|Project by Mark Kornell||posted 10-20-2014 04:41 PM||2330 views||4 times favorited||11 comments|
We’ve just moved into a new house and my wife decided that we need new bedroom furniture. I’m OK with that. But she also wants to convert the old dresser to a vanity for the guest bathroom. I’m OK with that, too.
There wouldn’t be a lot of woodworking to be done, mostly refinishing. One bit of work was to convert the middle drawer stack – which had curved fronts – to a flat-front, fake drawer and cabinet box/door arrangement.
She bought the old set from a reputable seller of higher-end furniture long before I met her. Solid (more or less) red oak, so I thought it would be a nice project.
I got it down to my shop and proceeded to deconstruct it. Here’s the before picture:
After removing the drawers and top, I discovered that it wasn’t really a “solid” wood carcase. The top was a solid wood lamination and the ends were frame and panel. But the rest of it was just a skeleton with a 1/4” hardboard back holding everything together. On top of that, it was held together by staples and screws. There was a little bit of glue visible in the frame and panel sides – something that looked like hot-melt glue. While an ounce of glue would have gone a long way, it made disassembly pretty easy.
15 minutes with some simple tools:
and I was left with a pile of sticks:
I stripped off the existing finish using a card scraper and sandpaper.
Removing the curve from the front rails was pretty easy. They were just screwed on! Added some wood filler to cover the exposed holes.
The vanity was going to have a quartz top, instead of wood. So I needed to add some additional bracing around the sink opening. Inlet half-lap dovetails:
Then I refinished. Easier to work on small parts.
The finishing schedule:
- Sand to 220
- Apply base stain, Saman Urban Grey #113
- Seal with shellac
- very light sand with 320
- Apply top stain, Old Masters Spanish Oak
- 2 coats lacquer, Valspar Valtec, satin
- light sand 320
- final coat of lacquer
Produces a warm, rich and deep grey tone.
Reassambly was quite easy. The existing joinery was reasonably tight mortise and tenons, so I put them back together, adding glue. Staples for reinforcement during cure. And re-screwed where the originals were.
Using melamine, I also added a partial box under the sink. It is a fairly tight space but I wanted to have something a bit water resistant to go under the plumbing.
Moved it into place:
The installers came with the top and my plumber added the sink:
And I also built a new door and fake drawer front to replace the middle drawer stack. The old top was solid oak so there was plenty of wood available. Well-dried and very stable by this point.
Probably need to add a pull to the fake drawer front. I’m not sold on the blank look.
-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design