Soaking Tub

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Forum topic by CaseyJones posted 01-19-2013 07:07 AM 1086 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2298 days

01-19-2013 07:07 AM

Has anyone built a wooden soaking tub? I’m itching to build one and am not a fan of the coopered style that is most common with vertical staves and thus am leaning towards an Ofuro, Japanese style tub, or something similar that resembles a bathtub with horizontal boards, a rectangular shape, and no tension rings….this link gives you an idea of what I’m after…

There are two approaches to this tub and I’m interested in feedback from anyone that’s attempted this. Either method will require strong joints to hold several thousand pounds of water pressure contained inside it, but the way in which you go about making those connections strong and watertight seems a bit different to me.

The first is to build one of a rot-resistant wood, 6/4 Port Orford cedar is my first choice, and leave it unfinished to allow it to swell and tighten the joints when exposed to water. Ideally the tub remains moist with some water in it to prevent it from shrinking again….This is not something I have much experience in, and would welcome any suggestions on ideal joinery methods….

The second is to use a strong hardwood and create tight fitting, strong joints, then seal the heck out of it with epoxy to prevent any moisture from getting in. I could probably handle the joinery on this, tongue and groove, or splines on the sides and perhaps some kind of dovetail for the ends? or lots of biscuits and glue? The finishing however would more closely approach some boat building techniques, which I don’t have experience with.

Look forward to any suggestions!

3 replies so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3547 posts in 2247 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 02:34 PM

Like this?

Edit: I read all the text and followed the link you provided after I had already posted. My link was for a coopered basin. You might still be able to get some techniques for joinery and/or watertightness from LJ andyboy’s project though.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2688 days

#2 posted 01-20-2013 03:29 AM

My guess would be a long dovetail joint for head and foot ends then some kind of a croze joint in the bottom. Just a guess.

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View runswithscissors's profile


2750 posts in 2020 days

#3 posted 01-20-2013 05:38 AM

I think it’s likely you will have several hundred (not thousand) pounds of water, but not water pressure, which is a much different thing. Good luck with the project. Those are all beautiful tubs. I looked at the link in Don’s post, and was amused at the idea of a mansion which is environmentally sustainable. Something wrong with the thinking here?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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