Cherry Makeup Vanity

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Project by toddbeaulieu posted 06-17-2015 07:24 PM 1286 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had me Wife choose a style for a vanity for me to make over xmas vacation. I was really hoping she’d pick Shaker because of the simplicity, but of course, she chose a traditional design with cabriole legs. Yikes! On the plus side I was “forced” to order a Veritas spokeshave set and some had punched rasps for the leg work.

I started with a random picture but customized the design heavily, including a hidden compartment. I completely winged the leg layout. I haven’t yet experimented with turning and therefore left the pads for last. Of course, I messed up to various degrees, resulting in non-uniform pads. I’m getting pretty good at accepting such mistakes these days, though. Not thrilled with the lines and proportions, but … I see it as “folk art”. Not perfect, not trained workers, but still pretty nice. I still need to make a matching mirror for the top and possibly a stool.

While legs did take quite a bit of time and learning, by far the biggest hurdle was coming up with the hidden compartments, a way to lock and unlock them and all while preserving the structural integrity of the desk.

In the above photos you can see the main, center drawer open. With the drawer closed, if you reach underneath and slide the locking mechanism into the open position, the entire apron slides out, including the center drawer and a hidden compartment on each side of it – also seen above.

Here is the locking mechanism in the locked position, which locks the apron assembly to the main case and allows the center drawer to slide in and out.

And here it’s been slid into the open position which unlocks the apron from the chassis, while simultaneously locking the center drawer to the apron.

Because I’m not very bright it took me a while to come with something simple yet effective. You’d never know of it if I didn’t tell you. Here’s a view from down under.

Making the legs:

This has not been sanded .. just card scraped. My first experience using scrapers. So fun!

I was pretty happy with the web frames, but the drawer sizes and fit was a struggle. I’d also make the drawers heavier next time, as I went with 1/2” maple stock with aromatic cedar bottoms. I’d want heavier drawer stock next time and cedar was an experiment that I wouldn’t repeat. Obviously, I’m still learning best practices!

Nothing fancy for handles, but something I could make without a lathe:

I was sufficiently pleased with the top. No complaints there.

6 comments so far

View Andrek's profile


192 posts in 1747 days

#1 posted 06-18-2015 10:35 AM

Bravo, very nice work, beautiful wood too. Thank you for showing.

-- andrek

View abie's profile


869 posts in 3608 days

#2 posted 06-18-2015 02:13 PM

Thanks for sharing the details.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Notw's profile


597 posts in 1591 days

#3 posted 06-18-2015 02:34 PM

awesome work, i’m sure the wife is very happy

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2181 days

#4 posted 06-18-2015 02:34 PM

very nice

View helluvawreck's profile


29174 posts in 2704 days

#5 posted 06-18-2015 05:41 PM

This turned out beautifully. You did a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View dmmd's profile


18 posts in 2063 days

#6 posted 06-19-2015 12:18 PM


-- Dolev Meir --- Nes-Ziona Israel

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