I finally found some time to get back to the vanity. I pulled the clamps and stood the vanity up, to look everything over.
I noticed that my side pieces were both 1/8″ too short. This was my fault. When I started assembling the cabinet, it seemed like the sides were too tall, so I cut them down 1/8″. Apparently there was a bow in the plywood that was corrected by fully assembling everything…
This actually is not a big problem, I cut a couple of 1/8″ thick strips from some scrap, and notched them to fit in the corner.
After checking to make sure everything now fell in the same plane, I spread some glue and clamped it up.
I used some thick cauls to hold the strips tight to dry.
While they were drying, I went ahead and did a load test for Charlie. He was concerned that not having any support under the center would allow the bottom to sag. Glueing the center supports in place actually stiffened the bottom up quite a bit. As you can see in the picture below, It can easily hold 200 pounds with no deflection. Hopefully Charlie’s towels and toiletries will weigh less than 2oo pounds, if not, we can always buy a couple more feet…
An hour or two after the glue had set, I pulled the clamps and used my block plane to shave my strips down, flush with the sides. as you can see, it lines up very nicely with the back panel now. Since the cabinet will be painted and the top will overhang the sides, the repair should not be noticeable at all, when complete. It should also give me a much better surface to glue the granite to.
Setting the carcass aside for a bit, I went out to the garage to grab a piece of poplar from my supply, for the project.
After squaring up the end and cutting the board down to the right length, I started cutting the 1-1/2″ strips that would make up the face frame.
I planed all the strips down to 3/4″ inches thick, then clamped together any of the pieces that were to be the same length so I could cut them at the same time.
I cut out all of the pieces required for the face, as well as a few 7-3/4″ spacers to help me keep the drawer openings spaced properly.
I laid all the parts in their proper locations, and made sure to put the best side down. Using a pencil, I marked all of the ends that would need pocket holes.
I set each piece into my Kreg pocket hole jig, and drilled two holes in each one.
I applied a little glue to each end before screwing them together. I made sure to clamp the boards down firmly before attaching, this helps to keep all the boards flush on the front side.
I started in a corner, then added a couple of spacers and clamped the first of the horizontal pieces in place.
After the two horizontal pieces were in place I installed the inner vertical piece, then added the top on last.
Even with clamping, I had some of the boards shift, so I spent a few minutes with the orbital sander, making everything flat and smooth.
I laid the cabinet on its back and placed the frame in the proper location. Then I marked behind the horizontals and along the bottom, where I wanted to drill more pocket holes. I made sure all of my marks were on the drawer sides so you won’t be able to see them.
Though a little more awkward, the Kreg jig works perfectly well, upside down. I drilled all of the new marks out so I could attach the face frame.
One of my center supports wanted to lean a bit to one side, so I created a spacer and clamped it in place. The drawer sides have to be parallel or the drawers will bind. After setting the spacer, I checked for square.
Since Plywood is half face grain and half end grain, on the edges, I applied a bead of glue and spread it evenly with a brush. I allowed a few minutes for it to soak into the end grain parts, then added another bead of glue for attaching the front.
I carefully checked my spacing and clamped the face frame in place with as many longer clamps as I had. Next I attached the pocket hole screws and the face was done.
I stood the cabinet back up, and it looked pretty darn good. I got out my drawer slides and checked how well they would work with the face frame overhanging the opening by 3/8″. I am going to have to add a spacer strip so the slide will extend past the face frame. Not a big deal, but I will have to redesign the drawer width to accommodate the slightly narrower opening. If you use the plans I had in the last post, to build your own vanity, you will need to check how the drawer slides will work with yours and re-evaluate your drawer dimensions as well. I kind of expected this would be the case, but I didn’t know for sure until I received the drawer slides, reviewed their directions, and did some test fitting.
Alas drawers will have to wait until the next post…