Elm Bathroom Cabinets

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Project by nakedwood posted 05-06-2014 08:06 PM 1986 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Got a big pile of Elm from my mechanic last summer. He was building a house and his 150 year old elm tree had to go. He asked woodworkers in my area if they could mill the tree into lumber, dry it, and make kitchen cabinets from it. They all told him they can’t make cabinets out of Elm. They also told him it had to be kiln dried.
He then gave me as many logs as I could take as he was not using them. I told him once I get it cut and it dries in for a year in my wood shop, I will show you what the other woodworkers could not do.
So here it is. Bathroom cabinets out of his Elm Tree. The cabinet is 6’ long, soft closing hinges and slides, and finger joinery for the drawers. (Which are made out of 3/4” maple and oak)
I tried to have the grain go across the faces of the drawers and into the doors. First time doing that. The biggest problem I faced was the 2 doors warping due to the orientation of the boards. I dadoed half inch thick metal bars into the doors to prevent any warping. Worked out great; the doors are almost perfectly straight.
Now I am making the countertop out of 80 year old barn board elm. One last challenge on this project.

-- Beau Lasiewicz

19 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2284 posts in 1578 days

#1 posted 05-06-2014 08:25 PM

Very classy.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Rickterscale's profile


159 posts in 1454 days

#2 posted 05-06-2014 08:51 PM

Looks great. Nice job.

View Von's profile


207 posts in 1306 days

#3 posted 05-06-2014 11:21 PM

It’s not that you “can’t” make cabinets out of Elm, it’s that they just didn’t “want” to bother with the effort to do so. I was told that you can’t use cedar to build cabinets either. But tell that to my kitchen walls and sink, heh heh.

Nice work! Keep on proving the nay-sayers wrong!

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1548 posts in 1062 days

#4 posted 05-07-2014 02:26 AM

Great job! These are stunning

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View DocSavage45's profile


6713 posts in 1935 days

#5 posted 05-07-2014 02:57 AM

Has some nice visual movement and you creatively solved a number of issues. what about relative expansion and contraction?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18630 posts in 1431 days

#6 posted 05-07-2014 07:11 AM

I like elm. It just takes a little more effort. It can be a very beautiful wood.

Very nice job on these.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jake's profile


826 posts in 724 days

#7 posted 05-07-2014 07:59 AM

Very beautiful, that is too bad you can’t make kitchen cabinetry out of elm, I mean, if you could they sure would look beautiful.

PS! Are the metal bars just dadoed and glued or did you use some other way to make sure they don’t come loose as the wood moves?

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1028 posts in 806 days

#8 posted 05-07-2014 08:14 AM

Looks great!
Out of curiosity: Why is it that elm should be difficult for a job like this?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Manitario's profile


2386 posts in 1976 days

#9 posted 05-07-2014 02:11 PM

This is beautiful!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View helluvawreck's profile


19557 posts in 1959 days

#10 posted 05-07-2014 02:41 PM

You did a fine job on these and the wood is beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View CoachSchroeder's profile


96 posts in 697 days

#11 posted 05-07-2014 03:29 PM

looks fantastic

-- -Sam, in Wisconsin

View david38's profile


1611 posts in 1436 days

#12 posted 05-07-2014 06:43 PM

looks great

View leachim's profile


3 posts in 573 days

#13 posted 05-07-2014 07:28 PM

very nice

View gfadvm's profile


13948 posts in 1783 days

#14 posted 05-07-2014 11:59 PM

Great job with less than easy materiel. The metal bars dadoed into the door backs is an interesting fix. That elm certainly has some beautiful grain. I saw a lot of elm but never had any crotch figure like your has. Nice!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View mcoyfrog's profile


3799 posts in 2687 days

#15 posted 05-08-2014 03:20 AM

Mann that grain is amazing. A friend of mine took that same challenge years ago and his cabinets are still beautiful.

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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