This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
A rough handy washatand of simple design is shown in Fig. 589. The legs a, of 2-in. or 2 1/2-in. wood, are shown square, but may of course be rounded at the corners by a plane, or completely turned in a lathe, in the intervals between the joints, this being done before the mortices are cut. These latter will be 2 in each inner face of each leg - an upper to take the tenons on the bearers b that carry the top c, and a lower to receive the supports d e of the drawer f. The mortices should be cut deeply but not quite through the legs. The bearers b d are 3 in. wide and 1/2-3/4 in. thick, placed edge upwards; e are only 1 1/2 in. wide and laid flat. All are best situated about the centre of the width of the legs, and therefore flush with neither the back nor the front. The 2 side bearers d have little strips glued and tacked inside on a level with the top edge of the lower bearer e, on which the drawer / is supported and can slide to and fro. The drawer f is made with half-lap dovetails, as the tool chest, Fig. 565, p. 290. The top should be made complete before it is fixed to the stand. Its table c will require to be cut out of 2 pieces to gain sufficient width.
These must be pinned and glued securely together, and further strengthened by strips attached beneath while cutting out the circular hole g. This latter operation is effected by means of a fret-saw or keyhole saw worked with the face of the table towards the operator. When the table of the top is so far complete, the back h and sides i are attached, being first dovetailed together at the coiners, and then bradded or screwed to the table from the other side. It will be seen that the table c is large enough to project about 2 in. beyond the frame on each side and 1 in. in front. It is fixed to the frame by first glueing some triangular blocks on to the sides b, inside the frame, and flush with the top of it, one in the centre of each side b, in such a way as to offer a flat surface at top, which may take some of the bearing of the table c. When these blocks are quite firm, their upper surface, as well as that of the whole frame, receives a coat of glue, and the complete top is laid in place. It may be further secured by driving a screw through it and into the top of the leg at each corner, allowing the heads of the screws to be countersunk and hiding them by putty before painting.
The washstand is completed by fastening a board k, cut out at the corners so as to fit between the legs, over the drawer /, and reaching a little beyond the bearers d.