View Full Version : Project: Cherry Vanity For Guest Bath (COMPLETED)

Jim Becker
11-12-2006, 10:06 PM
So we're soon to invest a literal fortune in a major home addition. One area that I'm going to "sub to myself" is the cabinetry for two bathrooms and a laundry room. Today, I got started on the 36" vanity that will be in the guest bathroom. Now, far be it from me to go into this project without a plan, so I took about, oh...ten minutes...and made a plan:


Yea, meager, but at 8 1/2" x 11", it's bigger than a bar napkin. :D

So...we begin by preparing some thicker stock for the "legs"--this will be a simulated frame and panel construction. One of the cherry slabs I have in inventory (from an estate sale that Alan Turner, um...turned...me on to) has a bit of a crack in one end and is also shaped like a big smile. Perfect for what I need. :) Mark the section out that I want to work with using chalk...that should be enough.


And then use the Festool saw and guide to cut it out before further processing. I did need to finish one of these cuts with a hand saw as the material was just thicker than the blade in the ATF-55 could cut.


Next, it was off to the table saw to rip down a few boards that the legs would eventually be milled from. I intended to use just the outside areas of the slab for the legs (for straighter grain, etc), but one side had a bit more "ancient" bug activity than I was comfortable with, so the front two legs came from the other side and the back legs that will largely be out of sight came out of the middle section.


Those approximately 6" wide boards were then taken to the jointer and flattened. It's "very desirable" to have flat and true stock for these important cabinet corner components.


Jim Becker
11-12-2006, 10:07 PM
Next, the stock was thicknessed to 1 3/4".


Four legs were then ripped at the table saw and after jointing one face perpendicular to its neighbor, the stock was run through the planer to make it square.


These legs (corner columns) are the same height as the entire cabinet, so after crosscutting one end square, they were cross cut to length...which happens to be 32".


All four legs were ganged together with a clamp and then the layouts were done "story stick" style to account for the tapers, reveals and necessary rebates for construction. Doing it this way insures that everything lines up in the end and it also allows you to keep track of components in such a way that you don't end up with two left sides. (It happens... ;) )


The bottoms of each leg have a short taper from 1" square at the outside corner to the full 1 3/4" at 3" up. I made a quick and dirty jig to cut the tapers at the table saw from some scrap MDF and plywood strips.


Jim Becker
11-12-2006, 10:07 PM
Using the "quickie" jig, the tapers were cut at the table saw.


Meanwhile, back at the MFT, I took the cherry veneer MDF panels that I had left over from my mantel capper project and cross cut them to length. After the first cut, I remembered to put the good side down... :rolleyes:


I mentioned earlier that this was going to be a simulated frame and panel construction. In order to effect that on the side panels, I used some 1/4" thick cherry to make the upper and lower "rails", using only one swipe of glue across the middle of the solid stock and 23 gauge pins to hold these appliqués to the veneered MDF panels. This method insures that wood movement will not be an issue.


Back at the bench, I started working on the various notches and rebates necessary in the legs using "traditional" methods that included a hand saw and a sharp chisel. Here, I make the starting cuts.


And then move on to the chisel.


Jim Becker
11-12-2006, 10:07 PM
Several of the notches were more difficult as they could only be partially cut with the saw and the remainder of the material worked out with the chisel. Fortunately for me...they will not be visible, ahem...


Before assembling the panels to the leg columns, I set up the pocket hole drilling jig and provided six screw locations on each side of the panel that will be mating with the legs. The screws and glue will provide some of the strength, but internal blocking will insure things remain strong over time.


Priror to fastening the panels to the legs, I applied some painters tape to insure that any glue squeeze does not get onto the panels. The reveals would make removal of the same very difficult and quite visible after finishing.


I placed two 1/8" thick strips of wood on the bench top to hold the panels up from the surface. This would provide the reveal between the rails and the leg columns. Glue was applied on the edges of the panels, everything was aligned and the assembly was clamped to allow for the pocket screws to be installed.


Last in this sequence, a support was installed that will help hold the cabinet bottom in at the panel sides. Doing this now makes for easy access. Some additional blocking and supports will also be affixed before any cabinet assembly happens for the same reason.


Jim Becker
11-12-2006, 10:07 PM
And finally a couple shots of what the end panels look like after assembly. The one leaning up against Stubbalina is the side that will be next to the potty. I'll hopefully get back to this project next weekend...shop time during the week is highly unlikely... :rolleyes:



Jim O'Dell
11-12-2006, 10:54 PM
Yes, you were busy in the shop today!! Very nice. And a good start on this project. You'll have them ready to install long before the addition is finished at this rate! Jim.

Jim Becker
11-12-2006, 11:00 PM
This is the easy one, Jim. The master suite bath involves "his 'n hers" vanities as well as linen storage. Those vanities will be more complicated and much larger. The laundy is just utility cabinets, but there will be a lot of them. And I forgot to mention the possiblity of a small wet bar. And some new bedroom pieces. And a hall table... sheesh! I'm just going to have to spend time in the shop. (And teach Nastia how to do some things...she actually asked to help)

Ted Calver
11-12-2006, 11:04 PM
Great series of photo's Jim. You make it look all too easy. Thank you for taking the time to share this project with us. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

John Fry
11-12-2006, 11:53 PM
Nicely done Jim!

It looks like a great project and sounds like you've got your work cut out for you for a while.

Your photo essay is very well done and written up too. It was enjoyable to "follow along".

Roy Wall
11-12-2006, 11:59 PM

Thank you for the tutorial.....good stuff and efficient work!

The notches in the legs.....lower for the base/bottom panel...and the upper for a drawer divider section???
Also, the front leg has a long rabbet in the front to accept the framing for the drawer and doors?

Jim Becker
11-13-2006, 9:05 AM
Roy, the rabbet is in the back of the back legs to accomodate nailers and a back. The notches at the bottom are to make it easier to make and put a bottom in the case during assembly as well as make it lock together better. The notches in the top portion of the front legs/corner posts is to provide a way to lock in a rail under the drawers. This is definitely "non traditional" assembly, but I wanted to try some things out that I might potentially use for the larger vanities in the new Master Bath. I'm even toying with pre-finishing before final assembly, too.

John, one of the reasons I post these projects in the format I do is to show newer (and very part time) woodworkers that it's not really that hard to do meaningful projects. I am by no means a highly skilled woodworker...it's an avocational passion and I don't get to do that much work due to work and family responsiblities. If I can do this...most folks can do it. It's mostly about thinking things through and being willing to fail. Stuff happens. But you can't learn if you don't try. In the past, I rarely picked up a chisel or a hand plane or a hand saw. Now I do when it makes sense to do so. The reason for that is because I tried it out and it worked...what a concept!

