Building a utility sink using an old stainless-steel kitchen sink provides an inexpensive alternative to purchasing a plastic or fiberglass utility sink from a home improvement center. This utility sink project is ideal for the garden or garage area. Another advantage to building your own utility sink is that you can build the base to dimensions that suit your application. In addition, recycling or repurposing used materials saves energy and the planet's natural resources.
Things You'll Need
- Stainless-steel sink with faucet
- Sink mounting clips
- ½-inch- or ¾-inch-thick plywood
- 3-inch wood screws
- Screw gun
- Tape measure
- Jigsaw with wood cutting blade
- Slotted screwdriver
Measure and cut four pieces of two-by-fours to a length of 48 inches, two pieces at a length of 24 inches and two pieces at a length of 21 inches using a circular saw and a tape measure. These pieces provide the frame for the top of the utility sink and a frame for a shelf under the sink.
Lay two of the 48-inch pieces on a flat surface side by side about two feet apart. Place a 24-inch piece of two-by-four on each end and screw all the pieces together using 3-inch wood screws and a screw gun. Repeat this step for the other 48- and 21-inch pieces. The end result should be two frames, one that measure 27 inches by 48 inches and one that measures 24 inches by 48 inches.
Measure and cut four two-by-fours to a length of 36 inches to act as the sink base legs. For shorter or taller utility sinks, adjust the length of the legs.
Place the 48-by-27-inch frame on a flat surface. Stand one of the 36-inch legs on end in the corner of the frame and attach it using the 3-inch screws and a screw gun. Repeat this step for the remaining three legs. It is important to attach all four legs to the 48-inch sides so the shelf frame fits properly.
Flip the sink frame and leg assembly over onto its side. Measure 12 inches from the bottom of each leg and make a mark using a pencil. Place the shelf frame between the legs of the sink frame and align the top edge of the shelf frame with the 12-inch marks on the legs. The shelf frame should fit snugly between the four legs.
Attach the shelf support frame to the legs using the 3-inch wood screws and a screw gun. Flip the sink frame into the upright position.
Cut two pieces of plywood, a sink top that measures 27 inches by 48 inches and a shelf top that measures 24 inches by 48 inches. These pieces of plywood provide the top of the utility sink and the shelf area located under the utility sink.
Place the sink top on top of the sink frame and position the piece so that it is flush on all sides of the sink frame. Fasten the piece using the 3-inch wood screws by driving them into the sink frame with a screw gun.
Place the shelf top between the sink legs and slide it down until it rests on the shelf supports installed in step 6. Fasten the shelf top to the shelf supports using the wood screws.
Place the stainless-steel sink upside down on the top of the sink top. Adjust the sink's position to center it from front to back and left to right.
Trace the outline of the sink onto the sink top using a pencil. Remove the sink and set aside.
Drill a pilot hole with a drill and cut out the sink opening using a jigsaw. You must stay a half inch inside the sink outline made in step 8, which provides a lip on which the sink will rest.
Lay a ½-inch bead of caulk around the edge of the sink cutout opening. Set the sink into the opening.
Install the sink mounting clips from underneath the sink using a slotted screwdriver. The clips slide onto a bar located on the bottom of the sink and bite into the bottom of the sink top when tightened. It usually takes at least two clips on each side of the sink to secure it properly.
Wipe away excess caulking that might have squeezed out during sink installation with a damp rag.
Tips & Warnings
- Paint the utility sink base before installing the sink.
- Remove the old faucet and just use the sink in combination with a water hose.
- Installing four lawn mower wheels on the bottom of the sink legs adds mobility for simple garden sinks without plumbing.
- Wear safety glasses when cutting wood and using power tools.
- If not connecting to a drain line, do not use the sink in areas subject to water damage.