holes facing each other inside.)
    Lid pattern
  10. Rip the boards to 2″ wide (28.5″ Long) with a 5-13 degree miter taper on both sides to accommodate a radius turn.
  11. Install the 2″ Tapered pieces using wood glue on the ends and set with brad nails. It helps if you start the pattern from the very top of the radius and work your way down. on pieces that have a better side grain connection, you can definitely add wood glue for better strength.
  12. After the project dries the next day, Use 80 grit sand paper to blend all the transitions. Be sure to wear proper respiratory protection.
  13. Patina the wood using the TS8000 and MAP-PRO to give your chest the classic distressed aged pirate Treasure Chest look. Be sure to do it in small increments to evenly patina the wood.
    Bernzomatic TS8000
  14. For the aluminum trim, use 1-1/2″ Aluminum bar. Measure out the screw holes every 2 inches. (Aluminum is soft and safe enough to cut using your miter saw).
  15. Using a drill press or a hand held drill to cut all the screw holes. Going in order, bend the aluminum with your hands and setting the 3/4″ screw to secure it in place.
    Metal trim
  16. Cut the Excess off using a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade.
  17. You can find matching hinges and locks at your local hardware store to match the aluminum trim.
  18. And finally, for the wood finish, use three coats of Satin Water-based Polyurethane and apply it using an HVLP sprayer.
    Spray lacquer

What You'll Need


Max Performance Torch

Product Info


14.1 oz. MAP-Pro® Hand Torch Cylinder

Product Info


  • Miter saw
  • Drill or hand held drill
  • Reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade
  • HVLP sprayer


  • 13-15 1’x5’x6' wood boards
  • Wood glue
  • Brad nails
  • Pocket holes
  • 80 grit sand paper
  • Aluminum bar
  • ¾” screws
  • Stain Water-based Polyurethane