As I did last year I made Katie a Christmas present this year. This time around it was a box with doors each with multiple locks on them. The idea was to make something that will be fun for her to use and help her improve her dexterity and problem solving skills. Also it was supposed to be fun for me to make.

It is made out of plywood. There are no nails or screws to hold it together. I did that purely to force me to do some precise cutting rather than butting wood together. I think it probably also improves the way it looks and makes it safer for a small child to use, since there are fewer little bits of metal to come loose.

I had to buy a few things like an electric router and some woodworking tools. I also bought far too much wood because so I could make mistakes. In the end I used only a fraction of the wood that I bought, in fact I spend about £30 on wood and £2 on offcuts and I used only the offcuts! At least I’ve got wood for more projects.

Here is the finished project

For anybody interested in seeing more there were a few steps along the way that I also captured pictures of.

Raw materials
Cut a slot in the base for the rest of the pieces (using router)
Fit the back into the slot
Fit all the sides in
Cut slots to fit the sides together neatly (a mitre joint would have been neater but I preferred to make use of my new router!)
Placed the doors in place and put the locks roughly in their final positions
Cut holes for underneath the doors using the router and plunge cuts (I was inpatient and cut them by hand instead of using the guide to get straight lines)
Glued the sides together
Placed the shelves inside the box
Painted the doors
Sanded the whole box
Varnished the box and attached doors
Attached Katie’s name to the top
Repeat of finished box

All in all it looks OK. I think Katie will like it, but she may never get as much pleasure out of it as I did making it! I also spend a ridiculous and indefensible amount of money on wood, paint, varnish and tools.