Bathroom Vanity and Medicine Cabinet with Mirror

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Project by linjay posted 01-06-2017 08:57 PM 989 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

My sister-in-law wanted a knotty pine vanity and medicine cabinet / mirror for an addition to their cottage. Her job was to show up with a Formica top she liked. Instead she purchased 3 pine planks with live edges. This presented a bit of a problem because the rough sawn planks had just been run thru a thickness planer. They had a real twist in them. The last picture shows the two planks side by side before gluing. I didn’t want to reduce the thickness so I had to force the two surfaces to line up perfectly. Using a router I cut a long groove along the length of the gluing edges. I then planed some oak to that thickness and cut pieces to act like biscuits. The 3rd picture shows the fit up before gluing. This worked really well in bringing the surfaces together. I expected it to increase the amount of twist and it did. I added a bunch of relieving diagonal saw cuts in the underside of the top with a Skill saw to reduce the stiffness. Adding the live edge end cap was a bit tricky because the bark angle is never the same on two boards. With reduced stiffness the vanity base was strong enough to pull the top flat at final assembly.

The original plan was to remove the bark. It was firmly attached, looked like a lot of work and in the end you would have to have a vision of what you wanted the end result to look like and I didn’t have it. The bark on the mirror helped with that decision and the bark is staying on the top last I heard. The other issue was whether the sharp edge of the bevel was up or down. I wasn’t sure about the original decision but it seemed to have a good look. My wife did all the finishing—except for the top. There were a lot of options with different degrees of resistance to water damage.

Although it was not part of the original plan I was able to incorporate the live edge left overs into the mirror frame with the bark acting as an inside beveled edge – so to speak. Everybody liked how that turned out. The mirror has an adhesive fiberglass backing for safety reasons. The medicine cabinet is quite deep—about 5”. It is going to be partially inset into a the wall to improve the over all appearance. I had a tough time finding backing material for the medicine cabinet. I ended up using 12 mm Baltic birch which is a bit over the top for the function. The mirror and frame aren’t terribly heavy but I used 3 hinges just to be sure and to help maintain straightness.

-- It's easy when you know how - but that's the hard part. Ontario, Canada

1 comment so far

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169 posts in 1034 days

#1 posted 01-24-2017 02:57 AM

Impressive, that looks like a hell of a lot of work !

-- Mat

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