This is my first instructable which was inspired by Zachariah Cruse here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Legend-of-Zelda-Tr...
I also walked around a few stores to look for an idea on what style chest I would like to use for this project. I found one I liked so instead of simply purchasing it in case it was unavailable to you, I created it from scratch.
I grew up loving the Legend of Zelda as a kid. Ocarina of Time is still my all time favorite game. I've gotten to that point in my life where I think I'm ready to ask my girlfriend to marry me, and Zachariahs instructable gave me the idea to take our shared passion of gaming, mixed with my love for her, and combine it into something handmade but also in tune with both of our interests.
Most of the idea is based off of Zachariahs, however I have made some alterations and added a few things of my own.
Hopefully you guys enjoy this. And more importantly, I hope my soon-to-be fiance likes it.
Step 1: Materials
First and foremost you are going to need something to cut wood, or a friend who has the tools to cut wood for you. In my scenario the latter was the route I had to take. Yay, poor college student life!
List of things:
1/4" thick wood. Pine is cheap and solid. This wood I had lying around. To make a medium sized chest you will need one large piece approximately 11" x 20" to make all the appropriate cuts. A smaller chest will require less wood, larger will require more.
(1) 7.25" x 3"
(1) 7.25" x 5.625"
(1) 7.25" x 2"
(2) 7.25" x 2.5"
(1) 7.25" x 1"
(1) 7.25" x 2.25"
(2) 5.5" x 2.5"
(2) 5.5" x 1.75"
Hot glue gun and glue
Thin leather straps/
Clamps or something weighted
Step 2: Cutting the Wood
The instructable that this was inspired by used a radial arm saw and a miter saw to cut the pieces. I was at work and just asked a friend to cut mine (he owns a wood shop) and they magically were cut when I got home.
However I will try my best to explain what each piece is for, and what needs to be done to make it fit correctly.
(1) 7.25" x 3" Top center of lid
(1) 7.25" x 5.625" The bottom of the chest
(2) 7.25" x 2.5" Top of lid
(1) 7.25" x 1" Far back piece of lid (hinge piece) (cut notches in this piece to fit your hinges)
(2) 7.25" x 2.25" Long sides of Base
(2) 5.5" x 2.5" Short side of Base
(2) 5.5" x 1.75" Left and Right sides of lid
For the following pieces a .25" bevel moving away from the center will need to be cut so the pieces for a seamless joint:
Long sides of Base, Short side of Base, both Top of lid pieces
The top center of the lid needs to be beveled opposite on each side, so the bevel going towards the center on one long end, and away from the center on the other.
Optional step: once my wood was cut I took a chisel and hammered straight lines from one end of each piece of wood to the other. If measured to line up correctly with the other pieces this gives the appearance of additional layers and adds depth to the outside of the chest.
Sanding the wood is also something that will make the final design look so much better. I didn't know what was on the wood I used so I sanded it heavily using 80 grit, followed by 120, then 200 sandpaper.
Step 3: Glue All the Things
I used Elmer's wood glue because it is what I had on hand. Any type of wood glue that doesn't expand will work fine. Be very careful during this step to wipe up any glue that escaped the joints as excess glue can cause problems in a later step.
Use the bottom of the base piece as a guide. The base wall pieces will fit around it perfectly if all measurements are exact. Place thin beads of glue between the joints and press firmly together. If you have clamps, use them. If you do not, placing heavy objects, against or on top of, to apply pressure will also work. (In my case I had a heavy wine bottle and pinned it to the wall)
In the last two pictures in this step you will also add the brass tacks and leather straps if you chose to go this route. The brass tacks, if long enough, add extra support to the wall pieces. You can add the strap to give the chest the look of metal banding. The straps wont do anything support-wise, this is just for aesthetics.
Give the glue 24 hours to form a solid bond before moving or fiddling with any of the pieces.
Step 4: Hardware
This is where you get to screw all of the things together. Pre-drilling holes is absolutely necessary for the hinge pieces. Use a power drill with a very thin bit to drill the holes for your hinges. The wood is so thin that any excess force by manually screwing, without a pre-made hole to guide you, will almost definitely split the wood.
