Step-by-Step Guide on Making Sea Chest Woodworking Plans for Beginners


A sea chest is an essential storage solution for seafarers. It’s a wooden chest that provides a secure and dry space for storing personal belongings and valuable items. Sea chests are commonly used for storing navigational charts, writing instruments, and logbooks. With this guide, you can make your own sea chest woodworking plans so you can store your personal belongings in a classic and stylish way.

What You Will Need

  • Wood (oak, mahogany or other hardwoods)
  • Woodworking tools (handsaw, jigsaw, circular saw, drill, chisel, plane, and sander)
  • Screws, nails, and glue
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Hardware (hinges, handles, and locks)

Step-by-Step Guide on Making Sea Chest Woodworking Plans

Step 1: Gather Materials

The first step is to gather all the materials you will need to make your sea chest. You will need to select the type of wood you want to use for your chest. Oak and mahogany are two popular choices, but you can choose any hardwood you like.

sea chest woodworking plans gathering materials

Step 2: Plan Your Design

You can find many sea chest woodworking plans on the internet, but it’s best to make your own plans that fit your needs. Plan your design and sketch it out on paper. Decide on the size, shape, and style you want for your sea chest.

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sea chest woodworking plans plan your design

Step 3: Cut the Wood

Using your woodworking tools, cut the wood into the shapes and sizes you need for your sea chest. Cut the panels for the bottom, the sides, and the lid of the chest. You need to ensure that all the panels are equal in size, so it’s essential to measure everything precisely.

sea chest woodworking plans cut the wood

Step 4: Assemble the Panels

Using screws, nails, and glue, assemble the panels to form the frame of the chest. Start with the bottom panel and attach the side panels to the sides of the bottom panel. Attach the lid panel to the top of the side panels. Make sure that everything is aligned and levelled, and that the corner joints are clean and tight.

sea chest woodworking plans assemble the panels

Step 5: Sand and Finish the Chest

Sand the surfaces of the chest using your sander or sandpaper. Start with a coarse sandpaper to remove the rough surfaces and rough edges. Then use a finer sandpaper to smoothen the surfaces, and finish with an even finer sandpaper to get a smooth and polished look. You can finish the chest with paint, varnish, or stain. Let the finish coat dry completely.

sea chest woodworking plans sand and finish the chest

Step 6: Install Hardware

Attach the hinges, handles, and locks to the chest using screws. Make sure that the hardware is durable and secure so that your chest is strong and sturdy.

sea chest woodworking plans install hardware


Following this step-by-step guide, you can make your own sea chest woodworking plans that you can use for a lifetime. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on buying a sea chest when you can make one yourself by investing only in time, effort and creativity. With a few basic woodworking tools and some patience, you can create a beautiful and personalised sea chest that will be a great addition to your home or boat. Happy crafting!

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