Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Walnut Vanity

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1368 posts in 1776 days

#1 posted 09-12-2016 12:08 AM


The shelf capturing the legs looks like quite a difficult joint, especially with 8 to 12 to cut. The thin edge and ends of a shelf could easily break when sliding the legs into place. Getting perfectly mating joint lines will require some precision woodworking. In any event, for this style of joint, I think you are on the right track with dowels, although also gluing the legs to the shelves should, I think, also be done.

If the mortise in the shelf is a tight enough joint with the leg, glue alone would keep it together. However, reinforcing with a walnut dowel that runs thru the front edge of the shelf (not the end) thru leg and back into the shelf would be easy and strengthen the joint. The top presents its own challenge. One approach would be a shallow mortise in the top that accepts the leg and the top glued in place. But this joint would be difficult to reinforce and would probably be weak. A dowel installed by drilling thru the top into the top end of the leg would provide some reinforcement of the top. Since end grain of the dowel would be exposed to water splashed from the sink, ensuring the end grain of the dowel is completely sealed when finish is applied would be an important precaution against the dowel swelling and cracking the top at the joint.

Alternatively, a frame constructed with half lap joints onto which the top is fastened (to the upper face of the frame) could be constructed. The frame could be joined to the legs in the same manner as the shelves. An alternative to a frame would be corner blocks face-glued to the underside of the top. The corner blocks could be feathered into the underside of the top and a deeper and stronger mortise could be cut, likewise pinned with a dowel thru the edges of the corner blocks.

Since I presume that is a sink setting atop the vanity and the vanity will therefore be secured to the wall, racking should not be much of a problem. However if the vanity could encounter racking forces, the shelf/leg joints could fail. Since there are no aprons supporting the top and the shelves, attaching the vanity to the wall could be done with long pocket screws installed on the underside of the top and the upper most shelf.

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