This is a vanity that I built for a previous home of mine in Southeast Portland. All of the wood came from the Rebuilding Center. They were very rough boards to start with but once milled down they produced a nice finished product.In this image you can see the boards I was working with on saw horses behind my house, plus the van that I used to move to portland.
The thickness of the boards that I was working with ranged from 1 1/4 inches to 5/8 of on inch. The easiest way to create a uniform slab thickness was to cut the boards to a consistent width of 1 1/2 inches and turn them on edge. I then planed the broad surfaces of the boards to prepare them for edge gluing.
The pieces each get a light coat of glue. I usually use a paint brush to apply it and then get clamped together.
Here are more pieces of wood being glued. The clamps I use are Pony pipe Clamps and they screw onto 3/4 inch gas pipe so you can make clamps whatever length you want.
Here are the two pieces that will be joined to form the bottom of the vanity. I have a 13 inch planer so I glued the pieces up in two sections that would fit through my planer. Once the pieces had gone through the planer I then glued those pieces together and used a belt sander followed by an orbital sander to smooth the joint.
Here’s the full width bottom piece and one of the vertical pieces.
This is the vanity top after unclamping and before sanding.
I made a jig from some scrap plywood in the garage to rout out channels to fit the vertical pieces.
Here is the vanity being assembled.
After a whole lot of cutting, gluing, clapping and sanding here is the finished and installed vanity. All of the wood for the vanity it’s self is reclaimed fir and the doors are made out of painted scrap plywood.
Recently there was a massive turmeric powder spill in my kitchen. If you’ve ever cooked with turmeric you will be aware of it’s ability to turn anything yellow. Not wanting to waste the spilled turmeric I decided I would try it out as a wood stain. For my first attempt I kept it simple and just mixed the powder with some water and applied it to a piece of structural grade plywood that I had in the garage and let it dry. Next I decided to apply some oil to part of the wood to see how that affected the appearance. In keeping with the rest of the project and given the fact that the project was carried out in my kitchen I opted to use Olive Oil to coat the wood. In general oil will bring out the richness of the wood. Note: I have no previous knowledge of Olive Oil having superior characteristics for wood, also it’s expensive for the purpose. It was just more fun to extend the food grade building materials experiment then it would have been to go with a more traditional choice.
Turmeric works! How about Wine?
Since I was already mucking around in the kitchen I decided I may as well try wine on the other side. Similar to the Tumeric I applied the wine with a rag let it dry then oiled part of the wood to compare the results.
Turmeric stained plywood. The darker portion also has a coat of oil.
Wine stained plywood. The darker portion also has a coat of oil.
After applying the stain I applied a water based polyurethane. So far everything has worked out well and there haven’t been any problems with the combination of materials. In working with nonstandard materials there’s always the chance that the chemical makeup of the materials will be incompatible. problems with incompatibility in materials will usually present themselves right away but sometimes finishes will degrade or lose adhesion over time due to chemical incompatibility. I’ll continue to monitor my sample and post updates if anything changes.
Have you made use of non-construction materials in your finishes? If so let me know!