Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Here is a pile of drawer parts that I cut out using my box joint jig and table saw. All told I had about 15 minutes in setup and about 45 minutes in cutting out the box joints and grooves for the plywood bottom. The hardest part about the whole process was just keeping the pieces straight so that I could cut them correctly. Because I am putting a face on the drawer, I didn't worry about any square holes that might be showing though I did put them so that the face would cover up the front facing ones. Later as I was test fitting everything, I did discover two pieces that had incorrectly cut box joints. One had the right spacing but the grooves for the corresponding fingers to seat in were too shallow. I must have gotten a chunk of debris underneath the piece as I was cutting it. The other one had the spacing off from the beginning so I must have had a chunk of debris between the piece and the stop block. So I had to put my dado blade back on, fix the one part and make another part and all was well.

Forgive the messy garage. It needs a good cleaning when all this is over with. In this picture I have everything glued and assembled. The clamps were to tweak the drawers a bit so that they were all square. Because I don't have nearly enough clamps to hold everything until the glue dries, I tacked the drawers together with my brad nailer just to hold the pieces in place while I got all the pieces put together. That worked pretty well. The left and right drawers are the top two drawers that go around the water lines and the p-trap drain assembly of the sink. The middle one is the bottom drawer which just has to go around the incoming water lines.

This picture just shows the top two drawers and how they are notched around the p-trap and water lines. I think this setup will make the vanity much more space efficient than a comparable one that you can get at a furniture store which typically has two or three small drawers on one side and a large open bay taking up most of the room. At least in our bathrooms, the large open bay has a myriad of stuff strewn across the bottom and nothing above it all the way to the sink.

Here I am beginning to install the decorative face plates onto the drawers. I just used a wooden paint stir stick as a shim and put some double sided tape on the drawer front. I then held the face plate up in place with the proper gap and pushed onto the double sided tape. I then opened the drawer and put some clamps to hold everything securely while I drilled and screwed the face on from the inside of the drawer. Everything lined up well and I am pleased with the results.

Here is a picture of the completed vanity complete with drawer handles. I am very happy with how things turned out. Other than plumbing the thing, making the vanity has been pretty straight forward with no real problems. The handles that I used were evidently some cheap ones from China because the threads were horrible. I know this because the screws they sent were too short and I had to go get some longer ones. Although I found some 8-32 screws in the right length, they wouldn't thread into the handles despite the thread pitch being identical. I checked 4mm metric ones and they didn't have the correct thread pitch so I know they were 8-32 threads. So I had to buy a tap and chase the threads out and everything went together smoothly.


Ron said...

It's looking good. If I ever rebuild our vanity, I'd like to do similar drawers. Even with the big notch, there still appears to be a lot of room.

Ed said...

Ron - Although there is less room than a store bought vanity of the same size, we can fit more stuff in it because it stores stuff more efficiently. I ended up cutting some 1/4" dividers out of some scrap plywood I had and dividing the top drawer up into compartments to keep all the little items from jumbling up and having to search for things. I just hot glued those in place so we can change them as needed.

Overall, I am pleased with the outcome and would do it again if we remodel one of our other bathrooms. I am now thinking about doing a minor garage remodel and building some drawers to store stuff in thanks to your comment awhile back. My woodworking stuff is very inefficiently stored and takes up a lot of space. I need to fix that as well as get it in cabinets and drawers so that it isn't always caked with dust whenever I go to use it.

edifice rex said...

Wow! very nice! that's gonna be one really nice bathroom.

Anonymous said...

How do you fill it. And what happens if it over runs. Is there a runoff slope and hole to take the inevitable spills.
I will say this you are certainly going the extra. :-)

Anonymous said...

I really like that vanity! Some very nice work Ed. Retirement seems to work very well for you.

Ed said...

Edifice Rex - I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I think I have a couple more posts before the final reveal but it is definitely one of those bathrooms that grabs my attention when I see them in other homes. Now I have one too.

Vince - There is a faucet not shown that was installed later. The original one we bought didn't work so we had to buy another one and it took a while for it to arrive and get installed. More on that in another post. One disadvantage of a basin sink is that there isn't any overflow except the floor. Since it is in our master bathroom where only my wife and I are using it, I figured that we can be pretty certain that either we will stop the water before it reaches that point or won't leave the faucet running when the drain is closed.

Woody - I never thought I would retire with kids in the house but now that I have, I've been enjoying myself. But I know I will get bored when the little one makes it to school and I will either have to step up my game in one or more of my hobbies or go back to work. I'm hoping for the former!