John Renzetti
11-13-2006, 9:14 AM
Hi Jim, You are getting entirely too much time in your shop. (this coming from me who is off today and tomorrow and should be out there right now. )
When does the actual heavy construction start on the addition. How are they in your township for plans, setbacks, permits etc.
take care,

Jim Becker
11-13-2006, 9:24 AM
When does the actual heavy construction start on the addition. How are they in your township for plans, setbacks, permits etc.

We are near to contract signing...I'm meeting with the GC and HVAC guy this afternoon to discuss a few things and the architect is working on the final drawings so we can start the permitting process. In the mean time, my surveyor is working on the site/soil conservation-erosion/grading plans to clear that hurdle and the county starts testing for the septic flow updates on Thursday. In other words, money is flowing feverishly despite not even having the project under contract...sheesh!

Michael Fross
11-13-2006, 9:48 AM
Jim, thanks for the step by step. It's really interesting to me to see how other folks work and your step by step description was a great read. I look forward to seeing the remainder of this project.


Daniel Rabinovitz
11-13-2006, 10:40 AM
Yes! Thanks for the step by step.
It makes life easier when you can see what some else did and how they did it.
I had been working on 9 windows, made out of sassafras, 48 x 30 and one 72 x 24 for a maple sugar evaporation building. What fun!
Now working on a cherry toy box.
Daniel :cool:

Keith Beck
11-13-2006, 10:49 AM

As usual, another great project from you. With a lot more practice, I hope to one day be as good. One question though... who's that bearded guy in the pictures doing all the work? Is Paul Giamatti working part-time for you? :D


Jason Tuinstra
11-13-2006, 10:51 AM
Jim, great job so far. You got a lot done. Do you have someone snaping the shots for you or are they tripod/timer? Regardless, thanks for letting us in on this one. I'm sure it'll be a winner.

Jim Becker
11-13-2006, 10:56 AM
Jason, I use the timer on my D70 to take all the "action shots". One of the results of taking the pictures is that I have to stop and "smell the roses" as I work. On several occasions, it's resulted in catching a problem before I did something stupid. But not always... ;)

Art Mulder
11-13-2006, 12:26 PM
In other words, money is flowing feverishly despite not even having the project under contract...sheesh!

You're a woodworker, you're handy around the yard, you've got a home office for work, and you've got a construction project about to start...

To me this sounds like a dangerous combination. I think it would be far to easy to be out watching or helping the building along, and not hiding in the office getting work done! :eek:

David Less
11-14-2006, 4:29 AM

Thanks for the vanity step by step photos. It is very inspiring to us novice wood workers. I to am thinking of building a double sink vanity for our new addition. Please post the rest of your project when completed and also you larger vanity. It is a great help and motivater in veiwing the way someone else does it from scratch, especialy from a napkin.

P.S. I like your MM combo unit. When is the slider coming??



Neil Lamens
11-14-2006, 6:54 AM
Hey Jim:

COOL....man!!!! as for your 8.5x11 "canvas" in the first photo.........there's a "drawering" and there's a "plan"....... bet most of us go with the plan.

Excellent learning tool........what were you thinking leaving the good side up???:p

Looking forward to the next installation.


Karl Laustrup
11-14-2006, 7:13 AM
Glad the addition is really going forward. I know how you feel about bleeding money before any progress you can see has happened. Hope all goes well and dirt starts getting turned over very soon.

Thanks for the tutorial. Looking forward to the "rest of the story". ;)

I have a question about that drawing you made. What version of "Sketch Up" was used for that? :confused: ;) :D

Looks like you will be getting some "forced" shop time. That can't be all bad. :D


Jim Becker
11-14-2006, 8:04 PM
I have a question about that drawing you made. What version of "Sketch Up" was used for that?

That was the yellow number two version of "Scketch Up"...red would have been too much like, umm...well...you know... ;-) ...a color I don't prefer to have in the shop too much... :eek:

Jim Becker
11-19-2006, 9:30 PM
Getting back to work on this project, it was time to prepare stock for the aprons and door rails/stiles. When I constructed the sides of the cabinet from the left-over cherry veneer MDF core sheet stock, I chose to use the straight/rift grain side for "show". For these apron pieces and door components, I wanted the same and luckily found a nice board in the stack that was perfect for the job. Since all of these components will come from one board, (and I'm matching things side-by-side and up 'n down), the end result should be a unified look. (The panels and wide top apron containing two drawers will be more figured stock...more on that later)

This post will be somewhat boring for experienced woodworkers, but it's necessary to tell the story...so here are five shots of material preparation.

The board I was working with had been skim-planed after it was acquired. So the first thing was to rip it down in rough widths so I could lay out the components with chalk.


Next, it was off to the CMS to cut each component to rough length...leaving a couple extra inches for good measure.


Each component was then face jointed flat...it's preferable to do this when the material has been made shorter. In fact, one pass was all that was necessary.


Then one edge was made straight and perpendicular to the face that was previously flattened.


Lastly, each component was run through the thickness planer to bring it to well...final thickness, alternating sides to insure that equal amounts of stock are removed to avoid moisture differences as best as possible.


Jim Becker
11-19-2006, 9:30 PM
Once the stock was prepared, it was time to get some components to final length and fitted. The first piece is the bottom apron which will have a nice arch to lighten the look of the cabinet.

The first step is to lay out the arc using a flexible piece of wood.


Said curve is then cut at the bandsaw "to the line"...


And then the curve is sanded smooth at the OSS.


Lastly, pocket screw holes are milled into the ends of the piece...I'm using a lot more pocket screw assembly on this piece than I've done before and really like it. In fact, as you'll see before today's pictures are finished, this method actually is allowing me to do a "strong" dry fit which in turn makes sizing the extra support components and back a snap...just measure directly off the workpiece!


The lateral rail that fits into the notches about 8 inches below the top front of the carcass sides needed to be notched to interlock with the corner posts. That was taken care of with one quick cut at the table saw and a finishing cut (and refinement with a sharp chisel) at the bench.


Jim Becker
11-19-2006, 9:31 PM
Once those two front lateral components were prepared, it was time to start the dry fit on the bench. I clamped a couple of assembly squares on the end of the bench to support the left side, installed the bottom apron and upper lateral rail (raised off the bench 1/8" for the required reveal) and then added the right side, using two more assembly squares to provide support as I worked. No glue has been used at this point...just pocket screws (not cranked down hard) and friction fit on the upper/mid rail. The sides were shimmed vertical to account for the setback of the side panels/faux rails and the corner posts.


At that point, I could measure directly off the piece (and confirm with simple math) the lengths of the top and bottom back rails and 1/4" thick cabinet back...all shown installed here. Again, pocket screws hold the rails in place.


Once I checked for square, I took a final measurement for the 3/4" plywood cabinet bottom and started out by cutting the stock to length at the Festool MFT...'never thought I love that thing as much as I do! ;)


The bottom panel was then ripped to width at the table saw...and brought back for a slight narrowing after the initial dry fit attempt proved "too tight".


