I need to replace a vanity.
It's a generic 3 drawer, 2 door, 36" vanity, with one detail. On the right hand side is an angled cabinet, say, 15-20 degrees back, to narrow the counter top to fit it by the toilet. At that point, there is a separate cabinet, with a pair of "roll top desk" doors, that go side to side.
The angled back, and the companion cabinet make this a piece I can't really find off the shelf.
I do not need to replace the second cabinet, pretty sure I can reuse that.
But I would like to replace the main vanity. The sink area of the current one is "funky", as sink areas can get after 20+ years.
The main vanity was assembled out of a particle board main cabinet, with some kind of white surface (melamine?), and an oak face frame, oak doors, oak drawer fronts.
I was thinking of building mine out of plywood (birch?) and oak as well.
I am not an experienced cabinet maker. I am not an experienced wood worker.
But I look at the original, the simplicity of it's construction. And I look around the internet, and the wonders of YouTube. I was considering pocket screw joinery, and, all in all, it looks pretty straight forward.
It seems to come down to whether I can cut square pieces.
I have a small table saw (you get them at a home center for $150-$200). I have access to a power chop/miter saw. I'm willing to buy the assorted jigs and clamps and what not for the pocket screw stuff.
I'm willing to "build it twice", once out of pine for the face frame, and just get twice the plywood. "Cut twice, measure once."
I have the original for a plan, I can make measurements from it, and it can act as an assembly guide. They just nailed and stapled this thing together with butt joints.
Naively, this looks doable to me. The pocket hole joinery looks simple and mechanical and sturdy. I have a fence on the saw, and I found some techniques on cutting the panels and dealing with larger pieces of plywood (always an issue for me, particularly with the small table saw). But with a circular saw, and some saw horse techniques I saw on YouTube, it seems doable.
The hardest part seems to be cutting the angles. Angles of the cabinet wall, angles of the face frame stiles, angle of the shelves inside. Table saw should do that, I worry about about getting the lines right (cut on the line? Outside the line? Inside the line? What's a good tolerance here).
The face frame will be sanded and stained.
I do not have to make the counter top, I do not have to install it. I have a contractor for that.
What I don't know is...what I don't know. What I don't know is how far over my head am I. What I don't know is do I need special blades for the saw (I have the generic one it came with)? Are there tricks for installing drawer slides? Door hinges?
I don't see a need for dados or anything like that. I was thinking of making the drawers, they would have simple panel fronts, but I may order the doors (they're shaker style -- again, these seem pretty simple to me, but they would need a dado to trim the grooves and make the tenons). I guess I would need a small dado for the bottom of the drawers. Not sure about that yet.
I also don't know how to finish the inside of the cabinet, but I can come back to that.
So, as I said, I don't know what I don't know.
Is this project folly? Part of the problem is we've spent a lot of time trying to find an off the shelf solution and can't. We've even enlisted custom cabinet makers, but they're -- not really responsive. So, I'm feeling empowered by 5 minute internet videos, power tools, and gizmos. I don't want to rush it, but...it just doesn't seem that hard.
I have visions of that bridge at the end of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and Sir Robin running off "That's easy!".
So, just looking for the gotcha's. What am I missing. Skill and experience, obviously. Is that enough to condemn the project?