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bootbox 1

Copyright 2006

Boot Box

This is a speciality box to sit on while lacing up heavy boots. It goes in a mud room or other wide entry way. It simply makes a ordinary task less stressful.

If what you are looking for is a simple bench to put in a entrance hall for people to sit on to change their shoes, then you would probably be more interesed in our Child's Toy Box and Bench. If what you want is a tall bench with a mirror and coat hooks, then drop me an e-mail. I have such a set of plans under development.

The box includes storage room for boots. The Boot Rest pulls out from its storage place for convenience. The box has an internal tray for storage of gloves and other equipment.

The box is made from a single sheet of .75 inch plywood with all the exposed edges trimmed with wood strips. The bench has a back and hand rails made from easily obtained materials.

A fair worker can built this desk in a basic home workshop. It is possible to build it using only hand tools but a table or radial arm saw would be most helpful for the longer cuts. The material type and widths are commonly available in home fix-up stores. Any parts not readily available locally can be mail order.

Rockler order link to first page

This free design includes six detailed sketches which can be obtained with this little form.

Rockler order link to first page

You can make this box by:

  1. Downloading the drawings and this text.
  2. Studying this information and locating the materials.
  3. Purchasing all the materials locally or by e-mail order.
  4. Having the plywood first cut at the store.
  5. Hand cut and drilling the small pieces.
  6. Install the trim edges on the plywood pieces.
  7. Fit the Boot Rest Garage.
  8. Gluing up parts.
  9. Assembling the box.
  10. Finishing all pieces

After you download the sketches, these notes will help you understand them more completely.

  1. Boot Bench & Box

    The front view shows the box with its pull out Boot Rest and back with spindles. Note the edge trim on the plywood.

    The side view shows the arm rest (also with spindles), the Boot Rest, the end of the internal tray, and the curve the lid makes when opened.

  2. Boot Bench & Box, Wide Boards, Sketch #2

    This sketch is shows the front, back, top, and ends. These are cut from .75 inch plywood and have trim around the edges. The top has a 1-by-6 at the back.

  3. Boot Bench & Box, Back and Arms, Sketch #3

    This sketch shows the wooden pieces that make up the back and arm rests. These are all made from standard size lumber. The spindles are mail order. Most of the parts are 1-by-2 stock that can be cut with a simple hand saw and miter box. The back top can top can be cut with a jig saw or coping saw.

  4. Boot Bench & Box; Bottom & Edge Trim , Sketch #4

    The bottom is show with its cutout for the boot rest Garage. The edge trim for the plywood are all .75 inch by .75 inch softwood. These can be ripped for scrap wood.

    The screw blocks are used to reinforce the joints. Otherwise this type of joint would be very weak. They have one screw pilot hole in one direction and two at right angles. The four Foot Blocks are for metal feet.

  5. Boot Bench & Plywood Layout , Sketch #5

    This shows the layout of all the plywood pieces on one sheet of plywood. Note the first cut which can be made at the store so that the pieces are much easer to carry home. The cutouts for the boot rest Garage are not shown.

  6. Boot Bench & Box; Boot Rest & Tray, Sketch #6

    The pull out Boot Rest and its Garage are shown first assembled and then in pieces. The top of the Boot Rest is solid wood and is hinged.

    The internal tray is long and narrow. . It is made from thin plywood and a .75 inch by 1 inch frame. The tray fits into special lift hardware so that it is lifted as the lid is opened.

This box is made from fir plywood, commercial spindles, and dimensioned pine lumber.

  1. Wood

    Dimensioned Lumber:


    Wood Subtotal: $166.15
  2. Hardware

    Hardware Subtotal: $ 42.50
  3. Finish:

    Finish Subtotal: $ 23.00
  4. Omissions and Contingencies (~10%) ( Tax, sand paper, etc.) $19.35
  5. Estimate Total Cost: $250.00

This is only an estimate (made in the February 2001). The price may vary in your area. The key to keeping the cost down is using scrap wood for as much of the .75 by .75 trim as you can.

This box was designed to be build using the tools commonly found in a amateur wood shop. A table or radial arm saw is needed. If you have a biscuit cutter the finished box will be stronger.

You will also need sand paper, paint brushes. etc.

Rockler order link to first page

This is your box and you can build it to suit your likes and needs.

  1. Customize the Box to Suit Your Needs
    1. Inside Tray

      The inside tray is intended for gloves and other safety equipment. It is show on lift out hardware so that it comes up when the lid is opened. This makes it rather shallow. You could have a deeper tray that does not lift out.

    2. Restrain Boot Rest

      You may wish to attach one or two small chains between the Boot Rest and the bottom of the box just behind the Garage. This will let the Boot Rest pull out but then stop firmly.

  2. Cutting the Plywood

    Sketch #2 shows the box panels and Sketch #5 shows the plywood layout. You can have the First Cut made at the supplier before you take the material home. Don't make the cutout for the Garage until you have built it.

    The cuts should be made with any fine toothed plywood saw. A jig saw working against a straight edge does work. The back board cuts can be made with a coping saw or a jig saw.

    The edges of the plywood are shown covered with solid wood trim. Much of this can be cut from scrap wood. It can be attached with either biscuits or with #6 finishing nails. Cut the head off one nail and use it for a drill bit to predrill all nail holes. Glue on the edge strips and install a nail about every 6 inches. The ends of the trim strips are not mitered but are custom cut to exact lengths.

  3. Boot Rest and Garage

    The Boot Rest and its Garage are shown in Sketch #6. These are all .75 inch plywood except the top of the Boot Rest. Note that the Boot Rest has metal legs while the Garage is held .75 inch off the floor.

    The side joints of the boot box have trim pieces and the joints are reinformed with screw blocks. The lid is hinged at the high end and slopes 10 degrees.

  4. Edge Joints

    Temporarily assemble the box so that you can mark the cutouts for the Garage. The joints can be either biscuits or predrilled nails. Either way install the screw blocks inside the joints. These blocks have one screw pilot hole in direction and two at right angles. You may carefully aline them the the edge of the inside trim and glue and screw them to one panel only. Also drill and tack in the nails but leave them sticking out 1/4 inch.

    Mark the cutout for the Garage on the inside and disassemble the box. Cut out the front and bottom and fit trim in the front only.

  5. Reassemble the Box

    Reassemble and glue the box. Install the Garage and check that the Boot Rest fits in easily.

  6. Fitting the Lid

    Install the hinge with a few screws and trim the lid and the back piece to fit the top of the box. Round off all exposed edges with the box plane and rasp.

    Nail and glue three small blocks across the back at the top and predrill screw holes up from the bottom at an angle. These screws will be a little hard to install but they will not be seen. (Do not glue) Remove the front part of the lid and the hinge.

  7. Making the Bench Back

    Cut the back upright pieces for the 10 degree angle. Try fit the uprights to the sides of the box. Cut the two bottom spindle boards to the exact length needed. Mark the places for the spindle holes. Nail and glue on the strips together being careful not to nail at the spindle holes.

    Cut the back board with a coping or jig saw. Match the spindle holes marks on the bottom spindle boards. Glue and nail on the stiffener board to the top board.

    Drill the spindle holes. Fit the two outside pieces for uprights, cut the notch for the top board, and cut-out the box top. Plane of the lower back edge of the bottom spindle boards to match the slope of the back.

    Trial fit the back to box and hold it with 'C' Clamps. When you have it where you want it, drill bolt holes and counter sinks for the back arm bolts. A few short dowels between the bottom spindle boards and the box top will add strength.

    When you have it the way you want it, nail, glue, and screw the back together. Drill the the bolt holes in the ends.

  8. Make the Arms

    The arms are very like the back. They do have spacer boards to allow room for the lid to open. The front upright is two 1-by-2's and is glued to the armrest with two dowels. Having a set of dowel centers makes this operation much easier.

  9. Make the Inside Tray

    The tray is shown in Sketch #6. It is designed to be lifted out when the lid is opened by special Cedar Chest Support hardware. Mail order this hardware before building the tray. You may need to adjust the width and depth of the tray a little to suit your exact hardware.

    The bottom of the tray can be made from the thinnest plywood that is readily available to you.

  10. Disassembly for Finishing

    Remove the lid, tray, boot rest, and bench parts for finishing.

Rockler order link to first page

You may finish your project any way you like. We recommend priming with thinned Shellack and two coats of oil based enamel.

You can decorate the box by stenciling, or simply painting it several colors. The hardwood spindles can be varnished while the rest of the box is painted. You can paint the outside of the box subdued colors and the inside a bright suprising color.

Large dovetails like these are normally not glued. This lets the box adjust to slightly uneven floors and wood movement over time. Drive the nails slightly below the surface. Also use only screws for the bottom and under the lid.

Wait until after completely finishing to reinstall the hinges, back, arms, tray, and back.

Rockler order link to first page


Thanks again for using a Woodware Computer Furniture Plans. We very much want to know how you are getting along with your project and would be happy to answer any questions by email.

If you send us a picture of your finished project, we would be happy to put it on our web page.

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