Friday, January 31, 2014

Kids' Bathroom Started

With the government furlough and general procrastination, I did not remodel my kids' bathroom this past fall. I tried to start. I painted the ceiling and, well, that was it. School began. The holidays needed attention. My back started killing me. Days turned to weeks turned to months.

But I did acquire the wood necessary to make the vanity and a shelf box. Like my master bath, these will be cherry. My daughter wants to help me do this every step of the way, and the bathroom is cluttered, so we went ahead and made the shelf box.

Sure, we will have to remove it to paint, but that's just four screws. In the meantime it holds all those Bath and Body Works soaps, rolls of toilet paper, Clorox wipes and other things.

Building the Shelf Box
Marking the Centerline and Stud Locations
Installed Shelf Box
Construction was really easy. Using cherry plywood, we attached the sides, top, and bottom to one another using pocket hole screws. We, also, drilled pocket holes to attach a face frame. We made a frame out of 1 x 2 (actual measurements 3/4-in by 1-1/2 in) solid cherry wood - again, using pocket hole screws. The shelves are cherry plywood with their front edge covered in cherry edge banding.

Edge banding is a wood veneer strip with heat-activated glue on its back side. You just cut a strip an inch or two longer than the shelf and use an iron to melt the glue and adhere it to the plywood. Trim the excess off with a razor blade, sand, and the end result looks like a solid piece of wood.

We used pocket hole screws to attach the shelves, along with solid 1 x 2 shelf backers (hold the shelves off the wall and adds rigidity to the box).

Everything got at least three coats of waterborne polyurethane. That is pretty straight-forward, as well. Clean and sand the parts as necessary. Apply two thin coats. Knock off the roughness (grain pop) with a very fine sandpaper, clean, and apply another thin coat. You can repeat the sanding and coating as much as your heart desires.

Installing the box wasn't hard, either. First, locate where you want the box's centerline to be. Then locate the nearest wall studs. I took a 1 x 2 of cherry and, using a level, attached it to the wall. The box hangs from this. With the shelf box perched on that board, I screwed the shelf backers to the wall studs. This secures the wall box.

The rest of this project will have to wait until school is out.