How To Make a Wood Bathtub?


Created At 7 months ago


The bathroom is an ideal place to relax after a hard day’s work. Taking a hot water bath in the tub relieves tension and revitalizes the mind. It’s challenging to find the perfect bathtub size. Knowing how to construct your bathtub can help you achieve your ideal tub.

Woodworkers are always coming up with new and better methods to use their resources to improve our homes and lives. Even so, there is one place in the house that has eluded woodworkers’ attention: the bathroom. Bathrooms don’t appear to be very kind to wood, maybe due to the amount of water they contain. Water and wood aren’t a good match.

Nonetheless, as woodworkers discover better techniques to waterproof their creations, small advances are being made into this sanctuary. It is especially noticeable in vanity counters, where natural edge wood slabs are increasingly being used in more upscale residences.

Wood bathtubs are among the costliest bathtubs on the market, costing upwards of $30,000.  However, although most of us lack the skill to carve a two-ton piece of crystal, it is feasible to make a wood bathtub even if we could locate one to cut. A wood bathtub, on the other hand, is the pinnacle of incorporating wood into your bathroom.


Different Types of Wood Bathtubs

To be clear, “wood bathtubs” refers to three different types of bathtubs:

  • A deep wood hot tub in the Japanese style.
  • A freestanding wooden bathtub (essentially a modification of the Japanese hot tub, in the shape of an old-fashioned freestanding bath).
  • A tub made of laminated hardwood.

Laminated hardwood:

The other two tubs are less expensive than the laminated wooden tub. These are “natural wood” tubs manufactured of wood that can survive water-induced deterioration (cedar or rubberwood). They are available for purchase for a few thousand dollars. They’re even available at your local building materials store.

The staves of either the laminated wood tubs or the freestanding tubs are seen at home improvement shops. These tubs fitted together and banded to keep them in close contact, much like the staves of a barrel. The bathtubs from NK Woodworking are akin to a ship since the company’s founder, Nathie Katzoff, got his start in woodworking by learning to make boats.

Both types of tubs, however, are installed in your bathroom like any other standalone tub. It’s as simple as putting the tub in position and connecting the faucets and drain. It’s less complicated than putting in a built-in tub.

Read also: How To Fix a Leaky Bathtub Faucet?

Start Building your own Wood Bathtub

Create a Framework:

To begin, you’ll require a framework. Begin by constructing a framework. The framework will not become part of the completed tub in this scenario, but it will aid in the tub’s layup and glueing.

It must match the inner contour of the finished tub to function, keeping in mind that the final measurements of the interior of your tub will be somewhat more significant than the framework dimensions. The final shape will form by designing and sanding both the inside and outside of the tub once put up and bonded.

Waxing the Structure:

Wax the outside of your structure to prevent the glue from laminating the tub’s layers from sticking to it. It is feasible to break the framework and then clean up any scraps from the inside of the tub; however, waxing the framework will save you time and effort.

While you may design your tub in whatever form you desire, most tubs have a slight taper and are rounded at the ends, bottom, and corners. Thus, this isn’t an essential need. There are current tub types that are squared off. They’re even available at NK Woodworking and Designs.

Assemble the foundation:

Working from the bottom up, start by putting together the foundation, shaping and gluing the parts together, and placing them on your glue bench. You should use a template or jig to keep them in place so they don’t move as you add more layers.

Make a floor adjustment:

The tub’s floor is the next component. This flat piece was made by connecting 34″ boards, much like a tabletop. For extra robustness, we recommend using dowels or biscuits while putting this together. Please attach it to the base once it’s been laminated, making sure it’s centered.

Sides should be laminated:

The superficial portion of the job is over now that the tub’s floor is linked to the foundation. It’s time to begin laminating the sides directly. If you want your tub to have tapered sides, you’ll need to cut each layer separately because each one will be slightly larger than the one below. The layers are cut large, with excess material on the outside and inside (which will sit against your structure and provide an excellent reference for shaping the tub), leaving that material for the final shape.

It’s important to stagger the joints from one layer to the next, just like building a boat or laying a hardwood floor. Even yet, it will be easier if the long sides have fewer joints, as they will not be required due to the curve flowing out of the sides of the boards.

To prevent wasting material, it’s a good idea to construct cardboard patterns for each layer as you go. The design can be taken from the layer below and changed to maintain constant touch with the framework. Curves made out of thin plywood can be utilized as templates for the corners depending on the general design of your tub, as the curvature of the intersection will stay consistent on some designs.

Two layers of wood planking can be bonded together and then cut to size with a band saw. Before adding the layers to the tub, make sure that the four to six components that make up each layer fit tightly together with no gaps. Another obstacle to overcome is clamping the tub as you build it up. The key is to utilize wood bridges on top of the layer being added, with bar clamps running from the benchtop’s bottom edge.

You may require assistance clamping so that both sides of the bridge are tight at the same time. Clamp each layer in place until the glue has dried. As a result, this will be a long job to finish, as the bond will take longer to dry than to cut the next layer of components to install.

Read also: How To Clean Fiberglass Bathtubs?

Creating a Tub:

After the tub has been glued up, the final shaping will need to be done. From the preliminary glue-up you’ve produced, you’ll essentially need to carve the final form of the tub. As the total thickness of the tub’s walls is reduced to around an inch, layers will need to be blended into one another.

Before you go too far into the shaping process, make sure you drill the necessary holes for the faucets and drain. You should do this earlier in the shaping process to smooth out the edges of those holes as you shape and sand the tub. If you wait until the tub is formed, you could wind up with hole saw chips to deal with.

Depending on what you have in your workshop, various instruments utilize this shaping process. Among the options are:

  • An angle grinder with a chainsaw cutting wheel
  • A shaved spokeshave (a bit small, but possible)
  • Planes made of wood (there are planes with curved soles, which could be used for the inside of the tub)
  • chisels and mallet

As you work over the tub, smoothing it inside and out, you’ll most likely discover that you’ll need to use a variety of equipment. The tub will need to be sanded when the final shape is achieved, starting with coarse grade paper and progressively more refined and more acceptable grades.

Putting the Tub to Rest:

People who manufacture natural edge, wood slab countertops for this. They finish with a thick coat of epoxy, which is both waterproof and long-lasting. It’s possible to color the epoxy, like with “river” countertops, but you’ll probably want to keep it clear to appreciate the warmth of the wood.

The sooner the epoxy builds up a finish, the heavier-bodied it is. Because you won’t be using a mold, a heavy-bodied epoxy with a high viscosity is preferable over a thinner epoxy, resulting in runs in your finish. If you’re not cautious, it will also result in larger, more difficult-to-hide runs.

It’s generally best to use an epoxy with a quick set time, so it doesn’t take too long to dry. However, you’ll need to mix your epoxy in small batches, and then you’ll be able to work within the time you have before it starts to gel. Don’t worry, and you can always add more to the mix.

Each finish layer should be lightly sanded to eliminate any sags and make the surface rough enough for the next coat to adhere to. While epoxy is entirely waterproof, it is so if it is applied in a continuous coating. Any pinholes in the layer or dents that occur after the tub have been fitted can compromise the tub’s waterproofing, allowing water to penetrate the wood beneath.

Extra caution should be exercised when moving or installing the tub to avoid damaging the coating. Even the tiniest dings can ruin your tub’s surface, leading it to break far sooner than it should.

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