DIY Military Footlocker

Military footlockers are ruggedly built for the long haul. This is a perfect project for the do it yourself (DIY) artisan or someone who wants to build a trunk resembling a military footlocker. To build one right, construct it from good grade plywood and use heavy-duty hinges, buckle latches and a hasp with a padlock. The handles on the sides differ from footlocker to footlocker, but keeping it simple is best. Once built, paint the military footlocker the color of your favorite military branch.

A little worn, but still in use.

Step 1

Lay the 3/4-inch plywood measuring 38 1/2 by 17 inches (front and back) on a worktable along with the pieces measuring 17 by 17 inches. Apply glue to the 17-inch edges of the front and back pieces.

Step 2

Secure them between the 17-by-17-inch pieces with 1 1/4-inch drywall screws. Clean up the excess glue immediately with a damp cloth. Next, insert the 38 1/2-by-15 1/2-by-3/4-inch plywood (bottom) inside the assembly and secure it in the same manner as the others.

Step 3

Measure from one edge of the 15 1/2-by-15 1/2-by-3/4-inch plywood and make marks at 7 3/8 and 8 1/8 inches. Put the framing square on the marks and draw lines across the width of the plywood.

Step 4

Apply glue to one of the 15 1/2-inch edges of the 15 1/2-by-10-by-3/4-inch pieces. Secure them to the 15 1/2-by-15 1/2-inch pieces between the lines drawn with 1 1/4-inch drywall screws. Clean up the excess glue with a damp cloth. These create compartments at either end of the military footlocker. Place them inside the footlocker against the sides.

Step 5

Hold the compartment assemblies in place. Secure them through the front, back and sides with 1 1/4-inch drywall screws. Next, install the trunk hinges on the 40-by-17-by-3/4-inch plywood (top) according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 6

Put the top of the military footlocker in place and secure the hinge to the back. Install truck latches or hasps according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Michael Straessle

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.