Pocket Hole Blanket Chest – One Day Build


In this one day project build I’ll show you how to build a pocket hole blanket chest using readily available materials that anyone can do. So, in the middle of trying to stay organized with all the kids stuff inside and out I also need to think about things that my wife and I can use. One thing we have a lot of, especially with three kids are blankets, quilts, bedding, etc and have no where to store them out of the way. A blanket chest would solve this problem and also give us a piece of furniture we could keep in the family hopefully for a very long time. Jay Bates and I collaborated on this project. I shot the video and completed the build, Jay designed and created the plans. Click here to see the plans.

Blanket Chest

Preparing the lumber

Once I gathered all the materials I needed for the project I started cutting the parts down according to the plan. First, I cut all of the main body parts down to length on the miter saw and by the way if you’re new around here you may not have seen the rolling tool cart I use for my miter saw. You can see it here. Getting back to the blanket chest, after all the parts are cut to length I can now start ripping it all to width, but first I need to clean one side of each piece by taking a light pass at the table saw. All I really need to do here is get rid of the rounded edge on one side. I want to end up with nice crisp edges. Now, I can flip each piece over and start ripping everything to final width according to the plan. I have a process when it comes to following a plan. If I have multiple pieces that require the same cut, I group these pieces and stack them. That way I know I have different cuts to make and I don’t accidentally cut the wrong piece. Once I finish with a particular group or stack I move it aside, adjust for the next cut and start on the next stack. By this time in the project I have everything cut to the final length and width. For assembly, which I will talk about in the next section, I choose to use pocket holes. I know, I know, it’s a love hate thing. Well, the reason I choose to use them in this particular project is because they are fast and easy to do. If this is a one day project build, it has to be fast and easy. Anyway, now that the excuse is out of the way, I can move on to the joinery, which is the last step in preparing the lumber. This can be done with a cheap pocket hole jig or a name brand jig, but I decided to use the Kreg Foreman. It makes this process sooo fast and beyond easy #notsponsored. With the pocket holes drilled I can move on to the assembly. The only other parts I needed to cut for the main body were the inside panels. I used three quarter inch plywood for the panels, but you can very easily use quarter inch plywood instead. The panels just need to be cut to size and add pocket holes. I didn’t cover the top (lid) because you can actually buy a project panel from your home center or make your own out of 1x material.

miter saw table saw action stacked wood pocket hole action kreg foreman blanket chest panels

The Assembly

The assembly consists of glue and screws and making sure everything is square as you go. I start by assembling each frame according to the plan. Each frame will have four outside pieces and depending on whether it’s a short or long sided frame you’ll also have some center dividers for visual interest. Once the frames are assembled I attached a short sided frame to a long sided frame with glue and screws by making sure the edges are flush with one another. Next, I attached the last short sided frame and also the last long sided frame. At this point, without the panels, I had what resembled a baby crib of sorts. The long sided panels slide in first and then the short sided panels. To close the gaps on the outside between the plywood and the vertical decorative pieces I added screws from the inside into the plywood that screwed into the back side of the vertical pieces. This way there are no visible screws from the outside. After the main body of the chest is complete it’s time to add the top frame to cover up the endgrain of the panels and give it a nice finished look and to also allow for the lid to be installed with hinges. Once the top frame, the lid, and hinges are installed you can call this project done. Well, almost. The paint or your choice of finish still has to be applied, which is totally personal preference and of course before the hinges went on.

square corner frame assembly assembly bottom of blanket chest blanket chest assembly no panels installing panels installing panels 2 installing panels 3

The Finish

When it came time to finish the blanket chest, I wasn’t too excited. The reason I wasn’t excited was because I dislike painting and even staining… Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the final result and the transformation of a finish, but the actual process I don’t like so much. Sooo, I decided to call on my friend that owns a cabinet shop. He has a spray booth and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to learn how to spray since I didn’t have any experience in that department. Turns out he was free and could help me.Of course, if you decide to build this yourself you might want a stained finish or even choose to brush the paint on. There was prep work involved before we could actually start spraying. The first thing he wanted to do and I took him up on it was to cut a v groove into the long joints of the legs. This created a channel where the two frames met at the corners and that allows the paint to lay into the channel and it just looks better. It also hides any imperfection that would naturally show up when sprayed. If the wood were to move and the joint separated causing the paint to crack this v groove would help hide that as well (see the image below). The v groove is accomplished by using a router with a flush trim v groove bit. This tip alone was worth the trip to his shop. Other tasks that had to be completed before we did any spraying was to fill any holes or imperfections with wood putty and sand it down. We also had to sand down any joints that weren’t perfectly flat. Long story short, there was a lot of sanding. When we got the blanket chest ready to paint the whole thing was blown off with air and wiped down with tack cloth. Since we were using an actual paint booth we didn’t have to worry about overspray, but if you were spraying in your shop or even outside you would want to be aware of your surroundings and cover anything that might get overspray. We did make sure to wear our masks with the fume/gas cartridges installed and eye protection. My friend, who can be found on Instagram at @godfreyscustomcabinets, showed me the proper way to spray and turned me loose. I started by spraying the primer on most everything. I also sprayed the final coat of paint on the lid and the inside of the blanket chest, but I let him finish the outside to avoid runs on the final coat. Creating runs in the final coat of paint would require more sanding and believe me I didn’t want to sand anymore. My desire of being a professional sander went right out the window. <<<that was a joke.