I had also chosen and prepared a more figured board to be used for the wide top apron...the intention being to have continuous grain across the face, including the inset drawer fronts. With the carcass on the bench, it was easy to make the necessary measurments directly off the workpiece to size this to exact width and determine the rip point to take off the top piece that will be stationary above the drawers. Then, the drawer faces were cross-cut out, leaving a center piece to be reassembled to the top rail with a nearly invivisble glue joint.


Jim Becker
11-19-2006, 9:31 PM
The results of this weekend's few hours in the shop are pleasing. The dry fit worked out great and since I can disassemble everything, it gives me the chance to do a lot of final sanding and even pre-finish components if I choose to do so. I'll think about the latter between now and when I get back on this project...I have a few days of joyful deck demolition to bide my time!

Here's the dry assembled carcass without the drawer fronts:


And with the drawer fronts:


And for anyone wondering about how I can fit such wide drawers in a vanity...this one will have an above-the-counter bowl that only needs space for plumbing to move vertically into the cabinet. Hence, the narrow center stile between the 13" wide drawers.

Terry Hatfield
11-19-2006, 10:48 PM

Beautimus!!! I really like the arched lower rail and the leg tapers. They give the piece a very elegant look. Nice job on the pics too!!! LOML really likes those "on the couter sinks" but I still say they look like somebody forgot to put the dishes away. :D :D I know, I know...they are all the rage now and I'm out of date as usual. :p


Robert Goodwin
11-19-2006, 10:52 PM
Very nice work. It must be nice to get to the skill level that you can accomplish so much in a short amount of time. I have not gotten there – yet. Thanks for posting pictures. This way I can live vicariously through other creekers until my kids are old enough that I can get a few more hours in the shop. Not that I am complaining. My kids are my life.

How about instead of a vanity, you hang a router in the top of that thing!:cool:
Good work!!!

Jerry Olexa
11-19-2006, 11:07 PM
Nice job and thanks for the pics...Enjoying seeing your progress on the project.

Jim Becker
11-20-2006, 9:36 AM
How about instead of a vanity, you hang a router in the top of that thing!

Let's just say that if the world crashed and burned and the very expensive addition project went down with it...this would make a very nice router table. LOL!

I really like the arched lower rail and the leg tapers. They give the piece a very elegant look.

I agree. I didn't realize how nice the combination would look until I did this assembly work and put it down on the floor. It's quite striking. In fact, I like it so much that I may duplicate it for the two larger vanities that will go in the master bath as well as the bases for other cabinetry.

Art Mulder
11-20-2006, 10:02 AM
Long sleeves in the workshop! Watch out or "Nahm" will revoke your license... :cool:

And yeah, what they said, lovely piece, and I like the "furniture" feel that your giving this piece of cabinetry.

But I am puzzled about the drawers. This is a vanity for the guest bathroom. To me, that means a sink goes in the top. But you've got two drawers in it !?!? How is that working? Is this one of those modern style sinks where the bowl is mostly sitting out on top of the vanity?


Jim Becker
11-20-2006, 12:02 PM
But I am puzzled about the drawers. This is a vanity for the guest bathroom. To me, that means a sink goes in the top. But you've got two drawers in it !?!? How is that working? Is this one of those modern style sinks where the bowl is mostly sitting out on top of the vanity?

Post #27. Last Paragraph. Yes, raised bowl. ;)

Matt Paldy
11-20-2006, 12:40 PM
As a newer woodworker, you're project photos and explanation are great! I only hope to make stuff like you someday!
Matt Paldy

Jerry Strojny
11-20-2006, 12:46 PM
I enjoy these tutorials immensely. Keep em coming. You've always had good advice when I post, I thank you for that. Can't wait to see more on this and future projects.

Jim Becker
11-27-2006, 2:34 PM
I had a few hours in the shop on Sunday and pretty much completed the carcass construction on this project, including the support structure for the drawers. Bucking the trend in kitchen and bath, I'm using traditional runners, rather than metal drawer slides. The only thing that I believe I'll have to add to the carcass is some support on the sides for the door hinges...I don't want to screw into MDF core and there is a 5/8" offset between the corner posts and the carcass sides, too. I'll mill solid stock for that and mount with wood movement in mind.

So, here are a few pictures from this installment of the project:

The first step was to put the piece back on the bench and apply glue to the joints since the "dry fit" passed muster


While it was on the bench, a false base was constructed, both to hide pipes coming through the floor as well as make cleaning around the cabinet easier...no fishing for dust bunnies! The look of the piece is "furniture", but the function needs to be "cabinetry". It will be painted black to "disappear" into the background.


And in the same token, it was easier to take off measurements for the drawer support structure directly from the carcass while it was up on the work surface.


The rear of the drawer support plane needed to be notched to fit into/integrate with the rear corner posts. (I didn't notch out the posts in the back) This was done at the band saw.


And when it was time to head inside to clean up and head for "family dinner out", this is where the project stood. (literally, come to think of it! :D )


Next steps include building the doors and drawers. And then it gets finished and "put away" until it's needed.

Benjimin Young
11-27-2006, 3:43 PM
Jim, I am one of those newer/part time and I realy apreciate the information. Thanks!!

Art Mulder
11-27-2006, 3:51 PM
And then it gets finished and "put away" until it's needed.

Put away... How many months? Oh well.

Looks sweet, Jim. I bet working on this kind of makes the whole project seem more real? Well, that and signing your life away that mortgage document... :(

Jim Becker
11-27-2006, 5:18 PM
Put away... How many months?
I will guess that installation of said vanity will be, umm...6-8 months away if things go smoothly...

Just last night at dinner we were mulling over the storage options for the various pieces of cabinetry on "the list". I'd love to put them above the shop, but it may be difficult to do so because of access...narrow stairway with a bend right at the bottom. I have a ton of space up there. Someday I'll have double doors to the outside upstairs, but right now...I don't.

I bet working on this kind of makes the whole project seem more real? Well, that and signing your life away that mortgage document...
Yes, very real (as did the deck demolition) and...."oh, my" on the second point....Thankfully, the rates mitigated a bit recently and our current mortgage holder made a really good offer that included minimal closing costs. (title ins, appraisal and pre-paid interest only after the $500 affinity benefit due to my employer and painless documentation) 5.875% is a lot more comfortable than where it was only a month ago. Of course, we're forced to give up our 4.625% 15 year loan...we hit "rock bottom" on the curve back in 2003 when we did a re-fi that paid off handsomely. But we really do need the space and bathrooms...and moving would be more costly for comparable land, etc. We checked that out carefully during the due-diligence work for the project.

Art Mulder
11-27-2006, 6:37 PM
Someday I'll have double doors to the outside upstairs, but right now...I don't.

There you go then. That's next week's project. Couple of "hay loft" doors for your shop should be a breeze...

(It's so easy spending other people's money and giving other people jobs to do... :cool: )

Jim Becker
11-27-2006, 7:50 PM
It's crossed my mind, Art. Unfortunately, my tastes tend to pre-hung insulated doors "just in case" I ever do finish the upstairs. But I may have to consider something simpler in an appropriate rough-in as well as security, thereof...

Dave Malen
11-27-2006, 8:08 PM
I enjoyed reading your tutorial. Nice commentary and photography. You know - with work like that you could put up your own website:D


Jim Becker
11-27-2006, 8:32 PM
I enjoyed reading your tutorial. Nice commentary and photography. You know - with work like that you could put up your own website

Thanks, Dave...I keep forgeting I actually have a web site...it's been eons since I did anything with it. Maybe soon...in my copious free time.

Jason Tuinstra
11-27-2006, 9:16 PM
Hey, glad to see you got some time in the shop. It's coming along nicely. Keep up the good work. What are you thinking for the doors as far as construction? How are you going to do the panels? Have fun!

Jim Becker
11-27-2006, 9:31 PM
What are you thinking for the doors as far as construction? How are you going to do the panels? Have fun!
Flat panel doors. The rails and stiles are straight/rift grain cherry that somewhat match the side panels. The door panels will be...well...maybe curly cherry; maybe QS sycamore. I have to ponder that over this week before I start resawing something. :o

Jim Becker
12-02-2006, 10:56 PM
I was blessed with a few hours in the shop today, so I got back on the vanity project...specifically working on the two doors. Earlier in the week, I had a meeting in the DC area with a, umm..."government agency"...and due to certain family things, I elected to drive. On the way home, I took a little detour from I-95 over to Hearne Hardwoods (http://www.hearnehardwoods.com) and picked up a nice piece of cherry crotch to use for the door panels. I wanted something that would contrast with the straight-grained rift material I set aside for the rails and stiles and thought that a nice book-matched crotch would work well for that. I think I was right, as you'll see in a bit.

So here is the starting point...one small cherry crotch board. ($45...which is the only material I have bought for this project outside of what was already on-hand from previous projects and "inventory") Has a nasty bit of cracking on one end and a knot, but the portion I need for re-sawing will be just fine.


Just to make the board easier to deal with, I first jointed a straight edge on one side.


It was then off to the table saw to rip a parallel edge and get rid of a little of some yucky stuff I know will not be needed. (Both edges will need to be re-jointed slightly after the board is flat and of even thickness...not doing so would make re-sawing it accurately a real problem)


Back to the jointer to flatten the face of the board.


And this is the preliminary result...ready for thicknessing.


Jim Becker
12-02-2006, 10:56 PM
So quite obviously...it's time to make the other face parallel. By the time all was done, I was left with a 3/4" thick blank for re-sawing...just right for two 1/4" thick flat panels.


Now, I didn't want to re-saw something of an uneven shape, so I cross cut off what was not needed, leaving a blank to re-saw that was a few inches longer than the finished panel. That gave me some breathing room when doing final sizing of the panels later.


And here is the panel blank ready for re-sawing after a quick return to the jointer to make sure the edges were perpendicular to the faces.


I put the 1" TriMaster (carbide tipped blade) back on the MM16 to insure I would get the cleanest and most accurate cut I was able to. I also installed the magnetic feather boards to act as some extra hands, keeping the board against the fence. A slow cut made for two panels, ever so slightly different in thickness. No biggie...that's what we have other tools for!


Both panels were returned to the thickness planer to clean up the sawn faces and get them to 1/4" thick. Honestly, there was almost a nasty accident that could have rendered one of the panels useless...a piece of the knot tore off during planing and it was not pretty. Fortunately, the damage was confined to an area that wouldn't affect the finished panel. Sheesh! And here is a quick look at one of the oversize panels with a little alcohol to highlight the figure.


Jim Becker
12-02-2006, 10:57 PM
I really like working with "story sticks" when fitting things to projects. I created one for these doors to plot out the exact width of the cabinet opening so I could size the rails & stiles while accounting for planned gaps. The front side lays out the total opening and the back has the projected lengths of both the rails and stiles for consistant transfer.


One important task is to decide the best combination of component material for the stiles and the rails of each door so they look unified. Here, I'm comparing grain and coloration...as you can see, the one on the right is a little darker. Flipping it over solved the problem. I had inadvertantly reversed that one on the bench. (I actually cut these out of the board in matched pairings and marked them. Silly me missed the mark on that one on the end when I plopped them on the bench) Once that was done, they could be marked and cut for length.


While I marked each component with the story stick, I also used stops at the TS when crosscutting them to length to insure that all the stiles and all the rails were exactly the same length. Here, you can see a stop clamped to the saw table that lets me set up each stile on the miter gauge before pushing through the cut. This is more accurate than just going by a line on the edge of the wood.


And the same procedure is used with the rails, except the stop is clamped to the auxiliary fence on the miter guage since these components are short enough to do that with.


With everything cut, I layed them out on the bench to have a look-see...


Jim Becker
12-02-2006, 10:57 PM
Since I decided to assemble the doors with pocket screws (why not?), I opted to use the router table to groove the rails and stiles for the panels. Here's one of the rails being processed...just a straight cut down the length.


The stiles need the grooves to be stopped, so I marked the fence so I could drop the stile onto the cutter and pull it off at the appropriate points.


This is the end result after routing...


Each rail then received four pocket screw holes...two on each end


Before committing to the "good material" for the panel, I calculated the proper size and cut a sample out of 1/4" MDF to insure that everything fit together properly. It did...


Jim Becker
12-02-2006, 10:57 PM
Given the succesful dry fit, I took the oversize panel blanks to the table saw and cut them to the proper dimensions. "Measure twice...cut once..." is an important thing here. One misread of the fence scale could be very costly!


And another full dry fit with the crotch panels. (One stile needed adjustment of the groove length...the table was still setup for it, so that was a quick step) Oh, these things are going to look nice!


In case I'm not clear about the grooves being full length on the rails and stopped on the stiles, here's a picture that shows things clearly.


The panels need to go through part of the finishing process before assembling the doors. That starts with sanding them to remove any machining marks. These were sanded up through 180. (The rails and stiles will also be sanded before assembly, especially the inside surfaces that would be hard to sand once the panel is in place)


Just before the end of the shop session, I applied some BLO (which is my first finishing step for cherry and other species I like to work with) I only used a thin coat so I would be able to get some de-waxed shellac on the panel tomorrow sometime. I did this with my recent Tiger Maple Candle Stand (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=32449) project and was pleased with the results.


Jim Becker
12-02-2006, 11:26 PM
Ok...I needed one more post to show the oiled panels. And here they are...


Now, I have to say, if I were going to be doing a lot of these doors, I'd use veneer. Resawing this kind of touchy material is really time consuming and, umm...stressful.

Assuming I get some shop time tomorrow, I'll deal with sanding the rails and stiles, shellacking the panels and assembling the doors. Maybe I'll get to the drawer boxes. Maybe not.