For the latch, close your lid after attaching your hinges before trying to attach the latch. You want to make sure the latch pieces (top and bottom) will line up before you start drilling holes. Find the center of the front of the chest and attach your hardware.
Step 5: Staining
NOTE: I made some design changes while taking pictures and ended up attaching the hardware before staining. I would suggest you do the opposite so you don't have to clean the stain off of the brass hardware. It looks cool and all, but it never stops being sticky once it starts to dry.
You will notice that if you had any excess glue leak out during the gluing process that stain does NOT like to adhere to glue. If this happened, any type of acrylic paint or even a base coat of a light brown colored spray paint will make it look much better.
If you have a specific color you want your chest to be, this is where a good quality stain matters. Minwax is a great brand, it's not too runny, and a little goes a long way. Red Oak or Mahogany look fantastic on wood in my opinion.I actually mixed both to form this color.
Set up a work area with painters tarp, cardboard, or trash bags before you stain. DO NOT stain on Moms 18th century dining table.
Use the stain sparingly as you can always add more if you want, but it's almost impossible to correct over staining. If you accidentally apply to much, a tack cloth, paper towel, or old shirt should be used to wipe off the access before it sets in the wood. Staining with the grain of the wood makes the finish look more natural.
(I apologize for the lack of pictures of the actual staining process, I spilled the stain on my hands and didn't want to damage my phone)
Allow the stain to dry for the minimum amount of time recommended on the container for whatever stain you are using. For more humid climates, drying time may take longer. You want to be able to touch it without it feeling tacky to know it's completely dry. Also watch out for fuzzies and stray hair from your brush. Remove these before the stain has time to dry to protect the finish.
Step 6: Burning Some Wood
This is also something I would recommend doing before staining as wood burning on top of stain not only causes your wood burning iron to get gunked up, but it also smells 10x worse then just wood burning itself. And I'm no doctor but the fumes are probably super dangerous. Learn from my mistakes people!
What I did with this step was print out a design from my computer of the Triforce. I then placed a piece of graphite paper between the printout and the chest and traced it with a pencil. This transfers a non permanent "stencil" to your chest that you can later trace with the wood burning iron. I am no free hand artist, so this was the best option for me. Feel free to use any designs you want. White graphite paper works good for darker pieces, grey graphite paper works for lighter woods or wood without stain.
When using a wood burner apply gentle pressure and move at a slow to medium pace. Moving too slow will burn deeper and darker than you may want, moving too fast will skip over wood and leave uneven burns in the wood. Practice with a spare piece of wood if you have one. Practice makes perfect. As with the stain, you can always make it darker, but if you burn too deep or too much, you can't really correct it.
Step 7: It's Electric! ... Also Blue.
Now we are going to add the sound module to the top, inside, of the lid.
The sound module is a "Light activated sound module". This module completes the circuit when light hits a sensor.
The specific kind I used is rerecord-able and holds 10 seconds of sound. Exactly enough for the chest sound from Ocarina of Time. Basically you hold down the record button, record your sound, then put the module into place.
In the third picture you will see a wooden panel with a small light sensor in the bottom left corner. I basically lined up Popsicle sticks, cut them to the size of the lid, glued them together, then drilled a hole the same size as the light sensor.
I then glue the module to the inside top of the lid, put the sensor through the hole in the newly created panel, and glue that in place with hot glue as well. This keeps it secure when the lid opens and closes, and the wood panel serves as a nice way to hide the electronics and keep the look of the chest as standard as possible. I then push fit the panel into the top until its snug.
You can glue this in if you wish, i left mine unglued so in case the batteries were to die, i could remove the panel and replace them. Also if I want to I can change the sound that plays (to maybe the wedding march) I could do that as well without damaging the chest or the electronics inside.
Felt and foam:
To hold the ring I simply cut a piece of foam the size of the bottom of the chest, hot glued felt around it, then slit a hole dead center. The foam is sturdy enough to hold the ring in place. If you can find silk, use it, it looks much better than felt. I also did not glue the pillow to the base of the chest so if I want to remove it later I can use the chest for other things, or my (hopefully) future wife can store other jewelry pieces in it.
Step 8: Fin!
Thanks again Zachariah for the inspiration!