building a custom bathroom vanity

I am planning to renovate my bathroom. I live in NYC and have a very small bathroom so I want to optimize my space. Let me explain my layout then get to the woodworking question. On one wall is (from left to right) a radiator, vanity, and toilet. On the opposite wall is the tub/shower. I want to build a vanity that encloses the radiator (on top, but leave the front vented). There would maybe be a drawer over the radiator, a door in the middle and two drawers on the other end. This would be topped with a granite top or something to that effect. This would allow about 8-10 inches more space on the sinktop. I will have an access for the valve, and I think foam insulation around the enclosure. I plan to use maple. Is it a good idea to enclose the radiator or should I worry about warping? Any suggestions are encouraged.
Doug
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (kilerbbb) writes:

Offered for ideas: http://www.delorie.com/wood/projects/vanity /

You expect granite to warp? ;-)
Otherwise, one general comment - finish both sides of any given piece of wood equally; don't poly one side and leave the other side raw, for example.
Also, quarter sawn wood might be a good idea.
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Why would quarter sawn wood be a good idea, as opposed to standard sawn wood?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (kilerbbb) writes:

Wood warps because of uneven absorption of water, mostly. Heat can dry wood, and thus cause warping, for example. Growth rings near the center of the tree absorb water and/or change size thereof at a different rate than growth rings near the bark, so flat sawn wood will tend to cup when exposed to humidity changes, because the wood on one side is closer to the bark than the wood on the other side.
Quarter sawn wood is different; the two faces of the wood are equidistant from the bark (one edge is closer than the other edge, but cupping in this direction is ignorable), so the size changes are more equal on both sides, given the same humidity changes, than flat sawn, resulting in less cupping.
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You learn something new every day. Thank you for the good information.
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On 7 Apr 2004 12:41:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (kilerbbb) wrote:

keep plenty of clearance between wood and the radiator, especially above the radiator. you might just want to extend the granite over the top of the radiator and leave out the drawer....
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