Jason Tuinstra
12-03-2006, 12:45 AM
Looks like a very productive day in the shop. The cherry looks perfect for this application. Real nice eye in getting this piece. Keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to seeing it done... and so is my wife - not that she needs any ideas.

jonathan snyder
12-03-2006, 1:19 AM
Those cherry panels are beautiful! Great work.


David Rose
12-03-2006, 1:24 AM
Uh, Jim... QUICK! Go back up to selecting rails and styles for the panels. It is not that the right one is darker. The third one is LIGHTER. Oh, don't glue it up yet! Well, if you have, you can start over on these pieces. :D :eek:


Jim Becker
12-03-2006, 8:40 PM
So...I got out to the shop a little earlier than normal (I'm not a morning person...) since I knew I had to stop by about 2:15p...we were headed out to a holiday concert and had to leave by 3pm to get there on time.

The day started with getting the book-matched panels coated with some shellac. Prefinishing panels part of the way makes things easier later as there will be no tell-tale bare edges should the panel shrink seasonally. I pre-warmed the shellac as it was a very cool evening the night before...a water bath did the trick.


Another important step after thoroughly sanding the carcass was to give it a good wipe down with mineral spirits to remove any dust and abrasive grit. It was also an opportunity to spy any stray glue so it could be dealt with appropriately.


I mentioned earlier that it was a little chilly out so while I was working on a few other things, I warmed up some BLO so I could get a thin coat on with ease. Yes, that is a water bath and the heat is on low... ;)


The combination of yesterday's thin application of BLO and today's quick "coat and a half" of de-waxed shellac made for two really pretty door panels.


And once the shellac was dealt with, the carcass got its own little oil massage...


Jim Becker
12-03-2006, 8:40 PM
I mentioned earlier that I intended to use pocket screws to assemble the doors and it was "that time" once the shellac was dry. Here I get to work assembling the first panel at the bench.


One of the things I really like about this method is that you get a strong joint that is spot-on true with relative ease...and no fancy calculations to account for the length of tenons, etc. Your rails are exactly the length of the space between the stiles. On the downside, you do have the pocket holes on the back side of the door and have to decide if you care about them or if you want to plug them. On this project, I'm leaving them. This is for a low-use bathroom and the doors will not be open much at all.

And here's how the first door looks after applying the screws...no clamps; perfectly square.


It was then time to sand the doors. The backs and fronts were power sanded with the ROS.


The edges were hand-sanded and the corners knocked down with 220 grit at the same time to insure finish adhesion. (sharp corners are a problem for that)


The edges of the doors that "meet in the middle" had to be beveled slightly to insure that they swing on their hinges without interfering with each other. About a minute with the block plane took care of each edge.


Jim Becker
12-03-2006, 8:40 PM
So when it was time to turn off the heat and lights, the carcass was oiled and the doors completed. You can see the doors in this picture with the rails and stiles oiled up, too. These really are very nice...I almost have to do this same design for the master bath!! (But will likely use veneer for the panels...as I mentioned before, re-sawing that stuff is a bit stressful)


Next weekend it's time to build the drawer boxes, fit the drawer fronts and proceed with the final finishing if there is time. And I also need to think about where I'm going to put all this stuff I'm building for the addition...it will not be needed for about 8-9 months probably. 'May have to build some doors on the outside of the shop upstairs 'cause the shop isn't big enough and there is no room in the house. Sheesh! :o

John Daugherty
12-03-2006, 9:48 PM

Great looking doors. I really like the look!

Lars Thomas
12-04-2006, 9:25 AM
Jim, it's coming along great. Nice job on the panels. Lars

Jim Becker
12-09-2006, 10:37 PM
I managed a few hours in the shop today working on this enjoyable vanity project. One of the things I'm enjoying about this one is the alternative methods and materials I chose to explore, knowing that I have a lot of additional cabinetry work on my card over the next 9 months or so. Today brought a few of them "to the table"...the assembly table, that is!

Once I got home from taking Alesya to dance class, stopping to see if the fellow I'm going to order my trailer...err...lumber hauler...from was in (not...) and a quick hello at Creeker Robert Tarr's house at the request of the same daughter, it was time to get into the shop and back to work. The first job of the day was to put the Rockler 35mm hinge drilling jig together. I'm using Blum Euro Hinges for this project (a first for me) and it was a good excuse for a new tool. :) That didn't take too long at all.

Next, I made a new drilling jig for the cabinet side of the hinge. The Rockler "Jig-It" is designed for straight Euro cabinets and although it accommodates inset doors, it was not designed for the 1/8" reveal provided by the doors and other components that are stepped back from the face of the corner posts. Using the existing jig as a guide, I manufactured a new one with the desired 1/8" offset from some 1/8" Lexan and scrap 1/4" MDF.


Like many of the previous measuring tasks with this project, I made a story stick to allow marking of both the cabinet and the doors for the hinge drilling. There is a planned 1/16" gap top and bottom and the hinges are mounted 3" down and up, respectively. One things to remember for this kind of thing...always mark the top so you use it to measure in the exact same orientation every time. This is important in case you make minor boo-boos when you are marking the stick...you at least need the hinge parts to match exactly on the cabinet and the door stile!


Here I use the new jig to mark the cabinet for the hinge components that are installed in that area. You can see that I had to block out the front of the cabinet side flush with the corner post to work with these hinges properly. The jog between the corner post and the cabinet side was too far back to treat things as a face frame installation...so I planed a piece of cherry to 5/8" to bring things out flush. It's glued in the front to the post and side and has screws in the back in oversized holes to allow that piece of solid wood to move seasonally. The MDF core veneer under it will not move.


Obviously, the next step is to drill pilot holes at the marked positions. I should note that I'm taking full advantage of my Adjust-A-Bench...it's at the lowest setting and makes all this fitting work very comfortable. I don't have to sit on the cold floor, nor reach overhead as I would with a normal height bench.


Before I attack my beautiful doors with a big, fat, 35mm drill bit, I want to make sure that 1) I understand the drilling procedure, 2) that the jig is set up properly and 3) that the hinges will actually work correctly in my cabinet. Remember, I haven't used this hardware in the past. So I cut a sacrificial "stile" out of some scrap identical in length and width to those in the doors, marked and drilled them.


Jim Becker
12-09-2006, 10:37 PM
Drilling the "naked" stile was a little harder than the door will be merely due to the clamping situation. I chose to just use the vice and drill horizontally. I'll say right now that I'm NOT impressed with the Rockler bit. If I were going to be doing a lot of these (and I may be...) a better cutter is going to be needed, IMHO. Or maybe I need to do some serious sharpening/honing...


Hmm...the test fit with the sacrificial stile worked out well. Very strange...I followed the directions and it's spot on. Go figure! :p


SO....time to move on to the real doors. (Gulp...) First they get marked...


