We recently decided to rebuild
our second bathroom just off the family room in our home. The room
is quite small (6' X 6') which doesn't leave too much room for furniture
of any kind. Having decided to build a corner placed walk-in shower
and completely tile it and the floor, we ended up with a space roughly
31" wide X 20" deep at the left side of the shower in which we intended
to place the lavoratory. We couldn't find a vanity close enough in
dimensions to fit that space very well so I decided to build one.
What you see below is a photo of the final product in that small space.
For those of you who might be
interested in the build process of the vanity, the narrative follows.
Obviously, the first task was
to secure the lumber, most of which I had in the shop. What I didn't
have was some 8 quarter stock from which to make the four corner legs.
I wanted the design to be open in the bottom so that I could reach the
plumbing without a
real hassle in that small of an area. I ordered the wood from the
same place I get most of my wood and that is L.R. Nisley & Sons Hardwoods
near Goshen, Indiana (an Amish operated business and an amazing place to
see by the way).
After getting the material
into the shop for making the legs, I first cut out a rough length for the
four leg pieces and took them to the jointer to get two sides of each leg
flat. Next, I used my planer to get all the surfaces down to the
1 1/2" square sides that I wanted to end up with. The photo above
and to the right is a view of me planing these legs down to size.
The next thing I set out
to do was to mark up the four leg pieces for the bevels that I wanted to
have at the bottom ends of each one. I then took them to the band
saw and rough cut the tapers on two sides of the ends of each leg as shown
here on the left. I cut about 1/32" outside of my marked lines to
allow for finish sanding to the lines later in the process.
After cutting the tapers
on the legs, I set them aside and moved on to preparing the pieces I wanted
to use for the vanity top. The top was going to be made from some
six quarter stock that I had in the shop. I needed to plane these
pieces (which I cut to a rough overall length) down to a 1 1/8" thickness.
After the planing process, I edge glued two 9 1/4" wide pieces and set
them aside until dry. The photos below shows the glued up top after
clamping them up (shown from some different angles).
After the clamps were removed
from the table top blank, I laid them aside along with the four legs with
the rough cut tapers on the side table of my table saw as shown here on
the right side of the page.
After the leg bevels were
rough cut, I clamped them to my workbench in
a manner as shown here in the top left photo prior to final sanding the
tapers with my belt sander
The next thing I did was
to mark the legs for the mortise locations after sanding the tapers.
(This is shown in the middle photo on the left)
The process for cutting the
mortises was the exact same procedure we used when my grandson and I made
the legs for his TV stand.
I used a 1/4 inch forstner bit on the drill press to rough drill the waste
material from the marked areas of the legs and then chiseled out the rest
of the waste to square up the cavities (You can see a photo of this process
in the lower left photo).
The picture on the right
(top photo) shows what the legs looked like laying on my work bench after
rough drilling the marked areas with the forstner bit on the drill press.
The view is just prior to chiseling out the excess wood.
I also had to make a recessed
hole on the inside face of the front two legs to hold a towel bar that
would be installed during the glue up. The towel bar has a 3/4" diameter
and I naturally used a 3/4" forstner bit and drilled the opening to a depth
of 1/2" deep. The lower photo on the right shows one of the legs
with the drilled hole.
The next thing on the agenda
was to cut the upper and lower side panels to their rough lengths (to accomodate
the cutting of the tenons) and the overall widths. Once this had
been done, I began the process of using my table saw and dado blades to
cut the tenons. This is shown here on the photo on the left.
I also used the band saw
in the process to trim out the excess material between the tenons after
the dado cuts were made. The lower photo on the left shows the panels
after the trimming was completed.
|Moving on, I
began assembling the end panels to the vanity legs for both sides of the
vanity (shown in the photo on the right). After the glue had dried,
I unclamped the assemblies and attached them to the remaining components
to make up the lower cabinet base. This included inserting the 3/4"
chrome towel bar between the front two legs of the cabinet (You can see
a photo of these end panels assembled in the cabinet along with the towel
bar further down the page).
It was about this point
that I moved back to the table top to prepare it for it's final appearance.
I used 1 1/2" radii on the front two corners and then routed a 1/4" wide
bevel around both sides and the front edges of the top. Lastly, I
drilled the through holes for the drain and faucet with forstner bits.
The photo on the right shows the top after this was all completed.
After the top was completed,
I decided to install the lower shelf into the cabinet base. But first,
I had to move the rough blank to my table saw and, using my panel sled,
cut it to the correct overall width. You can see that operation in
the left photo. After the width was cut, I then used my bandsaw to
cut out the notches so that it would fit between the four legs of the cabinet
(this operation not shown).
When the project got to
this stage, I measured the space for the lower drawer and began cutting
the pieces for the drawer sides and back as well as the bottom and the
drawer front. I used my Porter Cable 4212 dovetail jig to make the
joinery. As you can see from the photos below, this process took
several steps which included the dovetailing, fitting the bottom into the
drawer, cutting the drawer front to fit both the drawer (and its proper
fit into the cabinet opening).
At this point, the basic case
was completed all except for installing the lower shelf into the cabinet.
I began this process trying not to scratch the inside of the four legs
as I was doing so. What I did not show or mention previously was
that I had cut a lower piece to serve as a face frame to support and dress
up the front of the cabinet around the drawer opening.
After these pieces were assembled
and with the inserted panels in place, the project looked like the photo
below during the glue up.
While the cabinet was being
clamped and the glue drying, I moved on to making some corner braces for
mounting the top to the cabinet base. After the pieces were cut,
I made a jig that I could clamp to my workbench to hold the pieces steady
while drilling the mounting holes with my Kreg pocket hole jig (the pocket
holes would be used to screw into the side panels of the base cabinet).
After the four corner pieces had been through that process, I moved them
to the drill press to pilot drill the mounting holes that would be used
to install screws into the cabinet top through these mounting braces.
When completed, I installed the top to the cabinet base. The photos
below show some of those processes.
much to do after all the above other than prepare everything for the finish
being applied. As seen from the photo here on the right, I have the
main cabinet, the drawer and the drawer front sitting on my make-shift
finishing bench in my front garage (shop in rear building) ready for the
stain and final finish. I used mineral spirits to wash everything
down (completed after this photo was taken) and after everything had dried
overnight, I applied one coat of light oak stain and three heavy coats
of Minwax satin poly.
wife and I are really pleased with the way this project turned out (see
very top photo in this article above). It fits exactly in the small
area we had left in our small bathroom after remodeling it. Here's
how the cabinet looked after the stain and clear coating was applied and
the ceramic sink bowl and faucet installed just before we took it into
the bathroom to mount in the space we had available.
If you want to make any comments,
you are entirely welcome.....Just e-mail me.