Pirate Treasure Chest

Done in time for Halloween!!! The boys wanted to be pirates last year and naturally needed a treasure chest to collect their booty from the neighborhood! LOL My search for plans yielded a few plans that were free but nothing fit the bill. I really wanted something special and the youngest watches a show that has a treasure chest in it and he wanted it to be that shape. A few quick renderings in sketchup and some tweaking in the shop for proportions and a box joint jig later and we had a chest! Well it wasn’t really that fast…the main pieces were cut out very quickly, the coopering of the top is another story. If only I had a pair of dividers. I did the top by carefully marking and fitting each piece using a block plane and sandpaper. I needed to use a dremel to carefully grind the underside of the slats to allow the side supports of the top to “notch” into the top slats as the slats started around the upper curve. Around the lower curve, the underside of the slats needed to be relieved to follow the curve. Fun, but time consuming and I probably should have jointed the slats first.

I used Transtint dyes and some van dyke brown glaze with shellac as the finish. The shellac was rubbed down with fine steel wool to take the sheen down a few notches. I used Radiata Pine and Eastern White Pine.

The brass latch in the front was improved upon by adding a small plastic “washer” cut out of a thin sheet of plastic from an electrical tape box cover. It stuck to the new finish well and allows the brass lock to pivot smoothly.

Thanks for looking, hope you liked it!


  1. Paul Jasper October 10, 2013

    Best dad ever! Great job, the boys will “treasure” it for years to come. :-D

  2. Gary Norton October 10, 2013

    I think the top could be made with flute and bead cutters on a router table for anyone considering this project. That would save quite a bit of time. Similar to what would be used in a roll top desk only ridgid. I may work on a scaled down version for a Christmas gift.

  3. Wow, cool! Thanks for posting this Marc!! I finished this last year and it worked out great. Despite it being pine, the finish has actually stood up pretty well and they still play with it. My youngest likes to sit atop of it and watch t.v. I may be building another one, larger, for a school charity auction. I will keep you guys tuned in on that. Thanks for viewing and commenting.

  4. John October 25, 2013

    nice – the strong curve top makes it as well as the hardware and nails (or pegs)

  5. Very authentic looking, I’m fighting the urge to quote Pirate one liners.

  6. Kiffaney Wheaton November 17, 2014

    Do you make the pirate chests custom to order? If so, could I get a price, size and lead time. I am looking for one for a model home that will install the first week in December.

    Thanks, Kiffaney

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