Then the big holes get drilled...no turning back now, baby... :o


Drill pilot holes for the screws....


Whew....I wonder if I did this right...:eek:

Jim Becker
12-09-2006, 10:38 PM
Well...I am thinking that I managed to do it right and I'm very pleased with the results. I never thought I'd say it, but the adjustability on these hinges is really wonderful. And easy. That last part is a nice feature.


Ok...carcass is done. Doors are done. Time to build some drawers. Time to play with a new way to build said drawers...pocket screws. :p I was impressed by the results that Mark Singer got on a few projects using this technique and decided that this would be a fine place to try them out. There are only two drawers and if I don't like things...I either live with it on this one and do dovetails on the rest or use the components as kindling for the wood stove and build new drawers. What the heck?

So, to get started I need to mark out the drawer components on the 1/2" poplar I chose to use for this function. Simple white chalk will do. I like to break things down before edge jointing as shorter pieces are quicker and easier to work with.


Once rough cut, I quickly hit the edges at the jointer to provide one edge worthy of riding along the table saw fence as they are all ripped to width.


These drawers will have sides that are 5 1/2" tall, so the sides, fronts and backs are ripped to that width. Because I am not using drawer slides, I'm going to put a "false back" on the drawers that will act as an anti-tipping mechanism for each drawer (more on that when I get to that point) and a limit stop so that the drawers cannot fall out of the cabinet. The "real" backs will effectively be forward such that the user will think that they have a full-extension drawer situation. (Yea, the latté was really good the day I thought of this idea... :D)


The fronts, backs and "other backs" were sized at the TS using a miter gauge and a stop block clamped to the table.


Jim Becker
12-09-2006, 10:38 PM
The sides, being longer, couldn't have the stop clamped in the same way, so I flipped the miter gauge to the other slot and used the fence with a wood block to provide a means of duplicating all four to exactly the same length. (Note...the wood I'm cutting is not touching the fence during the pass through the blade)


Next is was off to the "pocket screw drilling station" over at the miter bench to put a few angled holes in the fronts, backs and "other backs" for later drawer assembly. Note that these screws will not be visible once the drawers are assembled. The false drawer fronts will hide those in, um...the front...and the back(s) will be encased in the cabinet.


Unlike drawers made with half-blind dovetails where you can just run a dado down the inside of all four drawer components (as long as the groove lines up with a pin), the fronts and backs for these pocket screw drawers need to have a stopped groove routed to hold the drawer bottom. That was done at the router table and it was the exact same setup I had used for the rails and stiles earlier in this project...I had left it in place for that purpose, too.


And the 100th picture in this project pictorial (really...count 'em), is a nice portrait of a few drawer components anxiously awaiting some sanding and assembly into their destiny...which will be revealed in the "next episode" of this continuing saga of "as the vanity grows" :D :D :D


Jason Tuinstra
12-09-2006, 11:11 PM
Jim, great job so far. Look like you've got quite a bit of done since last I checked in. Everything's looking great. Keep it up. Thanks for the informative updates.

Jim Becker
12-09-2006, 11:15 PM
Jason, that first picture in post #62 is of something that really made me smile...the first look at what the finished piece will be. Only the oil is on, but I'm very pleased with this project with only one minor thing that really will not matter in the end. Thanks for your kind words!

Jason Tuinstra
12-09-2006, 11:24 PM
Yea, it's looking fantastic! Nothing like those sneak peaks along the way to keep you going. But alas, all this work and the plan is to have it sit. Perhaps you could find someone in the neighborhood to lease it for awhile :D :p

David Klug
12-10-2006, 12:05 AM
Jim I like your drawing, looks like something that I would do. If you keep up with the step by step story you're liable to have your own TV show and give Norm a run for his money. LOL


Jerry White
12-10-2006, 12:08 AM
Yeah, Jim, it is really looking great! Thank you for all your efforts in getting the process recorded in pictures. An excellent tutorial!

Looking forward to the next installment.


Howie French
12-10-2006, 12:23 AM
Jim, the vanity looks great, I really like the doors and I also like this style very much. One question, the jig from Rockler for drilling the 35mm holes, can this be used on a drill press, I would think it would be much easier if it could.
I ask this because shortly, I will be installing hinges like this for the first time (on a cherry vanity no less).

Thanks for the tutorial, I have enjoyed it.


lou sansone
12-10-2006, 6:08 AM
hi jim
thanks for the post. nice looking piece and I like the fact that you don't over do the drawing stage of things. you have a good eye for design. I have a bunch of cherry crotch and wondered how it might look once it was sawn up ( its now in 16/4 thickness from a pretty big cherry tree ). It is a lot of work to snap all those photos and write up the details. good job on the fitting of the drawers and doors .. best wishes

Karl Laustrup
12-10-2006, 7:43 AM
Thanks for taking the time to document this project Jim. The teaser pic of what the vanity is going to look like when done is great. That cherry is really nice. :)


Mike Cutler
12-10-2006, 8:42 AM
Everything looks very nice Jim. That's going to be a beautiful vanity when finished.
The cherry crotch panels with the staight grain carcass are a nice aesthetic contrast.

Jerry Olexa
12-10-2006, 10:23 AM
Looks good, Jim!! Beautiful work and love the look of the wood and the natural finish. Came together nicely. Thanks for the tutorial. Nice job!

Jim Becker
12-10-2006, 10:47 AM
One question, the jig from Rockler for drilling the 35mm holes, can this be used on a drill press, I would think it would be much easier if it could.
Howie, this jig will not work on the DP, but when I do future projects, I think I'll use the DP for the job. The trick will be to set up the fence on the DP so that the center of the 35mm hole is in the right place relative to the edge of the stiles. It was an experiment. I think that the jig is well-thought out for its intended purpose which includes portablity. But it's just too much work to do this with a hand-held drill if the option of a DP is available.

But alas, all this work and the plan is to have it sit.
Indeed. That is frustrating, but necessary. I think that rather than consider paying for storage space, I may just put the time and money into putting access doors from the outside in the upstairs of the shop...I need that for the future, anyway as I'd like to move my lumber storage up there to create more shop space. I have room on the miter station for "special" material and would quite happy to have the other "inventory" out of sight and out of the way.

It is a lot of work to snap all those photos and write up the details.
One would think, but I've gotten a system down at this point. As I work through the project, I try to think what steps are important to anyone I might be explaining things to and let the camera take a shot at each of those points. I use a tripod and the shutter timer and most of the time, the shots are not posed, but the real work being done. It doesn't really delay my work and the brief break is actually good for pacing. Once I'm out of the shop and have the pictures dumped onto the computer, I keep a little note sheet in front of me as I do the editing to make them web-compatible (size, etc) so that when I start to write the posts, I have one to three words in front of me about each shot. That makes the writing easy and fast. The four posts from last night took about 30-30 minutes including the photo editing.

