A Sneak Peek At The Vanity Drawer Fronts (And Even This Big Flaw Doesn’t Dampen My Excitement)

Yesterday was one of those days where I spent hours working on the bathroom vanity and cabinet project, ended the day covered head to toe in sawdust, and still had very little done at the end of the day.

I spent most of my time yesterday cutting all the wood that will frame all the drawer fronts. I will admit it was harder than I expected. It took me a few tries to get my measurements right, which meant I broke a couple pieces and had to scrap them and start with new pieces.

And again, cutting walnut, which is a hardwood, is very different from cutting pine, a softwood, and MDF, a glorified particle board. That’s all I use on my cutting table. So the transition from those to hardwood was quite challenging. And then the amount of wood I had to cut for the frames made a long day.

After all the cutting and sawing, I ended up with enough 3/4-inch-square pieces of walnut to have these rabbets cut out of them.

For each drawer front, I needed four pieces, all mitered at the corners.

I will cover these DIY steps in more detail in a later post. For now, I just want to give you a sneak peek, and show you the mistake I made.

However, before cutting any of these pieces with my miter saw, I went to great lengths to measure exactly what I needed. So here is what I measured and wrote.

I know (and verified) that the boards I cut for the front are 39.5 inches wide. That’s the space I have in front of the drawer. I wanted a 1/16-inch space on each end, two small drawer fronts that were 7.75 inches wide, and two 1/8-inch spaces between the drawer fronts and the center one. false drawer front.

I figured if I took those measurements and subtracted them from 39.5, that would give me the width I needed for the front of the center drawer. right? right?

So that’s what I did. I calculated it once.

39.5 – 0.0625 – 7.75 – 0.125 – 0.125 – 7.75 – 0.0625 = ??

That simple math problem gave me the width of the middle drawer front.

I calculated it again and wrote down the number. Then I gathered everything I needed to make those three drawer fronts. And I recalculated it to confirm my numbers. I probably did this four times before I started cutting and assembling the frames.

I took great care in making these frames. I don’t think I’ve ever made such perfect mitered cuts in my life, and I’m very pleased with how the frames turned out.

And then I wood filled the corners and sanded them to absolute perfection. You can see a sanded one compared to an unsanded one below.

By the time I finished the frames, it was too late to cut the plywood for the centers. But I was anxious to get a visual of what the finished drawer fronts would look like, so I cut pieces of veneer and glued them to the frames. And then I went to tape the drawer front into place, and…

*WOMP WOMP* The middle drawer front is about an inch wide. Oh my gosh, I’m so disappointed.

So I recalculated to see where I went wrong, but I got the same number I got before. I stared at the number on my calculator. I measured the front of the drawer and that was the only measurement.

I thought I was going crazy. I think I’ve entered some kind of wormhole where our math doesn’t make sense anymore.

I recalculated it. I have the same number. That number matches the drawer front measurement.

I can’t even describe how disorienting this whole thing is. How do the numbers not make sense? According to the numbers I’ve calculated at least six or seven times now, these drawer fronts should fit. But they didn’t.

I didn’t understand it, so I decided to just leave it and come back to it after a good night’s sleep. But I knew there was no way I was going to sleep until I figured it out.

So I decided to try one more time. And this time, my number is different. A smaller number. A figure that was approximately… one… an… inch… smaller… than the number I got every time before.

What’s the problem? I measured correctly. I wrote down the measurements correctly. But for some mysterious reason, every time I go to input the width of the small drawers into my phone calculator, I input 7.25 instead of 7.75.

I didn’t just do it once, or twice, or three times. I did this about six or seven times in a row. HOW????? I have never done anything like that in my life. Yes, I have made miscalculations many times before. Yes, I cut things too long or too short. But I can easily catch my mistake when I go back and count the numbers.

It’s completely unprecedented, and I still can’t imagine how I entered the numbers wrong so many times in a row, especially when I considered writing the numbers correctly, and I looked the numbers I wrote correctly respectively. time for me to input the numbers into my calculator.


At least I know this…in the end.

I’m just glad I made it wide instead of too narrow. That means I can save the pieces and nothing (except a couple of inches) goes to waste. And it’s going to be beautiful when it’s done, if I do say so myself. 😀

And of course, when it’s done, the color of the wood will be darker and richer, and the pulls will be the icing on the cake.

So I’m going back to it now, and I think my new rule is to measure twice, calculate ten times, and cut once.

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