Blanket chest frame v groove router v groove sanding the blanket chest spraying inside of blanket chest finishing blanket chest final blanket chest Blanket Chest

The Hardware

This project used minimal use of hardware. If you don’t count the screws the only piece of hardware used was a piano hinge. Speaking of screws, I used pocket hole screws in this project to reduce the risk of cracking the wood. If you use drywall screws, like some folks do, you run the risk of driving the screw in too far and splitting the board. Pocket hole screws have what you call a washer made on to the screw head to prevent the screw from going in too far. Now, with soft wood it is possible to still drive the screw in too far and cause damage, but the pocket hole screws will a better job than say drywall screws. For the hinge, I used a piano style hinge. These types of hinges span across the back covering more area and actually providing more strength than a regular style hinge would. They are very easy to install and in my opinion look good as well.

installing piano hinge

Materials Used

For a project that is functional and that can also be stylish depending on your creativity used common materials. Here’s the list:

Project Plans

Click here for the Blanket Chest plan: http://www.stoneandsons.net/shop/pocket-hole-blanket-chest/

Miter saw rolling cart plan: http://www.stoneandsons.net/shop/multipurpose-shop-cart-plan/

See our other plans: http://www.stoneandsons.net/plans/

Tools Used In This Project

(*the projects mentioned in this article can be built with limited tools)

Power Tools:

• Miter saw, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2mD5lkV

• Circular saw: http://amzn.to/2nj39MQ

Table Saw and Accessories:

• Table saw (upgraded version), Delta: http://amzn.to/2nASQps

• 10″ saw blade, Diablo: http://amzn.to/2smRZfA

Routers and Accessories:

• Fixed base, DeWalt: http://amzn.to/2jaYmyk

• Router bit, v groove: http://amzn.to/2gP5b49

Sanders and Accessories:

• Random orbital, Skil: http://amzn.to/2ts2o9C

Air Tools:

• Air sander, Mirka: http://amzn.to/2eMfo0X

• Spray gun, DeVilbiss: http://amzn.to/2vTDMIS

Drilling and Accessories:

• Drill and impact 20v, Porter Cable: http://amzn.to/2txekak

• Pocket hole machine, Kreg: http://amzn.to/2gOZjIv

• Drill and drive bit set, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2stIbf6

• Drill bit set 21 piece, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2urlY2G

• Counter sink bits: http://amzn.to/2nVkm21

Dust Collection and Accessories:

• Dust collector 2hp, Central Machinery: http://amzn.to/2spq9Q1

• 4″ dust separator kit: http://amzn.to/2t8kf2M

• 4″ dust port adapter: http://amzn.to/2sYTKhI

• 4″ self cleaning blast gate: http://amzn.to/2sorgPM

• 4″ angled dust port: http://amzn.to/2ts8Op1

• 4″ to 2″ Y dust fitting: http://amzn.to/2ttfymq

• 4″ Y fitting: http://amzn.to/2t8z0T9

• 4″ to 2.25″ reducer (for shopvac): http://amzn.to/2txtX1K

• 4″ 3-way junction dust fitting: http://amzn.to/2s99gEP

• Jointer dust hood, 4″: http://amzn.to/2sprG8J

• Table saw dust hood, 4″: http://amzn.to/2ts5vOS

• 5″ to 4″ reducer, Delta: http://amzn.to/2txuBwc

• Dust hose clear, 2.5″ x 10′: http://amzn.to/2stVMms

• Dust hose clear, 4″ x 50′: http://amzn.to/2stMbwa

• Foil tape: http://amzn.to/2u6sYCD

• Hose clamp, 2.5″: http://amzn.to/2t8fdDs

• Hose clamp, 4″: http://amzn.to/2sur5NU

• Shop Vac, 12 gal: http://amzn.to/2ts4ENX

Gluing, Finishing and Accessories:

• Glue applicator set: http://amzn.to/2stQlUw

• Glue applicator silicone set: http://amzn.to/2s9b7cX

• Glu-bot: http://amzn.to/2s9rpm8

• Wood glue, Titebond III: http://amzn.to/2u6CEgo

Clamping and Accessories:

• 6″ F style clamp, Bessey: http://amzn.to/2ts94Vd

• 12″ quick clamp, Irwin: http://amzn.to/2u6hnDJ

Measuring, Marking and Layout:

• Lefty/Righty 16′ tape measure, FastCap: http://amzn.to/2urCXSy

• 7″ metal speed square, Swanson: http://amzn.to/2ts6JJI

• 6″ combination square, Empire: http://amzn.to/2urk81O

• 48″ drywall t-square, Empire: http://amzn.to/2txFNsL


• Respirator, 3M: http://amzn.to/2spd5da

• Respirator dust filter: http://amzn.to/2urvv9K

• Respirator gas and vapor filter: http://amzn.to/2urv7bz

• Safety glasses, 3M: http://amzn.to/2txHtT7

• Hearing protection with Bluetooth, ISOTunes Pro: http://amzn.to/2x1otdR

• Fire extinguisher: http://amzn.to/2ururTy

• First aid kit: http://amzn.to/2urwR4B

Video Equipment and Electronics:

• DSLR camera and mic, Canon/Rode: http://amzn.to/2urN0qA

• Camera battery pack, Canon: http://amzn.to/2sudLcx

• Wireless mic, Rode: http://amzn.to/2vYjDkF

• Mic wind muff: http://amzn.to/2urLqoy

• Tripod, Manfrotto: http://amzn.to/2s9MHjB

• Mic for voiceover, Snowball: http://amzn.to/2spgI2K

• Backpack for laptop (modified for camera): http://amzn.to/2sppNsC

• Memory card, 64gb: http://amzn.to/2s9hPzC

• Memory card waterproof case: http://amzn.to/2suLliC

• Laptop, MacBook: http://amzn.to/2urnDFx

• Network Attached Storage, 6TB: http://amzn.to/2suvRLu

Other tools I use


*Most of the links listed above are Amazon Affiliate links

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