Spending this time is worth it to me if even one person is inspired to try something new or tackle a project they had been hesitant to do. I am not a very skilled woodworker...I don't get enough time to build my skills. But I'm not afraid to jump in and just do it. Worse case, there is some extra fire starter.

Jim I like your drawing, looks like something that I would do. If you keep up with the step by step story you're liable to have your own TV show and give Norm a run for his money. LOL
I don't think I could afford that...and Norm has forgotten twenty times the things I am yet to learn. (I do have an excellent video camera. The problem with that format is that it's a lot more work than taking stills, really would slow down the work {and time is already scarce} and it's expensive to distribute video directly. I don't prefer the You-Tube type thing)

Thanks for all the kind comments, folks. Stay tuned...more to come!

John Miliunas
12-10-2006, 11:59 AM
Hey dude, lookin' might fine there! Love that Cherry...Wonderful figure it's got going. :) Also, greatly appreciate the "step-by-step"; very nice to see how things go together and what it takes to get them that far. Well done, my friend! :) :cool:

Jim Becker
12-16-2006, 10:30 PM
So...back in the saddle again on a Saturday. Very kewel, considering all the normal rat-racing around that the day generally brings. But I did get in the shop about 2pm and worked until about 6:30. It was productive.

We'll start with one picture left over from last Sunday when I had, oh...maybe 15 minutes in the shop before a, umm...family situation...changed the day's plans. Very exciting. Sanding drawer parts. But I was in the shop and using power tools...


Cutting the drawer bottoms was equally exciting...


As you may recall from previous episodes of this continuing saga, of "As the vanity turns", I decided to try out using pocket screws for the drawer assembly...just for grins. Let's just say they are a little trickier to use in this thinner 1/2" material, but I found that clamping additional support blocks insured that the screws stopped blowing out material where they exit the piece close to the edge. Here, you can see a drawer front being attached to a drawer side. The block clamped behind the piece supports the wood fibers to prevent the problem. I also switched to driving the screws manually, rather than with the drill/driver. The poplar is soft enough that this isn't hard and there is less of a chance of "over driving" them that way.


And a drawer back after the other side was joined and the bottom slipped in. Please note that for my drawer design, there is a second "back" at the very rear of the drawer...more on that in a moment.


And a finished drawer ready for fitting. (Note...that's a segue.... :D )


Jim Becker
12-16-2006, 10:30 PM
The intial fit of the drawers revealed that a little bit of massaging was necessary for smooth operation. Here, that mysterious second back piece comes into play...it's 1/4" taller than the drawer box and is designed to be the "anti-tip" mechanism. It runs just below that piece that goes front to back, centered above the drawers...or at least it's supposed to. In this photo, it starts to bind right about...there.


A few swipes with the block plane clears that problem up and the drawer will now slide all the way back with no issues...on the top.


Next, the test fit indicated that the left side right at the back of the drawer was binding. Again, the block plane (not visible in this poorly framed photo) is used to ease a little material off (that area will be hidden) and this drawer fits as designed. The other drawer needed the same slight height adjustment on the top of the "anti-tip" back and was a bit snung laterally. That was taken care of with a very light pass on the jointer and then resanded to remove the machining marks.


Once the drawer were operating smoothly, it was time to mark where they need to stop when they are pulled all the way out...that being defined as when the "inside" back of the drawer is flush with the face frame. Yes, ladies and gentlemen...I'm simulating full-extension drawers without using drawer slides. :)


This neat little turnbuckle arrangement is what stops the drawer from coming all the way out...normally. It catches the "back" back, but rides above the "inside" back. It's lined up with that mark that was just made in the previous photo.


Jim Becker
12-16-2006, 10:30 PM
Now, it's certainly necessary to provide for the drawer to be removed, so here is how the turn-latch can be pushed up to effect that feature. Just reach into the drawer and firmly push it back and up.


Now that the drawers are functional, it's time to drill and place the drawer fronts onto the drawer boxes. Yes, they will come off for final finishing, but doing this work now means that if any size adjustments are needed or if any scratches occur, those changes can just be re-oiled. So, the drawer fronts are blocked up with shims to the required height position and held in place with a couple of boards clamped to the carcass.


With the drawer fronts held securely in place, a countersink drill (adjusted to 1" depth) is used to drill through the drawer box and into the drawer fronts. Two holes for two trim-head screws. Needless to say, said screws get screwed...as screws are often tasked to do.


And the end result looks quite nice. Not as dramatic as dovetails (less work, however...) but quite strong with the glue and screws.


Ok...drawers are dealt with. Time to move on to the door pulls. I decided to use some black walnut for these items and will also figure something out using the same material for the drawers, too. To top it off, the walnut was cut and milled off our property, so like many of the things I've made since moving here in 1999, this piece will also have a tie to the land.

I had been thinking about a pull that mates to the edge of the doors at the top; contemplated carving something, but I really don't have the right tools for that currently. Given that the pulls had to have contours that someone could easily grab with their fingers, I envisioned something that curved out from the edge toward the center of the doors. A few minutes playing at the router table resulted in this prototype. I liked the idea, but realized that I needed to make it fit all the way to the back of the door for strength...there was just no way to fasten what is show directly to the door. But the idea was appealing. Hmm...how to manufacture it?


Jim Becker
12-16-2006, 10:30 PM
The challenge with making the pull stock was with the inside curve if the depth of the pull increased to reach all the way to the back of the doors. I couldn't use the bearing guided cutters that I used to make the prototype. Hmm...oh, yea...I have a nice 1/3" round nose bit that I bought for my long-delayed/dormant chair project. That provided the proper radius to match the one that would be on the outside, visible portion of the pull. Off to the router table to play with the setups and then make the first cuts. I did the outside radius first so I could sneak up on the proper bit height for the inside curve. This is the result back at the bench to clean up the outside while it was still possible to clamp the blank in the vice.


Next, it was over to the table saw to rip the blank to width and then make a vertical rip that mates with the inside curve. Feather board was a must as the final thickness is about 3/16"


It was necessary to work the piece back at the bench to remove some inconsistencies on the inside where the curve meets the straight cuts and that was accomplished using scrapers, a small gouge and a lot of sanding. The hold-fasts made it easy to keep control of the workpiece. (The are from ToolsForWorkingWood.com and are really great)


The end result of all this work is some pull stock that looks like this...1 1/4" deep by about 3/4".


Two pulls were cut on a sled at the table saw to 3". That's kinda a magic number on this project as it's close to the rail and stile widths and seemed to be pleasing while I was playing around with the prototype pulls. One I had the pulls and cleaned up the edges with some sanding, it was time to mark the edge of the doors so a notch could be created to glue the pulls on.


Jim Becker
12-16-2006, 10:31 PM
The notch will be cut at the band saw and I used the test/setup piece as a depth guide to cross-cut the edge of the door.


