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Magic Coin Bank


Magic Coin Bank

Kids love secrets—and so do adults! This small bank with its sneaky false drawer is a kick to make. You won’t need any fancy mechanism to make the drawer; just a few brads. Start building your nest egg; the coin slot is large enough to fit a Sacagawea Golden Dollar!


Making the box

Cut the four sides of the bank box from 1/4" thick wood. Cut out the drawer opening with a dado set. You can join the sides of the box any way you want; dovetails, box joints, even a nailed and glued butt joint will do. Glue the box together and plane or sand all the edges and faces even.


Making the drawer

Use a 12" long, 3/4" thick piece of hardwood for the drawer. The finished drawer is actually much shorter, but the blank will be easier to mill as a long piece. Cut the blank to width, drill the coin hole in the middle with a Forstner bit and then cut the dado that holds the false bottom. Cut a notch with a chisel for the bottom to pivot in. Then cut the blank to length.

Make the false bottom from the same wood as the drawer. Attach it to the drawer with small brads. Cut the drawer front to size and glue it to the end of the drawer.


Hanging the drawer

Make the two drawer runners as one piece about 12" long. (One long piece is safer to machine than two short ones.) Cut the rabbet, then crosscut the runner into two pieces to fit your box. Apply glue to the ends of one of the runners and position the runner in the box.

After the glue is dry, use the drawer as a guide to position the second runner. First, apply glue to the ends of the runner. Then, wrap the drawer in a piece of paper to act as a shim, and insert it and the runner into the box. Squeeze the runner tight to the drawer, and remove the drawer and paper. The paper shim ensures a smooth sliding drawer.

Pre-drill a small hole and tap a small finish nail into the underside of the drawer to act as a drawer stop. Hold the nail with a pair of pliers.


Attaching the top and bottom

Once you’re sure the drawer works, glue the top on the box. Drill pilot holes and screw the bottom in place. To empty the bank, unscrew the bottom.

Epoxy the brass feet and drawer knob so a child can’t unscrew them. These small parts are a potential choking hazard.

Cutting List

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker June 2001, issue #87.

Click any image to view a larger version.

Fig. A: How It Works

Side View

End View

Fig. B: Exploded View

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Attachment: Coin Bank_lead.jpg