'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros  

'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros
                                                                   "Where woodworkers are not all Pros"
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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.
Red Oak Bathroom Vanity
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 aPlaning down the corner leg pieces. 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.

Cutting the tapers at the bottom of the leg pieces.
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).
View of top clamped to 
the front edge of my
table saw side support.
Clamped up top panels.
View showing the clamped up top from the back
side of my table saw
on the side support.

Clamped up top panel on support table.

Overall view of the top 
panels after glueup and 
being clamped prior to 
cutting to OA dims.
Overall view of clamped up top.

Rough cut table legs and top.

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.

Legs before sanding the tapers
View of vanity legs with the mortise locations marked.
Rough drilling out the waste from the marked locations.


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).

View of vanity legs after removing from drill press.
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.
Vanity leg showing towel bar hole after drilling.

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.

View of the panels after making the initial dado cuts on my table saw.
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.
View of panels after using the band saw to trim of the excess material.

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).   View of glued up end panel assembly.

View of Vanity Top after routing the edges and drilling the holes.
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.

Using panel sled to cut the lower shelf to size.
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).
Cutting the dovetails with the Porter Cable 4212 jig. Drawer pieces laid out prior to assembly. Clamped drawer after the glue up was completed.
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.
Final assembled cabinet prior to installing the drawer.

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.
Drilling pocket holes showing my home made hold-down jig. Drilling top mounting pilot holes on drill press. Mounting top using custom made mounting braces.

Base cabinet, drawer & drawer front ready for finishing to be applied.Not 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.

My 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.
View of cabinet and mounted components just prior to installing in our bathroom.

If you want to make any comments, you are entirely welcome.....Just e-mail me.


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