The 1" carbide blade was still on the band saw and was perfect for this cut as it would leave a somewhat smooth surface and be very accurate. Don't worry about the appearance of space between the door and the fence in this photo...the back of the door is "up" and the edge is beveled. It's secure against the fence... ;)


I decided to pin the pulls with some small dowels...err...toothpicks...during the glue-up. It adds a little splash of color and a little more strength to the glue joint. Once the glue is dry, the block plane will be used to bring the back edge of the pulls flush with the beveled door edges.


For good measure, I clamped the pulls to insure that the glue joint is tight.


And that's where things ended for the day.

Now, far be it for me to waist a perfectly good photo slot in this post, so here's a nice picture of Tosca having a "dwink-dwink" at the kitchen sink...aint' she cute? (She turns 12 in a few weeks and is my oldest daughter by about, oh...8 months. :D :D :D)


Dan Larson
12-17-2006, 10:14 AM
Jim, those pulls are clever. I like the form... it's something you'd expect out of metal, not walnut. I appreciate the subtle unexpected touches in a custom piece like this.


Art Mulder
12-17-2006, 1:20 PM
FIVE pocket hole screws on each side? :eek:

Just a touch over engineered there, Jim?

Nice how the grain on the drawer fronts flows through to the surrounding wood.

Jim Becker
12-17-2006, 1:39 PM
Nice how the grain on the drawer fronts flows through to the surrounding wood.

"One board" front, Art, although I cheated on the bottom section...the board wasn't wide enough so I found a board that the side grain was "very close" to the face of the wider board used for the upper apron and drawer fronts.

Oh, and for the curious, I found a way to make drawer pulls from the same material as the door pulls...will post pics tonight.

glenn bradley
12-17-2006, 1:58 PM
Great shots Jim. I look forward to following the series. Things are moving along!

Mark Singer
12-17-2006, 3:36 PM
Excellent work! You will be hearing from my attorneys....I had a patent on the drawers:rolleyes: ...just kidding . you probably could get by with 3 or 4 screws on that drawer....you have 5 and it is overkill...IMHO...on small drawers I use 3 usually

Jim O'Dell
12-17-2006, 4:23 PM
Jim, don't listen to Mark, 5 is on the lower end of how many are needed!:eek: :D :D Just kidding! (I think)
Jim, it's really nice. How come I get the impression that is is even more beautiful in person? Jim.

Glenn Clabo
12-17-2006, 4:24 PM
Nice work Jim...this is fun to watch. I'm going to start on a built in vanity for a bathroom/power room total gut out after the holidays. It won't be like a piece of furniture as yours...but I'll steal some ideas. Checks in the mail.;)

Howie French
12-17-2006, 6:33 PM
Looks great Jim, I like the pulls and the clever drawer stop.
Thanks for taking the time to document, looking forward to the next post.


Jim Becker
12-17-2006, 9:53 PM
Almost there...pretty much "finishing the finish" is left at this point.

I got back on the door pulls today after our "traditional" Dunkin' Donuts Sunday breakfast...Dr SMWBO runs out to buy them while I make the lattés. :) That gave a little time for the heaters to warm up the shop...:p

At any rate, the first thing to do was to un-clamp and then clean up the edges to match the bevel of the doors. A few swipes of the block plane followed by a few swipes of some 220 sandpaper followed by a light application of BLO finished up the doors.


Screwed the hinges back on and snapped them in place and this is the result...


And a little closer...


I do like how they look. They even work, too. :D So...time to move on to the drawer pulls. Hey...I have some of that stuff from the door pulls left over. Let's use it for the drawers, too! 1 1/2" wide looks about right.


Now, I obviously can't mount them the same way nor am I interested in cutting a slot in the front of the drawers. Stuff happens and they could need replaced in the future. (The doors would be more difficult in that respect, but doable if the shop is available ;) ) To make the drawer pulls "screwable", I milled the end of some 1/2" thick walnut I had lying about with a radius that would at least come close to the inside contour of the pull stock. I then ripped it to width (about 3/4") at the band saw as that was the safest place to do that particular operation.


Jim Becker
12-17-2006, 9:53 PM
Those pieces were then glued to the back of the pulls, centered on the width, more or less. (I didn't measure...)


And then clamped


Once the glue was set for a few hours, I used a sled on the TS to trim the excess off the pulls. Note that I used one block as a stop, a second as a hold-down and also used a third as a "push" block to keep things straight through the cut. Working with small pieces at the TS requires at least this much thoughtful effort to make the operation safe and successful.


This is the result after trimming them flush


The last operation on the pulls was to drill a pilot hole for the "future screw' that will hold them in place on the front of the drawers. The Veritas dog setup worked great for this as the adjustable one could be raised up to meet the workpiece securely without damaging the edges.


Jim Becker
12-17-2006, 9:53 PM
And this is what it will look like once the drawers are finished...


So...this one's ready for the final finishing and hopefully, I can deal with that over the coming holiday. I'm already thinking about a matching mirror to mount on the wall above it. The cabinet top will likely be honed absolute black granite, but that's still in flux. Believe it or not, it appears that the stone is less expensive than solid surface and I don't prefer the man-made products that much, anyway. I have not picked out a "bowl" for it yet, but have some ideas for that as well as a tall single stem faucet that was designed for and above-the-counter bowl.

Now, where am I going to store this sucker until the addition is done? (As well as all the other stuff I need to create for said addition, too) Sheesh! Time to put an access door to the outside in the second floor of the shop... ;)

Bryan Somers
12-17-2006, 10:23 PM
This is the first time I looked at this thread.


The vanity is looking great and the tutorial is just as good. The walnut pulls are a really nice detail

Charles Jackson III
04-24-2007, 5:10 PM
Very nice work.

Martin Shupe
04-24-2007, 11:41 PM
Beautiful work, Jim. I love the feathered door panels!

Mark Hollingsworth
04-25-2007, 10:33 AM
Jim, Thanks for the tutorial. Just found it today. You do a good job. I'm building a dresser for my grandaughter and the plans(yes I bought plans) call for attaching the legs to the panels with biscuits but I thought I'd use pocket screws like you did. They're so easy that it sometimes seems like something that simple can't be as good as it's suppose to be. But seeing you using them encouraged me to go that route. Thanks again and keep it coming.

Dave Ray
04-25-2007, 6:36 PM
Nice work Jim, thanks for sharing the pic's and your methods, thoughts as you work. Good education here.

Jim Becker
02-09-2008, 10:16 PM
This piece is now physically installed in the addition. Here's a picture of where things are right now.


Jim Becker
04-20-2008, 9:21 PM
And here is the guest vanity completely installed and ready to go.


Mac Cambra
04-20-2008, 9:26 PM
Very nice Jim, would this be considered Arts and Crafts style?

I like the grain matching, book match panels and the overall attention to detail. Very nice.....

Jim Becker
04-20-2008, 9:54 PM
Probably a mixture of Shaker and A&C, Mac. Simple design.