Carcass complete!

I finished doing the carcass of the bathroom vanity. It’s constructed out of Pre-finished plywood. That means I dont have to muck around trying to put a finish on the inside of the cabinet after its all assembled. In addition the factory applied finished is much tougher than anything I could do in the shop. The carcass is made of 3/4″ plywood ao t will handle plenty of abuse and is constructed with dado’s and screws. I used my festool TS-55 track saw to make perfectly straight cuts, however they were not as square as I would have liked. I’m not sure why that is as I squared up the track each time before the cut. It is something I will have to pay attention to in the future.

Making the sawdust

All of the wood I’ve been getting recently comes from Hearne Hardwoods, a lumberyard in south eastern PA. All of their lumber is rough sawn to about 1″ thick. This is know as 4/4 and when milled down it becomes 3/4″ thick. When the boards are sawn by the mill thy are still green from the tree and after being dried they can cup, warp or bow a bit. By removing a 1/4″ of material this allows you to end up with a perfectly flat, straight board. Downside of it is that you create an awful lot of sawdust. Since I dont have a dust collector this all ends up on the floor of my shop.

Bathroom Vanity

Starting a new project today. I’m building a bathroom vanity for the upcoming remodel of our main bathroom. I’m going to make the bathroom out of pre finished plywood, using the $300 worht of Cherry shown here to make the face frame and doors. I’m going to take a bit of a short cut and buy the drawers custom made (but not assembled) to try and save some time. I found a company, that will make up the boxes and ship them for about what it would cost me just in material.

Under cabinet lights

I wanted to put in some nice under cabinet lights. However to buy off-the-shelf LED lights of sufficient brightness it would have cost about $500. Therefore I decided to go the DIY route and make some up myself. The LEDs were very inexpensive at about five dollars apiece and the only other thing it required was a $50 power supply and Aluminum strip as a heat sink. The LEDs are Bridgelux arrays and with a dimmable power aupply they go from bright to stupid bright.

First Cabinet Done!

Finished the first base cabinet today. Its quite heavy due to its massive construction. The sides are 3/4″ ply with another 1/4″ of cherry ply on top. The drawers are full 3/4″ maple on full extension slides. I’ve put about four coats of polyurethane finish on the cases, leaving the insides of the drawers unfinished.

Hanging the Cases

After spending a month or so making up the carcasses for the cabinents, I wanted to hang them to make sure that they fit well and look good. I used a french cleat to hang them, which makes it very easy, although it does take up about 3/4″ of cabinet depth. I used a laser level to make sure they were all hung properly, and then it was just a matter of carting them upstairs. I’m pretty happy with how they look, althouhh the carcasses are a little inconsistant in depth. Next up, face frames!

Glueing up some cases

Glued up one of the corner cabinets today. I’m using a my Festool Domino to cut some mortises so that I can use floating tenons to attach the sides. This is a but different than the typical way, which would ne to use dado’s and screws. I’m not entirely sure that using the dominos is a better way, but it seems to work pretty well (except when I muck up the domino positioning that is). For the regular cabinets the glue-up is straight forward, however for the corner cabinets things get a bit tricky. Trying to layout the dominos such that everything can be assembled is diffiult, but once I managed that it wasnt to bad to glue it up.


I finished cutting up all the plywood needed to make my office cabinets today. All told I used about 4 and a half sheets of prefinished maple plywood. Had to rent a van to pickup the plywood from Russel Plywood down in delaware. Breaking the plywood down was a piece of cake with my fancy Festool tracks saw. I drew all the cut lines on the sheet of plywood using my trusty drywall square, and then just layed the track down on the line and cut. Was a bit tricky to layout all of the panels to make sure that a cut for one panel didnt run into another, but it was managable. Next time I need to remeber to use a square on the track just before I cut though as I noticed a few of my cutta are not perfectly square.

Office Cabinets Planning

To complement the desk that I made a few weeks ago I’m going to put some cabinets on the wall and some filing cabinets underneath.  Then I’ll have a nice bit of storage for all of my junk.  I drew up some plan in sketchup to get an idea of what its going to look like.  Its quite easy to do as Kraftmaid has some nice pre-made sketches that can easily be imported and arranged.

The plan for my cabinets is to make them out of prefinished plywood with cherry face frames.  The drawers will be made from solid maple and everything is going to be mounted with some nice Blum Blumotion hardware. I got the hardware all from, the hardwood from Hearne Hardwoods, and the plywood from Russell Plywood.  The prefinished plywood was about $75 a sheet.  Which wouldn’t have been so bad, but I also had to rent a cargo van to get it home.