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Build a Deck Box

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Need a place to store your deck and patio supplies? Learn how to build a deck storage box with this instructional video and step-by-step directions.

Project Overview

Skill Level

Advanced

Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost

$$$$$$

Tools & Materials

Tools

  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with bit set
  • Pneumatic nailer (recommended)
  • Pocket-hole jig
  • Power sander; 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper
  • Square
  • Circle compass
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Breathing protection
  • Exterior-use wood glue
  • Exterior-use wood putty

Materials

  • 4 - 1 x 2 x 8 cedar or pressure-treated boards
  • 11 - 1 x 4 x 8 cedar or pressure-treated boards
  • 5 - 1 x 6 x 12 tongue-and-groove cedar boards (or substitute 8 - 1 x 6 x 8 pressure-treated boards)
  • 2 - 1 x 6 x 8 cedar or pressure-treated boards
  • 2 x 4 x 8 cedar or pressure-treated board
  • 4 - 2-in butt hinges
  • 2 - 4-7/8-in galvanized door pulls
  • Nail-on furniture glides
  • Brown weather stripping
  • 1-5/8-in exterior screws
  • 1-1/4-in pocket-hole screws
  • 1-1/2-in (4d) galvanized finishing nails
  • #18 x 1-in wire brads
  • Cabot oil stain (color of your choice)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Project Resources

Instructions

We show this deck box built from cedar with a stain finish. If you plan to paint the box, however, a more economical alternative would be to build it with pressure-treated wood. To do so, substitute 1 x 6 treated boards for the tongue-and-groove cedar boards. Allow the treated lumber to dry thoroughly before priming and painting it.

Build Frames and Add Legs

Step 1

Cut the end stiles (A), end rails (B), front/back stiles (C), and front/back rails (D) to length.

Step 2

Front/back and end frames

Drill pocket holes to assemble the frame. Then drill pocket holes into the two sets of rails to attach the legs (E). Using glue and pocket-hole screws, build two end frames and two front/back frames (Drawing 1).

Good to Know

When drilling the three pocket holes for each joint, place the outside holes 3/4 inch to 1 inch from the outside edges and center the middle hole. If you’re new to working with pocket-holes joints, watch a video on how to use a pocket-hole jig and practice on scrap boards.

 

Step 3

Fasten legs to frames

Cut four legs (E) by first ripping a 2 x 4 board in half. Then cut oversize pieces 1-1/2 inches square. From those pieces, cut the legs 25-1/4 inches long. Position an end frame (A/B) flush with the inside faces of two legs with the frame pocket holes facing out. Attach the legs to the frame with glue and pocket-hole screws (Drawing 2). Repeat for the other two legs and end frame.

Good to Know

To align the inside faces of the frame with the insides of the legs, lay both on a flat work surface and clamp them together before you drill the pocket-hole screws.

Step 4

Clamp a front/back frame (C/D) flush with the inside faces of the legs with the pocket holes facing out (Drawing 2). Glue and screw the frame to the legs. Repeat for the other frame and check that the assembly is square. Apply braces and clamps as needed to square the box until the glue dries.

Step 5

Add cleats to the bottom rails

Cut two bottom cleats (F) to length. Glue and nail a cleat flush with the bottom edge of a bottom front/back rail (D) using #18 x 1-in wire brads (Drawing 3). Repeat for the other cleat.

Good to Know

This project will require driving several wire brads. If you plan to add a pneumatic brad nailer to your workshop, this would be a great opportunity to put it to use.

Attach Slats and Cladding

Step 1

Measure between the two bottom front/back rails and cut 13 bottom slats (G) to length.

Step 2

Nail bottom slats to cleats

At both ends of one slat, mark the center of the top face. Then mark the centers of the two bottom cleats (F). Align the slat and cleat marks; glue and nail the slat in place (Drawing 3) with 1-1/2-inch finishing nails.

Step 3

Working from the center slat to the ends, glue and nail bottom slats (G) spaced about 1/8 inch apart.

Step 4

Measure the height of the front/back frames and end frames and cut 10 pieces of end cladding (H) to length.

Good to Know

If you use tongue-and-groove cedar for the front, back, and sides, arrange the end cladding to gauge the spacing of the tongue-and-groove joints. For conventional boards, mark the center slat and end rails (B) as you did for the bottom slats.

Step 5

Nail cladding in place

Glue and nail the middle cladding piece centered on the end frame using 1-inch brads. Working toward the edges, add the remaining slats spaced evenly apart (Drawing 4). Repeat for the opposite end frame.

