Add a little style to your home spa with a minimalist cradle for your bar of soap—or use it elsewhere as a platform for something pretty. For more stability, add cork or felt dots to the bottom. If your vanity space is tight, adjust the final size accordingly. Because this dish may see lots of moisture, I chose cypress, which is naturally water-repellent; another option is to seal pine or basswood with a water-resistant polyurethane coating.
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Position the wood on the bench hook with a short side facing you. Use the gouge to slowly cut a groove between the first two lines; try to make only one cut to get the cleanest results. (If you don’t have a gouge, use the V cut to get the same results.) Cut a groove between the next two lines and repeat until you have dug out 5 stripes.
Apply a water-resistant polyurethane coating to the soap dish if desired.
A water-resistant polyurethane coating is a good choice for items that will see heavy use, especially in the bathroom or the kitchen. Some brands offer one-step poly and stain coatings, so you can change the color of the wood and give it the protection that it needs at the same time (some are even available in a convenient spray can!). I recommend applying two coats for a rock-hard finish.