After weighing the pros and cons we decided to just build one (like everything else)! The idea was that if we built our own and it didn't turn out right then we didn't loose much. Plus, building one meant that it would match the rest of the bathroom.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Table saw = for cutting wood on a table!
- Miter gauge
- Router or Dremel tool = for dremel-ling
- Drill = for drilling
- KregJig = for ........jigging!
- Pipe clamps = for clamping pipes! ( not really)
-Various hand tools
2- Edge glued panels 3/4"x16"x6' (I could have made the panels myself but didn't want to take the time)
1- 1/4" dowel rod
1- toilet seat kit (I probably could have built this but my sanding skills would have left splinters in my butt!)
2- 2" hinges
4- rubber feet (of some kind or another)
1- 5 gallon bucket
2 - little brass catches
Step 2: Cutting the Panels Down
Once all the lengths were cut I had to rip the pieces on 22.5 degree angles. I set the blade angle to 22.5 then set the rip fence to trim the first angle. For these angles its hard to measure against the blade because, my saw's built-in ruler isn't very accurate. So, I move the blade tooth to the table and measure from the fence to the inner cutting tooth. The first cut is 15 3/8". I ran all the pieces through this cut to get the first angle on one side.
Next, I set the fence from 9 3/4" to the inside of the blade. I ran 2 of the 16" panels through this cut then reset the fence to 5 3/8". I cut the 2 leftovers and then ran the other 2 panels through this setup. That only left two more pieces so, I set the fence to the last cut which was 7 3/4". I finished the last pieces and moved on.
Step 3: Fitting Panels for the Toilet Base
Usually I test the KegJig after setting up for new material. So, I set up 3/4" on the jig and the drill bit and ran a test an some table scraps! I then ran some screws into the test piece and made sure they didn't come through the bottom.
Next, I drilled all the pocket holes on the marks making sure that they were being cut on the inside only. Then, lightly sanded around the pockets ( to get the wood fuzz from around the holes) [sounds slightly erotic] ( woodchuck porn)!!
After breaking in the drill I screwed the panels down to a scrap piece of plywood. And, using a framing square I made sure that the panels were going down true. Once the base was in place I could see where the bucket should sit and the toilet seat. At this point I knew that the base was a little to wide to fit the 16" top and bottom panels. I decided to cut 1/8" off of the 4 shortest pieces of the base to make it a bit smaller. Then, reassembled the base on the plywood again and checked all the measurments.
Step 4: Gluing and Pegging the Base Together
After that I took the alignment jig off andI ran masking tape on both sides of the glue joint to keep the wood clean. To apply the glue I took one of the panels off the plywood base. After applying the glue I replaced the panel and filled the holes with 1/4" dowels. When the joint was held firmly together I wiped the glue off, cut the dowels off, removed the tape, put the screws back in, and moved onto the next glue joint. I moved around the base and did one joint at a time being careful not to screw up the dowelling direction!
Once all the joints were done I let the base dry for a while.
Step 5: Building the Bottom and Fitting It
Once the bucket was where it needed to be I marked around the bucket and marked the little center circle. With a Dremel tool and a 1/4" mill bit I cut the circles about 1/8" deep. This was to keep the bucket from moving and so it could be positioned easier. After that I checked everything and also marked the excess on the bottom panel that needed to be cut.
For this cut I removed the rip fence on the table saw. All of the cuts on the bottom panel were cut free-hand because the angles were kinda funky! There was no good way to jig the cuts!
Next, I checked the bottom fit to the base and placed the bucket inside. I originally cut all the base panels 16" but, the bucket is only 14.5". To fit this properly the base had to be cut true all the way around, so I used a 16" ruler to set across the top and mark inside the base where to cut.
To cut the base I set the rip fence and set the base on the table. I cut the base one panel at a time, turning it after each cut until the top band of the base fell away!
Step 6: Building and Fitting the Top Panel
Next, I flipped the base upside down with the top on and marked the inside around the base. This was done so the top could be notched around the edge and push down on the bucket. This keeps the bucket from sliding and keeps the top more supported in the center when I sit on it ( great visual huh!).
The notch is cut by setting the fence from 3/4" to the outside of the blade and the cut heighth to 1/8". I ran all 8 edges through the saw. Then, I subtracted 1/8" from the fence and cut the 8 edges again. I think this was done like 5 times before finishing! I used a chisel to cut all the leftover wood out of the edges and finished it with a file.
I tested the fit to the base and also marked the holes for the toilet seat. I drilled the holes and mounted the seat to the top panel. All that was left was to mark the hole for the pooper and cut it out! For this I drilled a starter hole and cut it with a jigsaw.
Step 7: Assembling the Toilet Base and Testing?
The next day I removed the clamps and replaced the bucket to reference where to mount 4 padded feet. These are round feet with a 5/16" threaded stud and plugs that are pressed into place. I drilled the holes, inserted the plugs, and screwed the feet in.
Hell!!! I even had time to take a few glamour shots in the bathroom! You know, show the little guy his new home! Make sure its comfortable and enough room to read!!
Step 8: Finishing Touches Before Stain and Varnish
After a bit of thinking, I decided that the top looked kinda plain so I cut a 25 degee angle around the edge just for decoration. Later I realized that the rounded edges felt better on bare skin too! I also, didn't like the seat lid not having something to lean against when open.
To fix this I found some 1"x1/8" pieces of steel about 4.5" long. I marked them high enough to catch the lid and bent them in a vise to about a 75 or 80 degrees. Next, I drilled 3 holes in them and screwed them down to the base. This caught the lid from falling against the wall.
Lastly, I removed all the hardware and filed and sanded everything and rounded over all the sharp edges.
Step 9: Staining and Varnishing the Toilet, and the Finished Product!
The next day I woke up to 35 degree windy weather! I knew the temperature was too low for the varnish so I had to wait for the sun to come out and find a sunny spot away from the wind. It took all day to apply the varnish ( just 2 coats)!
After the varnish was completely dry I reassembled the toilet and attached the little brass catches for the top. Then I took a few more glamour shots!
Just in case you didn't know, the idea behind these toilets is pretty simple. You just lay a bed of shavings down in the bottom of the bucket and do your business! When you are done you cover it with more shavings or wood ash or even sand! Lucky for me we have been saving the shavings from our planer for this occasion!
Check out the rest of our tiny house build at atinyhomecompanion.blogspot.com. Enjoy!