A change of pace

Posting’s been a bit slow lately, but stuff’s slowly happening. A baby-related project came up in that our bathroom has a counter that works very well as a changing station, only it’s too low. I was getting a back ache, and it would also be nice if the surface was concave to make it harder for Axel to roll off (once he starts rolling.) I decided it would be “pretty simple” to raise the counter a bit.

To get a concave surface, I started by using the CNC mill to make 5 identical, concave, ribs out of 1×6 planks.

To get a nice concave shape to the changing table, the CNC mill was used to cut the ribs. The ribs are just under twice the X-range of the mill, so the carpenter’s square in the far corner is set up as a fixture so I could cut one half, then flip the piece over, and cut the second. In the picture, the first half is done and the second half in the process of being cut.

The ribs hold the counter surface, a thin piece of plywood, in a concave shape. Once I had all 5 ribs, the plywood was pulled down to conform to the rib shape and nailed and glued in place.

The ribs were positioned on the plywood that makes the new counter top and nailed and glued in place. The top extends slightly outside of the ribs so the sides will hold it in shape.

Once the ribs were on, the sides were added using the same thin plywood. This makes it rigid and also holds the edge of the plywood in a straight line. Without the edges, it tends to “flatten” itself between the ribs.

Once the sides were mounted, the top edge was cut down to join smoothly with the sides and all corners were rounded off.

This is not something that’s made to be aesthetically pleasing, but to avoid the possibility of baby pee soaking into the wood, it got two coats of varnish before being mounted on top of the counter.

The new counter top in place with a neoprene sheet (from a yoga mat) as padding on top.

The whole thing just slid in place perfectly, and then I ran a bead of silicone around the edges to hold it in place and avoid liquids getting in between the wall and the shelf.┬áThe counter edge is now 5″ higher than it was before, and the center is 1.5″ deep. It’s a significant slope but not so much that you can’t stand things on the edges (see the box of wipes at the back in the picture above.)

I’m very happy with it, the new height makes it much more comfortable to spend all that time wiping baby butt!


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