Fundraiser Item: Soap dishes

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Project by Jonathan posted 07-31-2010 04:35 AM 3794 views 10 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are the last of the fundraiser items I made for the fundraiser we held for my wife last night, who is walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, 60-mile walk in San Diego this November 19th.

Her story about why she is participating in the walk is here:

I made three soap dishes out of red oak trim and pink lyptus. I blogged a bit about the soap dishes here:

Here are the details for the 3-soap dishes:
Wood: Red Oak and Pink Lyptus
Dimensions: #1: 6-3/16” long, 3-1/2” wide #2: 5-7/8” long, 3-3/8” wide #3: 6-1/16” long, 3-1/2” wide
Oak trim is 1/2” thick
Pink Lyptus legs/feet are 13/16” tall, with a rabbet to hold the oak. The rabbet is 1/2” deep to match the thickness of the oak, and 5/16” inset to provide a platform for the oak to sit on.
Joinery used: Titebond III and clamps
Tools used: tablesaw mostly, including the elimination of the other side of the trim, handsanded 120-150-220-320, branding iron on backside, chisel to clean up rabbets
Finish used: 5-6 coats of Helmsman spray-on Spar Varnish to help with the water contact

I want to thank Jordan and his wife for their contribution to help making the fundraiser a success. They sent some of the soap that they handmake for the Cure, as well as some handpainted magnets!

You will see some of the soap in the pictures. Thanks Jordan!

I provided an informational sheet, including wood species, how it was finished, care instructions, etc. with the soap dishes (and the other pieces for the fundraiser). I like this idea since it provides the end user with the proper information. What they choose to do with it is up to them, but I feel good in knowing that at least have some basic information.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

13 comments so far

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2907 days

#1 posted 07-31-2010 05:46 AM

Cool idea! Lyptus is as hard as nails.

I hope the fund raiser cleaned up….! ;-)

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3147 days

#2 posted 07-31-2010 05:58 AM

Great idea Jonathan!

Simple item, fun to make, and brings in money to your favorite charity. More of us should be making projects for our favorite charities. We have the skills, we have the time, and we have the tools.

It will give us a reason to dust off of those old tools, or at the very least, gives us a good excuse to go out and buy that Performax Drum Sander we always wanted.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3077 days

#3 posted 07-31-2010 07:19 AM

Wow, you guys are on it tonight!

Nice job on the pun there, Ron! Not sure about the lyptus you have access to, but the stuff I have is somewhere around the hardness of soft maple, or maybe walnut? It dents fairly easily, and is definitely a nightmare to work with as far as splintering goes. The edges just love to fall out or tear out… in splinters, shards, chunks, you name it. Even with a sharp Forrester WWII blade.

And Richard, good catch on the Performax! (Or was that a coincidence?) I actually didn’t use it on these soap dishes though. All the parts had been handsanded before my drum sander acquisition, but I hadn’t glued them up yet. They just sat there for a couple of weeks, not-yet-assembled. And the little bit of sanding they needed after I trimmed them up (the lyptus pieces were intentionally left a tad long), I handsanded again after the glue-up. Did I mention the tearout tendancies of lyptus? I know there are others out there that have had this experience, surely?

I do feel good about having put my newfound passion for woodworking into action for a good cause.

Maybe we can all do our part to bring awareness to our shared passion of woodworking, whether newfound, like my own, or decades worth of love of wood and woodworking under the belt by sharing it with others?

I know a lot of us give the items we make as gifts, but maybe once in a while donate a piece to a charity of your choice and see what happens? I know I was pleasantly surprised by the comments I received from the people in attendance at the fundraiser in regards to the cutting board I had made.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3360 days

#4 posted 07-31-2010 10:56 AM

Attractive soap dishes Jonathan. Well done.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3094 days

#5 posted 07-31-2010 04:02 PM

Very nice!! Great idea and good cause, thanks for posting.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2907 days

#6 posted 07-31-2010 04:55 PM

Richard, Check my ‘projects’ for lyptus. The bench is framed in it. Stuff darn near broke a planer. The noise was unbearably loud! Even with muffs. That’s ‘hard’ in my book.

Yes, it splinters, a lot! I backed up the holes for the dowels and it still chipped out! Almost brittle.

