Tiger Maple Bathroom Vanity

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Project by BillG posted 01-05-2013 01:35 PM 4520 views 10 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had an opportunity to build a new bathroom vanity for a friend. We chose maple and decided that tiger maple would work. I had a pretty good supply, so I set to work. The case is all 3/4” pre-finished maple plywood. The face frame is held together with pocket screws and the frame is fastened to the case with glue and pocket screws. The exposed end panel was going to be finished, so I used a one side only pre-finished plywood panel here.

The drawer boxes are 1/2” baltic birch plywood banded with maple veneer on the top exposed edges. The drawer bottoms are 1/4” maple ply with and MDF core. It is a true 1/4” in thickness, flatter and dimensionally more stable than even plywood. I use this exclusively now since plywoods are not the same thickness and even differ from company to company these days. The only difference is that it is about twice the weight as the plywood.

The doors are cope and stick with the same 1/4” MDF core maple plywood used for the panel. With so much going on with the face frame, door frames and drawer fronts, I chose to not use a figured maple for the door panels. All these pieces are 1/2” overlay with soft close euro hinges and soft close accuride drawer slides.

Woods with gnarly grain like tiger maple have a lot of end grain exposed all across the surface and benefit from dying rather than staining. The dye penetrates more deeply into the end grain and popping the tiger stripes. I custom mixed the dye to match the wood color in the bathroom. I use alcohol with Transtint dye and make the solution a bit lighter in color than I want. I do this because you can build a darker color with dye by adding successive coats to bring up to the color you want. This also allows me to keep the color more even across the piece. On top of this I used a coat of boiled linseed oil and finally two coats of sprayed on catalyzed lacquer, rubbed out between coats.

Update: added picture of installed vanity. I also did the rest of the work on the remodel. New floor fixtures and countertop etc.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

14 comments so far

View Tennessee's profile


2520 posts in 2297 days

#1 posted 01-05-2013 01:53 PM

Are you kidding me? Just outrageously beautiful! And your careful attention to the flame orientation in the grain is stunning and really makes this pop. Totally agree with your dye comments, learned that early on in guitar building.
Love it. Just love it.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3339 days

#2 posted 01-05-2013 03:34 PM

Gorgeous, that is some great work

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

26317 posts in 2121 days

#3 posted 01-05-2013 03:55 PM

Very beautiful work

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 1984 days

#4 posted 01-05-2013 03:58 PM

BillG, mighty fine looking vanity….... Nice use of grain pattern and dye. Super Job…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 3117 days

#5 posted 01-05-2013 04:45 PM

Nice work and nice wood Bill.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View staryder's profile


173 posts in 1822 days

#6 posted 01-05-2013 06:43 PM

Great project I’m sure your friends are happy with it…. Thanks for sharing….

-- Rick.... Fort Worth, Texas

View a1Jim's profile


116325 posts in 3360 days

#7 posted 01-05-2013 06:47 PM

Wow that’s a most impressive vanity,great build and outstanding wood.

-- Custom furniture

View whitebeast88's profile


4127 posts in 1973 days

#8 posted 01-05-2013 10:28 PM

nice cabinet.i like that tiger maple such a unique wood!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2086 days

#9 posted 01-05-2013 10:33 PM

Wow that is beautiful! I love that wood.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2473 days

#10 posted 01-06-2013 02:15 AM

Beautiful! You did great with the dye and the grain matching.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Ken Holt's profile

Ken Holt

21 posts in 1860 days

#11 posted 01-06-2013 10:46 AM

holy shit that’s pretty!

-- Ken from Monterey

View jlt's profile


30 posts in 2135 days

#12 posted 01-06-2013 12:52 PM

Lovely cabinet! The workmanship and attention to detail is outstanding.

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3605 days

#13 posted 01-06-2013 03:40 PM

OH YEAH! Go BIG or go home. That’s worth having a party around. Seems a shame to have it in the bathroom. But, what the heck , keep all the beauty for themselves, why not. Love it. What a beauty.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Dubb's profile


81 posts in 1776 days

#14 posted 01-06-2013 04:16 PM

I love it , I would not have thought of using dye. I will put that on my to do list.

-- Dubb , WV

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