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My vanity is growing!

No, I’m not overly proud of myself, but I am building a vanity table for my niece. She found one she liked on the Internet, and sent me the image:

Now I’m two weekends into building it. Because she wants it painted white, I’m making it from poplar and plywood. She didn’t like the contoured legs in the original, but wanted simple tapered legs. The side drawers for the “desk” part have a curved front, so it will be a new challenge for me to make curve-front inset drawers with half-blind dovetails. I’ve finished gluing up the carcase for the desk portion (here’s a shot of a dry-fit).

Now I’m ready to begin work on the top. Next up will be the three-drawer valet that sits on top and holds the mirror. Finally, I’ll add the drawers. It’s a different feeling working on a project that you know you’ll paint: Minor scratches and gaps that I’d normally agonize over can now be filled or smoothed over much more easily. I hope to be finished with this in the next few weeks, so more to come.

Back to the shop (cabinet)

My wife is able to drive again, so I’m slowly relegating my role of Mr. Mom. That means some shop time! Over the last month, I’ve been in and out of the shop numerous times to grab a tool, a roll of tape, or something. The only problem is my bad habit of simply setting things on the nearest horizontal surface when  done with it instead of putting it away. So I took a half-hour to refile a month’s accumulation, THEN got started on my cabinet again.

The backs have been installed, and door latches, too. Because my dovetail jig is part of the clutter that is still waiting for a home in the new cabinet, I decided I might as well put it to use and dovetail the drawers. It’s been a while since I’d used it, so I went through the drill of mounting the guide bushing in the router, adjusting the template and stops, and cutting some test joints. All that time made me wonder if it was worth it, but having seen our dovetail showdown, I figured the setup time would pay off.

Next, I refigured the height of the drawers to put a half-pin at the top and bottom. Then I started rough-cutting lumber for the drawers. I came across a stash of enough scrap to make a couple of drawers…so there will be a mix of poplar and oak drawer cases. (And probably one that mixes poplar and oak. Hey, it’s just a shop cabinet.)

After gluing up four panels for the widest drawers (10 15/16″), I’d come to a point where I had nothing much to do, and still plenty of time to do it in. (I wish I could get to that point more often.) So I decided I might as well paint the carcases.

Still to come is milling the rest of the drawer case parts, and then making a pile of sawdust by dovetailing them.


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