Modifying credenza into vanity

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Old 03-30-07, 10:14 AM
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Modifying credenza into vanity

I am considering modifying a Drexel mahogany credenza into a vanity for the master bathroom. The sinks I found are very shallow, so we can set them right on top and will only need to account for pipes. The piece is divided into three "sections": on left and right there is a drawer on top and doors with shelves on the bottom. In the middle is a series of four long drawers. I would need to situate the sink(s) so that the modifications are as simple as possible.

At first blush, the modifications will include:

Trimming about 1 1/2 inches off the bottom skirt to reduce the height of the piece to a more appropriate height.

Cut holes in the top for each drain (we may go with only one sink since it's quite wide).

Modify the top drawer(s) and/or shelves to accomidate the P-trap. Ideally I would just take up one drawer and nail it shut, which seems the easiest way to deal with this.

Cut a hole in the back for the pipe to come out.

Refinish the top and apply a marine-grade poly.

I have never done any sort of furniture work before, but I am very handy. Will this project require any special woodworking tools? Can anyone suggest or point me to a website with information on this kind of a project?

Thanks so much!
logcabincook
 
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Old 03-31-07, 05:54 AM
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So far, what you have in your plans is AOK, with one exception. Don't cut it off to make it shorter. Just because bath vanities are low, doesn't mean you can't have a more suitable height to keep from having to bend over so much to use it. I had custom cabinets made once and the cabinet guy talked me into 34" high vanity. I asked, "what about the kids", to which he replied "get 'em a stool, they grow up, you don't get shorter". One other thing, don't "nail" the drawer facing, use rotating clips to hold it in place, that way you don't degrade the beauty of the face.
I have installed a few of these "designer" cabinets/sink combinations, and really like the results. Good luck with it.
 
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Old 03-31-07, 07:19 AM
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Well this one is nearly 37" high... and I am 5'2"!

Would a jigsaw be the proper tool to make my cuts with?
 
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Old 03-31-07, 07:45 AM
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Roger that. Couple of things. Are the legs trimable? How wide is the top rail? Can the top be removed? If the answer to the last question is "no", then a jig saw would be the proper tool for trimming the legs. Make sure you make accurate measurements and cuts. Nothing is worse than having to adjust the legs for wobble. That is until the legs shortened to where the top is only 10" off the floor!!
A tripod is always stable, but you add the 4th leg, and it gets wierd.
 
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Old 03-31-07, 07:55 AM
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There are no legs on this bugger, it's one big skirt that goes all the way around. I can only trim off 1 1/2 inches because the corner supports sit that far up in the piece itself.

Here is a photo: http://www.evergroove.com/graphics/furniture/IMG_0149_7_1_1.JPG
 
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Old 03-31-07, 09:43 AM
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The tallest vanities I install never exceed 36 1/2" overall. You're starting with 37" and placing the sink on top. Even if the sink is only 6" deep that puts the rim of the sink 43" above the floor! You don't specify how deep the unit is but if you are committed to using it, why not cut out the top and place the sink in it. Remove the top drawer and reinstall only the front, cut back the remaing drawers as necessary so they miss the trap.
 
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Old 03-31-07, 09:49 AM
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Yes the height is becoming more and more of an issue. Hubby ain't too pleased with it. We may wind up going back to the regular vanity idea and using the credenza elsewhere. It may make for a very nice bar/storage piece in the great room.
 
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Old 03-31-07, 09:59 AM
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Now that is s great idea. Add a piece of marble or glass to the top and you're set to go. How about a wet bar?
 
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Old 03-31-07, 10:52 AM
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A wet bar would be wonderful if I wasn't already maxed out in my plumbing budget ;-)
 
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Old 04-01-07, 12:05 PM
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Unplug your saw, now!!! What a beautiful piece of furniture! You definitely don't have an option of cutting it off, and if it is too tall, now, it will be too tall with the sink. Figure out some other use for it, and look for something else just as nice for your sink. Great idea, though.
 
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