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The Covered Wagon Toy Box

Its canvas-like top “corrals” a bunch of toys out of sight while its large diameter wooden wheels make it easy to move from room-to-room.


Here's a replica of an early settler's covered wagon that any child would enjoy having to store away their favorite toys and “private” possessions. It's sturdy enough for the heaviest loads of toy cargo and with the top removed, it can serve double-duty as a pull-along wagon. It makes a great heirloom-quality Christmas gift, as get started early and it'll be done in plenty of time for the Holidays. For best results, we suggest that you review all of the instructions before getting started. We made ours with solid red oak sides, wheels and handle and an oak veneer plywood bottom for the perfect combination of beauty and durability.

1: Cut all of the lumber for the Sides, Ends, Bottoms and Cleats to size. If you're starting out with rough lumber, be sure to plane all of your wood for these pieces to the same thickness at once. The slightest variance in thickness will make it difficult to square the project properly. When making your sizing cuts, be sure to cut the pieces to length first, then rip them to width.

2: Slightly round over the edges of the Sides and Ends. We used a Radi-Plane to make simple work of this job. Round-over the 5-3/4" and 2" wide stock to eliminate all sharp edges. When using this tool, first make a test pass on a piece of scrap wood to set the cutters to your desired depth.

3: Temporarily hold the Sides and Ends together using bar clamps. Position a clamp at each end of your stock, open-side up...with your stock face side down...and a third clamp across the center. This will help to keep the surfaces flush and make it easier for you to mount the 2" wide vertical Braces on the ends of the Sides. Hold an end Brace (D) in position temporarily to ensure the proper alignment of the two end Braces (B) during assembly as shown in Figure 1. Drill 7/64"screw pilot holes and use a countersink to allow the screw heads to sit flush with all board surfaces. Use six 1-1/4" x #8 wood screws and glue to hold each end Brace in position.

4: Following a similar procedure to that described in #3 above, mount the two center Braces, 14-1/8" in from each of the attached end Braces (See exploded diagram). Again, use six 1-1/4" x #8 wood screws and glue to hold each center Brace in position. Don't forget to drill pilot holes first and countersink your screw heads.

5: Mount the Cleats (F & G) to the Bottom (E) using glue and wood screws driven down from the top surface of the bottom into the cleat strips. Be sure to countersink for the screw heads to keep the screw heads from scratching your children's treasured toys. Cleats should be mounted flush with the outside edges of the Bottom (see exploded diagram).

6: Use bar clamps to temporarily hold the assembled Box Sides (A) and Ends (C) in position while you screw the four corners together as shown in the exploded diagram. You can either countersink your screw heads as in the previous steps...or counterbore them and conceal the screw heads with matching wood plugs.




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