Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to build a home-made bathtub from scratch

This post was started when I started building the tub, more than a year ago, but I want to update it to show HOW to build a home made wooden bath tub from from scratch: start to finish!
 I started with a cedar tree that had fallen in the ditch at someone's yard in the country. Landus Bennett of Watson Springs cut it down and milled it into boars and dried it in the kiln for two months.

 Here is Landus showing me the wood, almost ready to come out.

There is my tree, with the white on the ends.

  Here are some pictures of the cedar once it was dried and cut into 2"x2" pieces.
I used a piece of card board to cover the floor of the bathroom in the trailer, and then drew the area that the tub would fit into, and a rough outline of the rim. I then did some math to figure the amount of water that it would take to fill a tub of various dimensions, @ first forgetting to figure in the displacement of volume when my body will be inside ( I freaked when I thought I would need 85 gallons of water!), and then once I had a good idea of the size and shape of the rim I cut it out of the cardboard and traced it in chalk on the floor. I then cut the wood at various angles to create the curve of the shape of the tub, and glued/nailed the piece together to create the first layer of the wall.
The solar batteries have come in handy as weights to press the rings of the tub together. It is hard to tell from this picture because it is shown here upside down, but each ring gets a bit smaller. Here is the bottom of the tub. I'll sand it and then glue it in place.
Okay, so after I got the rings and the bottom all glued together, and filled in some spaces with some wood epoxy it was ready to sand.

So, I, and several of my amazing friends sanded it until the edge was smooth-ish. 

 And then I put four coats of Bondo around the inside of the tub and drilled a hole in the bottom for the drain. Then the Bondo was sanded until it was smooth.
I used a marine grade spar varnish to finish the wood before applying the fiberglass.

And here is a picture of layer one of fiber glass done, the loose sheets are sandwiched between the wood and the piece of 1 inch tubing, which is nailed into the rim. This layer will be folded over and create a rounded edge to the tub.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to see this tub finished! It looks great so far!