Pot-‘O-Gold Coin Bank

We traveled to the end of the rainbow for you and retrieved this cute project idea that you’ll love.  The Pot-’O-Gold Coin Bank!

The project design features a pot (or kettle) cut and carved in slices with your CarveWright CNC. The slices are stacked and glued together to form the traditional kettle shape. Plastic “gold” coins are affixed to the top of the pot to give the illusion the pot is filled. The coin slot is centered between the “gold” coins and a hidden cover in the base of the pot allows access to the “gold” when the pot is full.

This will make a charming gift for kids of all ages (including adults!) and is an encouragement to save up their coins in their very own pot-’o-gold!

The project uses just the 1/16 ” Carving Bit and the 1/8 ” Cutting Bit. No other bits are required. Overall dimensions are about : 7″ round x 5.5 ” tall

Main items you will need:

  1. The Project Files (included):
    • Lid_Sections.mpc
    • 1-2-3_Pot-Sections.mpc
    • 4-5-6_Pot-Sections.mpc
  2. Boards with the following dimensions:
    • Lid Sections: 0.75″x 9” x 21”
    • 123 Sections: 0.75″x 9″ x 30″
    • 456 Sections: 0.75″x 9″ x 30″
    • NOTE: Do not use boards that are smaller than specified above unless using an appropriate jig.
  3. Ply or hardboard scrap 0.125” thick, four #4 screws, bag of plastic gold coins, self- stick silicon or cork pads for bank bottom
  4. Hot glue gun, drill, sandpaper, wood glue, stain and/or paint and clear finish
  5. A Dremel-type rotary tool with assorted abrasive attachments to aid the sanding process. A spindle sander and small belt sander can help speed up sanding/surface prep.


Start Designer and open the .mpc file(s). (fig. 1a)

Fig. 1a

All you need to do at this point is upload the project files to your memory card. (File/Upload). When you upload, you may or may not get a pop-up window with an “Auto-Jig” warning message (Fig. 1b)


If you do see the message, you may safely click on “Ignore” because our actual boards will be large enough that it won’t cause any problems at all. After each project is compiled, select “Normal” or “Best” for the File Quality carve setting. (I used “Normal”.)

Click “OK” and upload each mpc project file to your memory card. Insert the card into your machine and load a board.

STEP 2 – Running the MPC File(s)

You will see “Project Menu” on your LCD display. Press “1” and scroll to Lid_Sections.mpc project, and press the green ENTER button to select it. Then follow the additional LED prompts as follows…

  • Stay Under Rollers – press 1) YES
    • DID YOU KNOW? If you’re using the specified board sizes, it doesn’t matter if you select YES or NO because those board sizes have the extra 7 inches of length that will keep the project under rollers either way. See 7 inch rule for further explanation)
  • DO NOT RESIZE or SCALE the projects! If prompted, always keep the original size. No scaling!
  • How To Place – press 1) Center
  • Cut Board to Size? – press 2) NO
  • Select Vector Bit: 1/8″ Cutting – Press ENTER. The machine will move the bit holder to the center.
  • Load Bit:1/8″ Cutting – Insert your 1/8” cutting bit, then press the green ENTER button. (homes, etc.)
  • Select Carving Bit: 1/16″ Carving – Press ENTER. The machine will move the bit holder to the center.
  • Load Bit: 1/16″ Carving – Remove the 1/8″ cutting bit, and insert your 1/16″ carving bit, then press the green ENTER button. After homing and finding surface, the carving process is performed.
  • After it is done carving, you will be prompted to load your 1/8″ cutting bit. Remove the 1/16″ carving bit and insert your 1/8″ cutting bit. Press the green ENTER button. The machine will perform the vector cuts and/or cutouts.

Remove the board and proceed to run the 1-2-3_Pot-Sections.mpc and the 4-5-6_Pot- Sections.mpc using same procedure as above (with the exception that the “Vector Bit” request prompt will simply be called the “Cutting Bit” instead).

Your boards will look something like this…


STEP 3 – Number Sections then Separate Parts

Number the pot sections before separating the parts from the boards. Rub the flat surfaces over a sheet of sandpaper laid on a flat surface to remove any fuzzies that could interfere with glue-up.

Number the pot sections with a pencil before separating the parts from the boards.
Sand flat areas to remove fuzzies that could interfere with glue-up. (Final edge sanding will be done after glue-up.)

STEP 4 – Assembly

Glue the lid halves and the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 box sections together (NOT the section 1). Sand overall when dry.

Glue the lid halves together. Keep separate from the pot sections for now.
Glue pot sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 together (NOT section 1)

After glue is dry, sand the interior of the pot smooth to blend the sections. Use a spindle sander to speed up the job.

Sand the interior of the pot to blend sections. (Sand the inside circle of section 1 also, prior to glue-up)

Glue section 1 to the pot assembly (section 1 is the bottom of the pot). Weigh or clamp until dry.

Glue section 1 to the bottom of the pot assembly and allow to dry

Sand the exterior of the pot to blend the sections nicely. Use coarse sandpaper (60-grit) and work up to finer grits (120 to 220) until done.

Sand the box exterior by hand using coarse to fine grits paper and sanding blocks.

Apply two coats thinned Bulls Eye SealCoat to the pot interior to seal the inside surface before gluing on the pot top.

Apply thinned SealCoat to interior to seal before top is glued on.

Cut out the coin cover panel from 0.125” thick ply. Drill four pilot holes in the corners of the ply and into the pot bottom recess. Use #4 screws to affix the cover to the pot. Remove panel and set aside for now.

Drill holes for screws through the panel and into the pot recess. Install with #4 screws, then remove before applying finish.

Glue the top centered onto the pot assembly.

Glue the coin slot top lid centered onto the base pot assembly.

STEP 5 – Apply Finish

After final sanding, apply the finish of your choice. Here’s what I used on the sample Pot-’O-Gold Coin Bank made from Select Pine:

  • Applied three coats thinned Bulls Eye SealCoat overall, including the interior surface of the lid via the coin access hole. Sanded when dry.
  • Applied Flat Black acrylic paint (two coats) • Applied several light coats Krylon Clear Flat
  • Glued plastic gold coins onto the lid using a hot glue gun
Applied thinned SealCoat. Sanded when dry.
Painted the pot with two coats black acrylic craft paint
Applied several light coats of Krylon clear FLAT
Used a Hot Glue gun to affix plastic gold coins to the pot top, using care not to block the coin slot.


Replace the bottom coin access cover. Apply self-stick bumper pads or cork to the underside of pot to protect surfaces. I hope you enjoyed making your Pot-’O-Gold Coin Bank!

Materials Source Reference

3M Sanding Discs

3M Radial Bristle Discs

  • (stack 3 discs at a time on your rotary tool mandrel)
  • 80-grit (yellow) is what I use exclusively, but other grits are available NOTE: grits finer than 220 are not recommended for wood
  • Purchase from:

Items Purchased at Home DepotTM or LowesTM

  • Zinsser Bulls Eye SealCoat (same as 100% de-waxed shellac)
  • Denatured Alcohol (Home Depot™ or Lowes™)
  • Self-stick pads or cork sheeting (Home Depot™ or Lowes™)
  • #4 x 0.75 ” Screws

Items Purchased at Hobby LobbyTM or Michael’s Arts & CraftsTM

  • Plastic Gold Coins
  • Flat Black Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Hot Glue and Glue Gun

I hope you enjoyed making your Pot-’O-Gold Coin Bank!
Happy Carving!

Michael Tyler of CarveBuddy.com!

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