Small bathroom cabinet – free standing sink base
The last challenge accepted was to build a small bathroom vanity cabinet: a free standing base for a sink, with accents made out of ash wood. The legs of this cabinet are actually two wooden frames that also have a decorative role: they are installed on the outside of the cabinet.
You can also see the simple folding towel rack, which was made out of laminated ash wood and match the cabinet.
If you prefer a video, you can watch the entire process on our YouTube channel:
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The ash wood legs
For these two decorative frames we used laminated ash wood. Both the wood laminating process and the homemade double C clamps for laminated timber beams are described with a lot of details in their posts.
1. I used two laminated ash wood boards. I planed them and I squared two faces. Then I planed the other two faces using the Metabo thicknesser. I wanted to get them to the sizes of 3.2 cm by 3.2 cm in section.
2. I cut 8 pieces: 4 pieces at a length equal to the depth of the cabinet and 4 pieces at a length equal to the height of the cabinet + 10 centimeters.
3. We wanted to use box joints for the 2 frames, because these joints are decorative, practical and easy to make. But most of all they are very strong. So, I drew a line at 3.2 cm from the edge of one plank (3.2 cm is the thickness of the laminated planks). This mark helped us to know for sure when to stop the cut.
4. I made the first cut and I stopped at the marked line.
5. To make repetitive cuts at the exact same length, I secured a wooden block with a clamp to the guide of the band saw. We needed more identical cuts, so using this wood block helped us save time. We no longer had to mark each piece nor be careful not to exceed the lines when cutting.
6. I turned the board and I made another cut, identical to the first one: the same distance to the guide and the same depth (due to the wooden block). I repeated the process until I cut all the four longer planks. The idea was not to move the position of the bandsaw fence.
7. I adjusted the position of the fence for cutting the ends of the short boards. I did all of them in a very short time. Now, I was able to completely give up the bandsaw guide to cut out the ends of the planks.
8. I made several cuts in the middle of the previous 2 cuts (in the ends of the longer planks), so that we can more easily do the cutouts for the box joints.
9. I finished the central cutouts using a chisel (for the longer laminated planks) and the sides cutouts using the bandsaw (for the shorter ones).
10. I did a first test to see if the boards fit. After that I sanded the inside faces with 150 grit sandpaper. Due to their position, after gluing they would be harder to sand.
11. I applied water based PVA adhesive to all of the mating surfaces and I tightened the box joint frames very well, taking care to keep the 90 degrees angle. The angle can be easily checked by measuring the diagonals (they must be equal).
12. After the glue dried, I sanded the wood frames with 150 grit sandpaper using the belt sander. I filled the remaining small holes with wood putty. When the putty dried, I sanded again the surfaces with fine sandpaper. At the end I hand sanded the inside sharp edges and I beveled the outside sharp edges.
The small bathroom vanity cabinet made out of MDF
For building the small cabinet for the washbasin we used 18 mm thick MDF.
1. I cut the board to the needed sizes:
2. I gave the shape of the cabinet following our usual steps when building all kind of MDF furniture:
- I drilled the holes for joining the MDF boards on corners
- I countersink the holes to hide the screw heads
- I applied the water based PVA adhesive
- I tightened the boards with screws
3. I marked the area on the top MDF board which needed to be cut out. The cutout was needed for the pipes.
4. I secured 3 scraps of MDF boards with clamps to get a template for making the cutout with a straight pattern router bit
5. I made the cut using the router with a top bearing router bit.
This is the cutout routed for allowing the drain pipe to pass through the small bathroom cabinet.
6. I cut 2 pieces of 18 mm thick MDF for the doors.
7. I made a test assembly of the cabinet, together with the two ash wood frames (used as legs for the cabinet).
This is the final shape of the small bathroom vanity:
8. At the same time I drilled the hinge holes, I installed them on the cabinet walls and I installed the MDF doors.
9. After finishing assembling the cabinet, we realized that it needs a small strip of MDF on the back for additional strength:
10. I will briefly show you the final finish, because the finishing process and the painting process is the same and is described with more details in older posts. Before applying the water based primer and the paint:
- I sanded the edges of the cabinet doors, until the surface became smooth, without any saw marks
- I hand sanded the sharp edges with 120 grit sandpaper
- I filled the holes with two-parts putty, I sanded all the faces with 150 grit sandpaper and I slightly rounded rounded the edges by hand with 120 grit sandpaper
At the end I applied a layer of water-based primer on all the elements of the project. After the primer dried, I sanded all the surfaces with 320 grit sandpaper. After wiping the dust I applied two layers of:
- water based varnish on the two box joints frames
- water based paint on the small cabinet and its doors
After the varnish and the white paint dried, I assembled the small bathroom vanity cabinet again. The project was done:
We received the photos with the cabinet installed:
See other designs of bathroom sink cabinets: