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Thread: Novice Vanity Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    3,220

    Novice Vanity Build

    Or "How not to make a vanity"

    If you want to see how it's *supposed* to be done, read Gary Zimmel's thread.

    Okay, we're reno-ing 2 bathrooms, and I thought I'd be a big shot and said "I'll make the vanities." So here's the first one. I got the carcass done in time for the counter and sink. Now I have to make the doors and drawers.....neither of which I've ever done.

    Mistake #1: I thought a cabinet was a box. You know, a box with 5 sides, and the 6th side is the front, done later. Not so! When I called the counter guy and asked what kind of surface he wanted on top of the cabinets to receive the stone, he said, "I don't want any surface. I want the tops open with just a strip in the front and back of the top for stability." So I learned in a hurry how to make a plunge cut with a circular saw and had to cut off most of the tops I had just glued and screwed on.

    Mistake #2: I can't handle a full sheet of plywood on a table saw by myself, so I cut out the box parts with a circular saw. Although I was pleased that the sides were accurate to 1/8", cutting on a table saw is more accurate. No more cutting everything with a CS.

    This is what it looks like now:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
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    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    10,600
    Looks like you are off to a great start
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    i wood say you dun great grasshopper you are learning well and your vanity shows it.. well done indeed for a gal that wasnt sure which end of the saw to use a few months or year ago see all those questions helped huh
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
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    Cynthia, that looks great! No better way to learn than to jump right in!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    easiest way to break down sheets, just use you cs to get it down to 1/4 or 1/2 inch to size, then use your ts for final cut.
    youll be doing your entire home over soon, this is the way it starts. you do one piece, and say, wow, I did that, why not do this one, and then its why not keep going
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    I agree, it looks like you are right on track. The quickest method for reliable drawers that I use is pocket-hole joinery and false fronts. If that fits with your plan, they are quick and easy.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Plainwell, Michigan
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    4,855
    Hey it's time to jump in with both feet, join Gary Z. and hand cut dove tail drawers really looks good so far Cynthia

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    So. Florida
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    268
    Going with frameless? FWIW, I substrate all cabinet tops with " plywood for any stone type tops. Marble and granite can crack. It helps if they are supported. A plywood top could also be used as a template for the actual top.




    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    3,220
    Wow, I've sure missed you guys.

    Bob G., and Jeff B., thanks for the kind words of encouragement.

    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    i wood say you dun great grasshopper you are learning well and your vanity shows it.. well done indeed for a gal that wasnt sure which end of the saw to use a few months or year ago see all those questions helped huh
    Larry, you got that right about the questions! And I have lots more coming up too! Thanks for the kind words.

    For your benefit, this is the first thing I made in 2010:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	76063 I'm slow, but I do learn.

    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    easiest way to break down sheets, just use you cs to get it down to 1/4 or 1/2 inch to size, then use your ts for final cut.
    youll be doing your entire home over soon, this is the way it starts. you do one piece, and say, wow, I did that, why not do this one, and then its why not keep going
    Allen, you're totally right, and that's how I'll do it from now on. I didn't realize how important it was to cut as much as possible on the TS.

    Glen, I do have that Kreg pocket joinery kit, I've just never used it before. I'll take a look at it, THANKS!

    Tom, thanks , but I think you'll have to wait a while for the dovetails. I cut a box joint not long ago that looked like a hot mess.

    Mike, yeah, I see what you mean, but I just followed the instructions of stone boy.

    I forgot to mention a couple of things.

    If you look carefully at the photo, and look at the backs of the cabinets, you'll see something odd at the upper top of the back panel. That was Mistake #3. I cut the backs too short....not sure how I did that, but I did it consistently so I added a little strip at the tops of the backs to make it look better.

    All edges where sides/panels met have dadoes!

    I finished the insides with brush-on lacquer. I love the way it looks but it's, as you know, toxic as all get out and stinks with a crash. After putting on the first coat in my shop with all doors and windows open and a respirator, the whole house stunk (Mistake #4) . So now I do it outside on a covered part of the patio. Less than ideal finishing conditions, but I only got one fly stuck in it.

    My husband begged me to ask you if there's another less toxic, less stinky finish I can use that's easy to apply and will dry hard and glassy like that stuff (which I like).

    So thanks again everyone, and I'll keep you posted.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,184
    you can get em6000 water based laquer, it doesnt have much odor, I spray it in the garage, its fine for cabinet interiors. (I used gloss on other things)all you need is a compressor and a spray gun, (inexpensive, guns are 30 bucks at harbor frieght)
    Human Test Dummy

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