And it is HEAVY stuff compared to the hard maple.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View sandt38's profile


166 posts in 2934 days

#7 posted 07-31-2010 05:22 PM

Ron, indeed it is! I used some to make some tapered legs for a hallway table I built several years ago. It took a walnut stain and blended well with the bubinga I used to wrap the MDF/Mahogany veneer I used for the table top. It is super heavy, but it did take a taper very nicely with my WWII. Admittedly I was pretty nervous using a cheap taper jig, so I made a sliding taper sled for a more secure grip on the stuff, but it really ripped nicely and my concern was without justification… but hey, now I have a really cool taper leg sled.

Johnathan, These are really cool. I love the fact that they are being used for the cancer walk, which has a real place in my heart as I am a survivor of stage 4 (yes, “ternimal”) colon cancer. In my time in treatment I met several women battling breast cancer, and one particularly wonderful woman I spent 5 days a week with for a month in the waiting room for radiation treatment. She had the best attitude and always carried a smile.

Now I beg the question, how well do these hold up, and what kind of maintenance is required? My mother always has decorative and hard soaps in her guest bathroom, and I would love to make her some of these. My stepfather used to do woodworking before he had a stroke 5 years ago, and now he is just uncomfortable using machines… but he sure has the ability to maintain them if I give them the instructions!

-- Got Wood? --- Somewhere along the way the people in Washington forgot that they are there to represent the people, not to rule them.

View bob4's profile


5 posts in 2883 days

#8 posted 07-31-2010 05:38 PM

for jonathan
great idea need more things like that. have been thinking , that is dangerous for me, but why can’t we try and get something started for us guys to help thoese that have prostate cancer and problems we are so quiet about this and it is a very serious problem. have a frend that had it and the operation and now he is experencinf other side affects don’t know what but it would help others if the information was available to help in the dicision and not just the words of the doctors, since this is being done to me and not them. what do you thgink?

thanks for your time and fine idea

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3077 days

#9 posted 07-31-2010 06:45 PM

These are the first soap dishes I’ve made, so I’m not sure of how well they will hold up over time? I guess it depends on how much they are used and abused? In all honesty, they probably could’ve used a lot more spar varnish, but I’m not sure they’ll see a lot of use. If you were to build something for everyday use, I’d imagine it would be best to really seal them as much as possible. The note that I included in the care instructions basically said that I used a waterproof glue (TBIII), and an exterior type finish that can stand up to water contact. Right after that statement, I also said that this should not go in the dishwasher, to handwash with warm water and dish soap, and to not let water pool in the soapdish.

I agree with your statement that prostrate cancer does not get the attention it needs and deserves. I don’t have all the statistics in front of me, but the numbers of people affected/die from it every year, compared with the same type of statistics for breast cancer, along with throwing research dollars and the awareness factor into the picture is all very lopsided at the current time. The current (or last time I read them) figures are unfortunate. I know that Lance Armstrong, being a survivor of the disease is one of, if not the biggest/most well-known advocate for the prostrate cancer cause, with the yellow bracelets, etc.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3151 days

#10 posted 07-31-2010 07:24 PM

I really like these Jonathan. I may very well have to enter into the dish area as, I think, packaged with the soap might just round out the product for Laura’s shows!


View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3077 days

#11 posted 07-31-2010 08:57 PM


These were pretty easy to make, and of course, you could probably change the design to make them even easier, or more complex… either way.

It’s especially easy if you buy the molding and go from there, although if you’ve got a router table, it wouldn’t be hard to make your own fluted pattern with a cove bit, or whatever design you choose.

An even easier tray that wouldn’t involve any sort of glue-up would be to make a router template to hollow out a piece of wood. Then you could use some other bit to put a nice edge on it.

Thanks again everyone!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View bob4's profile


5 posts in 2883 days

#12 posted 08-01-2010 09:00 PM

a while back i came up wirh a way to make triviets out of a simgle block of 4/4 stocl with a overarm router (router table could be subed for it) if you would like the info will be glad to share. you could modify the methiod to fit what ecer you are doing and it may be eaiser than what you are doing let me know juat a thought


View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3714 days

#13 posted 12-05-2010 07:37 AM

Very nice : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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