Good to Know

Use a square to ensure each piece of cladding is 90 degrees to the frame rails.

Step 6

Using the same technique as the end frames, center a piece of front/back cladding (I) on the front/back frame (C/D) (Drawing 4). Glue and nail it in place. Working out from the center to the edges, add the remaining cladding pieces spaced evenly apart. Repeat for the opposite frame.

Step 7

Rip the trim cladding (J) to width and cut each piece to length. Glue and nail them in place (Drawing 4).

Step 8

Add the side and back trim

Cut the side trim (K) to the length of an end (Drawing 5). Glue and nail the side trim flush with the edges of the box end. Repeat for the opposite end. Measure between the two side trim pieces and cut the back trim (L) to length. Glue and nail the back trim in place.

Fasten Ledges to the Box

Step 1

Fasten ledges to the box

Cut a 3-1/2-inch radius on one end of each side ledge (M) and sand smooth. Drill pocket holes on the inside faces of the side ledges (Drawing 5). Glue and screw a ledge flush with the outside edge of the side trim (K). Repeat for the opposite side ledge.

Step 2

Measure between the side ledges (M) and cut the back ledge (N) to length. Drill pocket holes as shown (Drawing 5). Glue and screw the back ledge with the outside face flush with the outside edge of the back trim (L).

Step 3

Attach the nosing

Cut a 4-inch oversize piece for the end nosing (O) with a 45-degree miter on one end (Drawing 6). Place the inside edge of the miter flush with the front edge of the side trim and mark the other end for a square cut. Then cut the nosing to length. Glue and nail it in place with 1-1/2-inch nails.

Step 4

Use the same method as in the previous step to cut a front nosing (P) to length. Glue and nail the front nosing in place. Then repeat Step 3 to add the other end nosing.

Add Lid Cleats and Lids

Step 1

Measure between the inside faces of the top front frame rails (D) and cut the end lid cleats (Q) to length (Drawing 7).

Step 2

Build and Install the Lids

Glue and nail the end lid cleats with the top edges flush with the end rails (B).

Step 3

Measure between the end lid cleats and cut the back lid cleat (R) to length. Glue and nail the back lid cleat in place.

Step 4

Measure from the back lid cleat (R) inside edge to the frame rail (B) inside edge and cut the center lid cleat (S) to length. Drill pocket holes on both ends. Mark the center of the back lid cleat and the front rail. Then glue and screw the center lid cleat in place.

Step 5

Deck box lid assembly

For each of the two lids, cut three center lid slats (T) to length. Rip the four end lid slats (U) to width and cut them to length. Drill pocket holes in the center slats and end lid slats as shown (Drawing 8). Glue and screw three center lid slats with the ends flush; then add the end slats. Repeat for the other lid.

Step 6

Cut the side lid nosing (V) to length. Glue and nail the edging in place on the slats (Drawing 8). Repeat for the other lid.

Step 7

Measure between the side lid nosing pieces (V) and cut the back lid nosing (W) to length. Drill pilot holes, add glue, and screw the back lid nosing to the slats using 1-5/8-inch exterior screws.

Step 8

Measure between the side lid nosing pieces (V) and cut the front lid nosing (X) to length. Glue and screw the front lid nosing to the slat ends (Drawing 8). Repeat for the other lid.

Complete the Deck Box

Step 1

Drill and screw a 2-inch butt hinge 2 inches from one end of a back lid nosing (W) and repeat for the other hinge (Drawing 9). The outside edge of the hinge leaf should be even with the bottom edge of the back lid nosing. Repeat for the other lid.

Step 2

Completed deck box with lids

Hold the lid in position vertically above the back trim (L). Double-check that the side lid nosing (V) will clear the side ledge. Mark the hinge screw hole locations on the back trim, drill pilot holes, and screw the hinges to the back trim. Check that the lid opens and closes smoothly. Repeat for the other lid.

Good to Know

These box lids do not have hardware to keep them from falling closed once installed. Do not allow small children to play in or around the box where they could be injured by a falling lid.

Step 3

Temporarily remove the lids and fill each nail hole with putty. Sand smooth and wipe the surfaces clean.

Step 4

Apply the finish of your choice to the lids and box. If you choose paint, prime the wood first, sand the primer smooth, and add a second coat of primer where needed. Then paint.

Step 5

Nail nylon furniture glides centered on the bottom of each leg. Then reinstall the lids.