McMullen Master Vanity

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Project by Todd A. Clippinger posted 07-09-2008 06:41 AM 5373 views 9 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first ever cabinet.

This vanity was made for friends of mine that were finishing up some remodeling just in time for the Billings Heritage Home Tour. The key elements to making the vanity look like a piece of furniture were the legs and the unbroken faceframe.

The construction is of Baltic birch for the cabinet boxes and hard maple for the frame, doors, drawer boxes, and drawer faces. The total counter top height is at 36” for greater comfort.

Drawers are dovetailed but I did not get fancy with them. These are actually my first ever dovetails made on a ShopFox dovetail jig. It basically works but I replaced it quickly with an Akeda dovetail jig which is vastly superior.

The cockbead moulding is an applied feature.

The drawer glides are Blum undermounts.

The doors and drawers are all inset. This adds to the level of technical difficulty but makes for a more custom looking cabinet. The faceframe is one piece, unbroken from left to right and I added legs to make my work more distinctive.

The finish is antiqued but not too heavily distressed. I have to admit that the finish appears blotchy in the photos. I don’t know why this is, when viewed in person it looks great.

The stain is Sherwin BAC wiping stain which can be top coated in 30 minutes. The finish is a CAB Acrylic that is rated for resistance against water for such locations as a vanity or kitchen sink base. It is better than a pre-catalyzed lacquer but not as durable as a conversion varnish.

The clients were very happy with the project and this turned out to be the first of many projects for them.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

42 comments so far

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4712 days

#1 posted 07-09-2008 10:30 AM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 5142 days

#2 posted 07-09-2008 11:55 AM

Todd, a very nice look!

Did you build this in place or at the shop?

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Keni's profile


42 posts in 4893 days

#3 posted 07-09-2008 01:25 PM

I love the way you inset the face frame from the case! Do you have any construction pictures? I would like to see how you put it together.

-- Williamsport, MD

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4776 days

#4 posted 07-09-2008 01:32 PM

Stunning vanity Todd. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Critterman's profile


601 posts in 4819 days

#5 posted 07-09-2008 02:09 PM

I have to disagree Todd, the finish looks perfect. I like the way you got it darker around the moldings etc. Excellent work…like always. I really lke this one the color of this one the coloring and antiquing is super. I like too the 36” height, the one in my new house is shorter and at 6’ tall for me it’s kind of a pain. Again, outstanding work.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

798 posts in 4841 days

#6 posted 07-09-2008 02:27 PM

What can I say? You do good work. All your pieces inspire me to do better.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4777 days

#7 posted 07-09-2008 02:50 PM

thats beautiful Todd! it looks wonderful! thanks for the post.

View DanTheLumberJockMan's profile


26 posts in 4619 days

#8 posted 07-09-2008 03:37 PM

Wow, looks great. This is the kind of cabinetry I hope to be able to do some day. How did you do the drawer fronts? Is it a flat panel with an edge molding applied?

-- Dan, San Diego, CA

View PaBull's profile


969 posts in 4673 days

#9 posted 07-09-2008 03:50 PM

Very nice woodworking. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4782 days

#10 posted 07-09-2008 03:53 PM

Great looking vanity. You did a beautiful job on it. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View DaytonB's profile


154 posts in 4875 days

#11 posted 07-09-2008 04:09 PM

Very sharp. I like the way you inset the frame around the doors. It adds one more simple yet elegant aspect to the piece. I’m almost finished with a furniture style vanity for our bathroom remodel and I’m sorry I didn’t see yours earlier : ) what type of vanity top did they go with?

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 4672 days

#12 posted 07-09-2008 04:17 PM

Very nice, that is a beautiful vanity.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4894 days

#13 posted 07-09-2008 04:20 PM

Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View gbear's profile


539 posts in 5108 days

#14 posted 07-09-2008 05:18 PM

Ditto…all of the above

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Danielle's profile


6 posts in 4744 days

#15 posted 07-09-2008 06:07 PM

Very nice! Looks great!


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