Canadian Woodworking

Tidy up with this firewood box

Author: Michel Theriault
Illustration: Len Churchill
Published: December January 2003

This project challenges the common belief that you need a full range of tools and well-developed skills to make high quality projects.


While this may be true for large, complicated projects that require special joints and intricate construction and have non-standard dimensions, it doesn’t have to be the rule.

This project can be made with hand tools, so you won’t have to worry about noise. You can get started with a few basic tools and the ability to perform some simple operations like measuring accurately and cutting straight.

As with any hobby, as you gain more experience and decide to build larger, more complicated projects, you will end up adding tools as you require them.

With this firewood box you can keep a ready supply of firewood, kindling and newspapers close at hand for when you light a fire. Then you can refill the firewood box from your wood pile whenever it’s convenient.

1. Cut out the panels with a handsaw.

2. On both side panels, measure for the angled cut 5 ⅝” from the back on the top edge and 18 15/16” from the bottom on the front edge.

3. Use a framing square or straight piece of wood to draw a line between the marks and saw the waste off, keeping to the outside of the lines.

4. Sand with a sanding block or use a hand plane to smooth the cut edges.

5. Several bevels have to be cut in the lid, front and top panels. Mark both edges of the lid, one edge of the front panel and one edge of the top panel. Make the bevel with a hand plane (fig. 2).

6. Drill counterbored pilot holes in the side panels along the edges where the back, front and top piece will attach (fig. 1).

7. Apply glue and screw the side panels to the back, bottom, top and front panels. Check that the box is square and allow to dry.

8. Attach the hinges and handle to the door, position it on the box and screw the hinges onto the box.

9. Drill countersunk pilot holes in the ends of the front and back drawer pieces ⅜” from the end and ½” from each edge (fig. 3).

10. Screw the back and front piece onto the sides so that they are flush at the ends and on top. Glue and tack the drawer bottom in place with brads.

11. Add the handle to the drawer face then screw it to the drawer through countersunk pilot holes from inside the drawer so that it is centered side to side and flush at the top.

12. Install the drawer guides, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

13. Glue screw hole plugs in the screw holes.


• Use dowels instead of screws


1. Not all pre-laminated panels are exactly the same width, so adjust the measurements as required

2. Before screwing the pieces together drill a 1/8″ pilot hole into the wood through the existing pilot hole to reduce the chances of splitting.

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