Elm Bathroom Cabinets

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Project by nakedwood posted 86 days ago 1294 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


2078 posts in 1090 days

#1 posted 86 days ago

Very classy.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View Rickterscale's profile


144 posts in 966 days

#2 posted 86 days ago

Looks great. Nice job.

View Von's profile


184 posts in 818 days

#3 posted 86 days ago

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

1096 posts in 574 days

#4 posted 86 days ago

Great job! These are stunning

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View DocSavage45's profile


4762 posts in 1447 days

#5 posted 86 days ago

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

13378 posts in 943 days

#6 posted 86 days ago

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. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Jake's profile


258 posts in 236 days

#7 posted 86 days ago

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


440 posts in 318 days

#8 posted 86 days ago

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


2265 posts in 1488 days

#9 posted 85 days ago

This is beautiful!

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

View helluvawreck's profile


15452 posts in 1471 days

#10 posted 85 days ago

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


76 posts in 209 days

#11 posted 85 days ago

looks fantastic

-- -Sam, in Wisconsin

View david38's profile


1027 posts in 948 days

#12 posted 85 days ago

looks great

View leachim's profile


3 posts in 85 days

#13 posted 85 days ago

very nice

View gfadvm's profile


10604 posts in 1295 days

#14 posted 85 days ago

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


2916 posts in 2199 days

#15 posted 85 days ago

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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