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How to Build a Walnut Pedestal with Backlit Onyx using LEDs

After installing the floating walnut vanity with live edge backsplash, the plumber came by and did his thing.  It was at this point that the client realized they didn’t like seeing the pipes under the vanity.  We came up with a pedestal design to hide the plumbing.  The builder picked up a piece of onyx that was the same kind as the sink, and I went to work incorporating it into the vanity design.

cutting wood at the radial arm sawI started out cutting all the parts to their rough length, milling them, and using dominos for alignment during glue-up.

how to match a seem in woodAs always, I took care when selecting the boards so the joint between the boards blended away.

double stick 2 pieces of wood togetherI double-stick-tapped the sides together so that when I cut them, they would be an exact match.  Whenever I double-stick tap boards together, I first put down a blue table to act as a release.  This makes it much easier to get the pieces apart, and I don’t have any tape residue to scrape off.

Shop made track sawI use my homemade track saw to cut the angle for the front of the pedestal.  I do drink the green kool-aid from time to time, so I plan on investing in a Festool track saw very soon.

Cutting a 45 on a radial arm sawWe needed a way to reach the shut-off valves in case of a water leak and also to pass the final inspection.  I used my radial arm saw to cut a 45-degree angle across the bottom back corner so you would be able to access the shut-off valves.

Supporting the onyxI used a protractor Angle Finder to find the angle for the front trim to support the onyx and the incra miter gauge to cut it accurately

This trim will go all the way around the front to support and frame the onyx.

Shop made angle finderTo match the angle on the rip cut for the bottom, I used the cut-off from the trim to set the angle on the table saw.

How to use the domino with thin strips of woodI’m sure there will be some YouTube trolls who will lose their minds because I used a domino.  I save my hand-cut Joinery for the visible parts and the domino when I need to be efficient or fit a project into a customer’s budget.  Hand cut Joinery and domino joinery are two different charges.

How to handle onyx without breaking itOnyx is extremely brittle; with one little bump, it could break.  It is especially fragile along a fracture line.  This one has a  big fracture in it going from Top right to middle bottom left.

Glass stop for onyxTo hold the onyx in place, I used some thin strips of wood to act as stops, just like you would use as a glass stop in an old window.

walnut pedestal with backlit onyx using LEDsOn the job site, we used some strip LEDs to backlight the onyx.  The transformer is screwed to the underside of the vanity and used to light both the pedestal and sink.


I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.


  1. very good work! Back lighting onyx adds value to anything. What LEDS did you use? Craig

    1. Not sure of the exact brand, but they came from Woodcraft. they ate the strip light type

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