Monday, May 18, 2015

Damn The Plumbing Kicked My Ass

The headline says it all. After two days and I'd guess $200USD the plumbing is finished. BTW, I missed the estimated number of trips to Ace and Home Depot by at least a dozen. In the end I did it the way I wanted to from the get go, using PVC instead of the crap they sell for sink install. PVC is cheaper (less than $20USD for the whole install), easier, and with no slip joints there is zero chance for leaks.

Some day I will learn.

On to making drawer fronts and a small wall cabinet.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


It's done. The bath vanity is out of the shop. There is still a bit of work to finish, I'd guess about three more trips to the woodstore/Home Depot worth of work. It needs the plumbing hooked up, drawer faces made and fitted. I still haven't settled on pulls, do I make 'em or buy some ready mades. MsBubba will install a tile splash guard and I need to make or buy a mirror and build a wall hung cabinet. Whatever it is damn good to get the vanity out of the shop.

Casa Chaos is living up to its name, currently the gas company is digging up and replacing the gas lines to the house. It has been going on for most of two weeks with big ditches in both the front and back and piles of dirt every where.

Before I could finish the bath, MsBubba decides to refinish and paint the hall along with change the dining room to a sitting room. So out goes the carpet and tile and of course the "popcorn" ceiling has to come down (the house was built in the 70's, may the inventor of popcorn ceilings roast in hell, if there is a hell) and the paint buckets come out to play. I feel like I'm living in a war zone.

Here's MsBubba kinda beavering away, I call it "Still Life with DeWalt".

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Vanity In The Short Rows

After the disaster of the composite top I dug out some Walnut and glued it up. Out of the clamps it is flat with no wind so clean up shouldn't take long.

I finally broke down and let a Festool track saw of my very own follow me home from the wood store. I'd been borrowing their demo unit for a couple of years every time I needed to cut a table top to size....It was time to step up and do the right thing.

Here is the Walnut slab on my bench with the vanity base in the background:

I don't know if I had mentioned before that I decided on metal runners because it is going into a bathroom. They are ugly as granny panties but they work well no matter what the case does. 

The bath is painted and tiled, the vessel sink is waiting in a box, all that is left is to fit the slab and make a couple of drawer fronts. It will be good to call this one finished.

As posted yesterday I received a new Bad Axe saw in the mail. I had thought my saw collection was complete until Mark came up with this one. It hits all my dovetail "log into PayPal" hot spots, a narrow 12" saw plate, with an aggressive tooth filing, a open tote, and just enough bling to put a smile on my face with every glance.  

Anyway here is its glamor shot:

It saws true and fast. I expect the other dovetail saws will gather a lot of dust.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

A quickie, More Tomorrow

It has been a strange week or two. I ended up in the ER last week because of atrial fibrillation. It's not bad but it has caused times of zero energy. Long story somewhat short, pills and more pills, some of 'em inhibit clotting. Which make my normal "If I'm not bleeding I'm not working" even bloodier. I tried to fill my shoes with blood this morning after dropping the bath vanity top on my shins.

BTW, the bath room re-do is almost completed, the vanity top is in glue up, the tile is down, the room is painted and just waiting for me to finish the vanity.  Maybe finished in a couple or three days.

The mail man left a couple of nice things today...A new dovetail saw from Bad Axe and a name stamp from Finest Engraving LLC. I've wanted a name stamp for awhile, they are not easy to find.

Here is a photo of both the stamp and the new saw.

More in a post when I have some time,


Monday, April 27, 2015

Bath Vanity Update

The day job has been taking most of my time so progress on the bath vanity is slow. I looked at using a wood top and tried several finishes but all but the Applebee's bar finish water spotted. It's a shame but it is what it is....ordered an Ebony composite top for the base, it should look OK.

I've made the boxes for the drawers, used Soft Maple.  It has been awhile since my last use of Soft Maple, I forgot how nice it is to work.

Here is the set up for cleaning up the drawer boxes:

And the box cleaned up:


Monday, April 13, 2015

First Coat Of Oil ON The Bath Vanity

The Bath Vanity base is complete, just needs finishing. I put the first coat of BLO on this AM and will let it set for a day or two before following with Tried & True.

The drawer boxes and the top are next. I expect in spite of what the boss lady wants I'll take my chances and make the top out of South American Walnut. South American Walnut is a little soft but with an oil finish turns almost Ebony black with a brownish under tone. It should like very nice with the Cherry as the Cherry darkens with age.

Drawer boxes, meh, as I looked for the wood to make 'em last night the hunk I need is buried near the bottom of the middle stack. At least that is the 4/4 stack and not the 8/4 stack. Still my energy and back both said no mas, no mas last night and weren't any happier with the thought of digging for it this morning.

Let's see I need a trip to the wood store for the South American Walnut, since I'm there might as well add a nice 4/4 drawer stock board as well.

Here is the back of the Bath Vanity base:

And the front:

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Tenon Buttons

I usually attach the top to the base via mortices and tenon buttons. I expect most have their own way of making the buttons but here is mine....if you think your way is better please do not let me keep doing it the hard way.

I usually use a 3/8 chisel to chop the mortises which means a 9mm tenon is just about right. I like Oak for the buttons because it splits easily and a 19mm thick piece of Oak works well. I'll cut the Oak into 70mm X 30mm strips. that gives me two buttons per strip.

First step is to mark two lines near the center the length of the tenon part, carry one line to the top face and the other to the bottom face.

Then on each side mark a line near the center, none of the lines need be exact:

Saw from each of the face lines stopping at the center line on the side, then supporting one end on something give it a good whack:

repeat as often as necessary for the number of buttons needed plus I always do a few extra:

These are for attaching the top to the bath vanity, I will be needing them soon.

Bath Vanity

The Bath vanity base is in the short rows. I've some mortises to chop, the ones for the bottom shelf slats and for the top's button mortises. Should only take a couple of hours to do the chopping.  I know it's weird, but for some reason I enjoy chopping mortises. Once all the remaining mortises are finished I will shape the legs, clean everything up and then draw bore and glue that sucker together.

I'm still undecided on the top and the drawer fronts. I'm leaning toward a dark top, MsBubba might object if asked, this may be one of those do then beg forgiveness times. I'm guessing I'll go safe and just use Cherry for the drawers.

It's been nice having several days off in a row....stuff gets done.

Mickey's Bench

Around the first of the year a work friend asked if I would help him make a work bench. Sure no problem so off we go to Home Depot for a couple hundred board feet of construction grade DF. We stickered it, and covered it, and let it set as long as he could stand (a couple of weeks) before ripping the 2X12's down to working size. Then I explained it needed to set awhile to finish the major part of its stupid wood tricks after ripping.

After a couple of weeks he couldn't wait and we started truing and sizing the lumber. that's when one of his old heart problems flared up and he ended up in the hospital. Everything was put on hold for several weeks. This pattern repeated itself several times over the next months.

I'll cut to the chase: today we stood the bench up. He still needs to install his vises, drill some dog holes and trim the ends but he has a working bench. What should have been a couple of weeks job once the wood settled down ended up taking four months.

It's as ugly as granny panties with tons of mistakes because I would tell him what needed to be done and maybe show the procedure then leave it to him to do it. But as said many times during the build: "It's a work bench". That's the bad news, the good is: It is strong and solid. It sets on the ground with no rocking, the base is within a couple of mm of being square, the slab has no twist and is flat enough. It will make a hell of a good first work bench, a lot better than my first one.

A photo of Mickey with the completed base: