Cherry Makeup Vanity

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Project by toddbeaulieu posted 06-17-2015 07:24 PM 1618 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had me Wife choose a style for a vanity for me to make over xmas vacation. I was really hoping she’d pick Shaker because of the simplicity, but of course, she chose a traditional design with cabriole legs. Yikes! On the plus side I was “forced” to order a Veritas spokeshave set and some had punched rasps for the leg work.

I started with a random picture but customized the design heavily, including a hidden compartment. I completely winged the leg layout. I haven’t yet experimented with turning and therefore left the pads for last. Of course, I messed up to various degrees, resulting in non-uniform pads. I’m getting pretty good at accepting such mistakes these days, though. Not thrilled with the lines and proportions, but … I see it as “folk art”. Not perfect, not trained workers, but still pretty nice. I still need to make a matching mirror for the top and possibly a stool.

While legs did take quite a bit of time and learning, by far the biggest hurdle was coming up with the hidden compartments, a way to lock and unlock them and all while preserving the structural integrity of the desk.

In the above photos you can see the main, center drawer open. With the drawer closed, if you reach underneath and slide the locking mechanism into the open position, the entire apron slides out, including the center drawer and a hidden compartment on each side of it – also seen above.

Here is the locking mechanism in the locked position, which locks the apron assembly to the main case and allows the center drawer to slide in and out.

And here it’s been slid into the open position which unlocks the apron from the chassis, while simultaneously locking the center drawer to the apron.

Because I’m not very bright it took me a while to come with something simple yet effective. You’d never know of it if I didn’t tell you. Here’s a view from down under.

Making the legs:

This has not been sanded .. just card scraped. My first experience using scrapers. So fun!

I was pretty happy with the web frames, but the drawer sizes and fit was a struggle. I’d also make the drawers heavier next time, as I went with 1/2” maple stock with aromatic cedar bottoms. I’d want heavier drawer stock next time and cedar was an experiment that I wouldn’t repeat. Obviously, I’m still learning best practices!

Nothing fancy for handles, but something I could make without a lathe:

I was sufficiently pleased with the top. No complaints there.

7 comments so far

View Andrek's profile


483 posts in 2330 days

#1 posted 06-18-2015 10:35 AM

Bravo, very nice work, beautiful wood too. Thank you for showing.

-- andrek

View abie's profile (online now)


888 posts in 4191 days

#2 posted 06-18-2015 02:13 PM

Thanks for sharing the details.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Notw's profile


721 posts in 2174 days

#3 posted 06-18-2015 02:34 PM

awesome work, i’m sure the wife is very happy

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2764 days

#4 posted 06-18-2015 02:34 PM

very nice

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3287 days

#5 posted 06-18-2015 05:41 PM

This turned out beautifully. You did a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View dmmd's profile


18 posts in 2646 days

#6 posted 06-19-2015 12:18 PM


-- Dolev Meir --- Nes-Ziona Israel

View Jamie McDonald's profile

Jamie McDonald

180 posts in 2702 days

#7 posted 09-20-2018 05:27 PM

awesome creation! I like the quality of your construction. Look at those drawer slides!

-- "The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides!" --Artur Schnabel

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