Kid-sized Floor safe.

Turn little shavers into little savers with this novel bank project, which we modeled after an old-fashioned floor safe. Note the clever use of a surplus post-office box door, which features both a captivating combination lock and a window that lets kids watch their investment grow.

Let’s Begin with the Carcass.

1. From 1/2″-thick stock, rip and crosscut a piece to 4×15″. (We selected birch for its portability,) Then, crosscut the two sides and the bottom to the lengths listed in the Bill of Materials.

2. To make the top panel, first cut a 2 3/16 x 12″ piece of 1/2″-thick stock. From one edge of this piece, rip a 1/8 x 1/2 x 12″ slice. Then, cut two 1 1/2″-long spacers from this slice for the money slot.

3. From the remainder of your 2 3/16 x 1l2″ piece (it should now measure 1 15/16″ wide), crosscut two 4 1/2″-long pieces for the top panel. Glue the two spacers to the edge of one of these pieces, flush with the ends, to create a 1/8 x 1 3/4″ money slot. Now, glue the other piece to the spacers, and clamp the assembled top panel.

4. After the glue has dried, trim the top panel to 4 5/16″ long, being careful to center the money slot between the ends. Next, dry-assemble and clamp the sides, bottom, and top to check for fit. Then, measure the back opening, and cut the back to size. (Ours measured 3 5/16 x 4 3/8″.)

5. Epoxy and clamp the sides, bottom, and lop. {We used quick-set epoxy.) After the epoxy has cured, test-fit your post-office box door in the opening, and glue in shims as necessary to achieve a snug fit.

6. Epoxy and clamp the back into position. Next, drill 1/16″ pilot holes 1″ deep where shown on the Exploded View drawing. Drive #16 x 1″ brads, then set the brads and fill the holes. Now, sand the carcass smooth.

7. From 1/8″-thick plywood, bandsaw the shelf and shelf uprights to size. Next, glue and clamp these inside the box where shown on the Exploded View drawing.

Now, Make the Wheel Brackets.

1. To machine the brackets, first rip and crosscut a 1×12″ strip of 1/2″-thick stock. Fit your tablesaw with a 1/4″ dado set elevated to 9/16″, and then cut a centered groove along one edge of your 1×12″ blank. (For safety’s sake, we used a pushstick.)

2. Copy the full-sized Wheel Bracket pattern shown on the pattern insert, and transfer it onto card stock or posterboard. Next, cut out this template, and use it to trace four wheel brackets onto one face of the blank, aligning the top edge of the template with the ungrooved edge of the stock. Now, scroll- or bandsaw the brackets to shape, and then sand them smooth.

3. Lay out and drill a 1/8″ axle hole through each bracket where shown on the pattern. To make the axle pins, cut four 3/4″ lengths of 1/8″ dowel stock. Insert a 3/4″-diameter wooden wheel into each bracket, then insert and glue an axle pin through the wheel and glue the pin in place. (We bought our wheels at a hobby shop, but you can also find them at craft stores.)

Add Some Finishing Touches, Then Paint Your Safe.

1. Fit your table-mounted router with a 1/4″ straight bit elevated to 1/16″. Set your fence 1/8″ from the bit, and then rout all edges of the box along both faces. Now, finish-sand all outside surfaces of the box.

2. Epoxy and clamp the wheel brackets to the bottom corners of the box where shown on the Exploded View drawing. Remove any squeeze-out, and allow the epoxy to cure.

3. Now, paint the safe. (We first applied two coats of sanding sealer, sanding after each coat with 320-grit sandpaper. Then, we sprayed the exterior with two coats of black gloss oil enamel. After this had dried, we brushed the interior of the box with gold enamel. With a small detail brush, we then painted the wheel centers, the bracket trim, and the routed corners with gold enamel as shown in the photograph.)

4. Lay out and drill pilot holes as required for the door. Then, attach the door using brass roundhead wood screws.

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