A bath tub… with a difference

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What do you get if you cross an architect, a boat-builder and a cabinetmaker? You get Marco Casavecchia, who builds a variety of exquisite wooden items from his studio in Susa, Italy. Here, he talks to us about a recent project: a stunning wooden bathtub.

How did the project come about?

A customer approached me about building a bathtub and it dawned on me that typical bath styles are not particularly comfortable. I suggested to my customer that we build one in wood.

The bathtub is built with vertical staves around a simple male mould that defines the overall shape. The staves are tapered to accommodate the difference in girth between top and bottom, then joined with a bead and cove joint. The concave–convex joint lends very well to the varying angles between the staves around the mould.

After gluing all the staves I ended up with a multi-faceted surface. Then came the hard labour of fairing the surface inside and out. Finally I fitted and glued the flat bottom.

The first bath I built was in mahogany. Then I built several others in pear wood, sequoia, western red cedar and cherry.

Which WEST SYSTEM® or PRO-SET® epoxy products did you use? How did they help?

I have used WEST SYSTEM epoxies for my boat building work since the early 1980s. So when I decided to build a wooden tub, it was a natural progression to use WEST SYSTEM epoxy – but this time, to keep the water inside instead of out!

I used WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin with 209 Extra Slow Hardener™ for gluing the staves. Then I used WEST SYSTEM 207 Special Coating Hardener™ for coating, and G/flex® for the bottom joint. WEST SYSTEM products worked superbly as usual – I didn’t have any problems.

wooden bath tubWhat was the most rewarding part of the project?

Probably when my first customer told me that my bathtub is proof that every other bathtub is wrong!

What’s your top tip for people looking to start a similar project?

Use well-seasoned, dry, stable wood and of course use WEST SYSTEM epoxies. Make sure you use at least four coats before varnishing with a high gloss two-pack polyurethane varnish.

 

Thanks to Marco for telling us about his project. Have you got a project to share? Contact us and you may feature in a future edition of epoxycraft!

To view more of the items that Marco builds, visit his blog.

To learn more about WEST SYSTEM epoxy products, visit the website.

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