What size timbers for a belfast sink stand?


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Established Member
17 May 2012
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South West Wales
Hi all

Excuse the very basic questions! I'm at the low end of DIY skill and knowledge, but willing to give things a go. I'm looking to make a kitchen unit which will have a belfast sink at one end. I've got a reasonable plan for most of it, but the sink is a full size old one and really is quite a heavy beast. So I need to build a decent sturdy base for it. The base will be inset a little (i.e. it's footprint will be smaller than that of the sink), so as to leave room to "clad" it down the side, and put a door on the front. Therefore the base itself doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing as it will be hidden. Just want it to be strong. OTOH, I don't want to go overboard as we'll be putting bins and stuff in the cupboard beneath the sink, so the more space the better.

My main question is what size timber I should use for the sink base / stand?

But any other advice also more than welcomed.

And if the above isn't very clear, please let me know and I'll see if I can knock up a picture or two (though that could be worse than my written description!).

Many thanks
I have literally just fitted a full size Belfast sink in my kitchen. While I worked everything out I had the sink sitting on a frame made of 50mm2 pine screwed together and it sat there for about a week while all the other plumbing etc was sorted out. It was finally put in place using M10 wall bolts to secure a metal framed bracket that the sink sits on. The frames it is on came from Screwfix £12 per pair and is very unobtrusive and allows me to use the space underneath much more effectively once the kitchen is fully done.

These are the ones I used

I'll put a pic up just shortly
Here is the pics

Thanks everyone that's really helpful.

@Droogs - it seems to be only the small plank next to the wall that is sat on the brackets, and the main board is floating above it. Or is that just how the photo makes it look?

While I worked everything out I had the sink sitting on a frame made of 50mm2 pine screwed together

Odd thing to ask perhaps, but I don't suppose you have still got that frame and if so any chance of a pic to visualise it please?

There is a narrow plank at the back and a wider one at the from which are screwed to the top of the bracket, the sink then sits on top. These planks are temporary and will be replaced with a full shelf when all the cabinetry is fitted.

The frame is gone but it was just a cuboid frame. It was made with 2 rectangular frames with vertical posts sitting inside of the 2 frames at each corner. This allowed all the weight to be transfered through the strongest element of the structure by placing the whole frame in compression only. A 50mm square length of timber can take over 1 1/2 tonnes stress in compression, so plenty strong enough

Many thanks to you both. I'll read those posts a couple of times over and look at the diagrams in more detail before replying. Just to make sure I've got my had round it all.

"In compression". Sorry to be thick and so elementary(!), but what exactly does that mean? Is it referring to when the wood is stood vertically with weight bearing down on it?


Edit: this does touch on something I've been wondering about... Is it better to do A or B for this kind of thing? Or does it not matter? If it is the case that the verticals are taking the weight, is the purpose of the horizontals more to "tie in" and form the structure? Or is my thinking all over the place?! (I vote for the last option!)

A or B.png
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Look at A, the weight on the top piece is acting directly onto the lower upright, a wood to wood transfer of mass. Now look at B, in this case it will be the means of jointing that will transfer the mass which is trying to slide the top piece down the face of the lower piece and only resisted by the joint which is in shear. If it was a doweled joint then it would be the dowels in shear, so keep to A and use the wood to transfer mass and the fixing just to hold it together.
That makes perfect sense, thanks for explaining.

So now onto another question that is so woodwork basic it probably shouldn't be allowed on the forum.... Do I need to make all four legs as per A above and if so what's the best way of doing so?

Or can I do A on the longer laterals, and B on the shorter, with perhaps a metal "L" bracket to give it some extra support? I should have said, the sink measures 600 x 400mm or thereabouts.

For all our sakes I won't attempt a hand drawing! But if the above is not clear I can try to do another diagram to illustrate.

And as a prize I'll post photos when it's done so you can all have a laugh :) :LOL::ROFLMAO:o_O
A all round, with a tenon on the end of the vetical post that will fit into a hole (Mortice) on the corner of the top frame

watch the video below to see the basics explained

I love the idea, but in all honesty I think that's beyond my skills. I don't have half the tools. And it would take me so long I'd be looking at a divorce. On top of that, being the first thing of this ilk I'd have ever attempted, I think it's likely to be a bad enough result that it could end up being rather weak!

I just need to knock something quite simple together that will be nice and strong. Is there an easier and quick way to achieve that? Or is a mortice and tenon really the only option.

All of that is not to say I don't appreciate the advice and suggestion, so thank you for that :)
OK then you could use a bridle joint. You still need to make a tenon but rather than try to make a square hole with wood all around you make the mortice open at the end sort of like a 2 prong fork that the tenon goes into and then glue it up and put a couple of screws in to give extra hold. get the idea from this video

all you need tool wise is a pencil, a square, a saw of some kind and 1 chisel that will fit in the bit you want to make as a gap
OK, thanks, I'll have a watch.

I've been trawling through google images though this evening and came across this, which is along the lines of what I had in mind. Do you think it wouldn't cope with the weight? I wouldn't go as chunky as that unless I had to, and it wouldn't need to look nice because I'll have boards around it and a door so it won't be open.


I saw this for sale also, which has gone with the B approach rather than A (as per post #9) and seems flimsier than what I have in mind.

s-l400 (1).jpg

Thanks for sticking with me and putting up with my philistinian questions. I do appreciate that my suggestions are probably sacrilegious for this forum!
Just to throw in another idea, have a look for the purpose made support brackets for Belfast sinks. Search 'Belfast sink support brackets' on ebay.
This is the route I took in my last house and it worked out fine.

ps. The support frame in the top photo of your last post would support a Sherman Tank :<)
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Just to throw in another idea, have a look for the purpose made support brackets for Belfast sinks. Search 'Belfast sink support brackets' on ebay.
This is the route I took in my last house and it worked out fine.

That's good thinking, and what we went for in the WC/utility room where we have a baby belfast. The thing is with the kitchen, the sink itself has a depth of 400mm, but will installed the standard 600mm from the wall. So there will be a 200mm back piece for the taps and all manner of other stuff no doubt.

Aside from that, the unit won't be stand alone. It will be part of a larger unit - in appearance if nothing else - with an integrated dishwasher, and a kitchen cupboard. And beneath the sink we'll have a bin and cleaning products, so we definitely want a door on front to hide all that.

ps. The support frame in the top photo of your last post would support a Sherman Tank :<)

Haha. Even without a proper joint? And it doesn't matter that the timbers going left to right are as per B in my diagram / only those going front to back are as per A? (See post 9). So if I did something similar to the "Tank Stand" but with less beefy timbers I should be ok? I'm trying to use stuff I already have in the house which I've kept to recycle and use in other projects. So it might end up being a mixture of wood , some of which is 70x70mm, some 40x40mm (and a couple of bits in between).

Many thanks
Hi we have made support frames for Belfast sinks in the past making a frame almost like a coffee table design underneath using mortise and tenon joints. Some of these were blow level used as sluices by the cleaner.
From what I understand of your requirements and skill / tools/ materials available you are looking for a strong simple solution. My suggestion would be 3 square/ rectangular frames made with bridle joints on the corners - 2 for the ends and 1 for the top frame all made from 50mm x 50 mm. Screw end frames to floor ( or use angle plates) then screw top frame onto legs
Put some silicone on top of frame to bed sink on and away you go

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