Arts & Crafts Style Medicine Cabinet

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Project by SteveL posted 07-31-2012 02:08 AM 4546 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cabinet is made of cherry, cherry veneer plywood for the back, basswood for the chip-carved panels, ambrosia maple for the shelves, and ebony for the knob. In the view from the bottom, you can see that I dated the carcase 2010, but it took me a while to learn to carve the panels. Then, when I did the glue up for the door, because of the extra mortise and tenon joints on the muntins and mullions, I ended up getting it not quite square. Fortunately, I’d used hide glue, which with a bit of heat can be remelted. I used heating pads to soften the glue, then clamped it to a square frame, and this corrected most of the problem, though it’s still off by about 1/8” over the 20” width. The close mechanism is a ball catch from Brusso, and the hinges are 2” by 1.5” Brusso full-mortise hinges. As you can see, I was trying to pick up the Dard Hunter Rose pattern stenciled above the picture rail in the carved panels. The knob is turned from Gabon ebony. The carcase is dovetailed at the top, with an overhanging top screwed to the top panel. The bottom is fitted into the carcase in sliding dovetail joints. The plywood back fits in a groove inset 1/4” from the back. The mirror is 1/4” thick glass which makes the door quite heavy and there is a 1/2” bevel at the edge. The finish is boiled linseed oil, followed by 3-5 coats of thinned super-blonde de-waxed shellac, and then 2-3 coats of thinned, fast-drying polyurethane on the outside of the cabinet and the shelves. The cabinet was hung using a “French-cleat” which is just a board cut in two pieces at an angle with one half screwed to the wall and the other to the back of the cabinet. A SketchUp plan is available here.

-- SteveL

6 comments so far

View javaboy's profile


104 posts in 2280 days

#1 posted 07-31-2012 02:30 AM

I love the design and colors—very nice piece!

-- Sow justice, reap peace

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3335 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 09:19 AM

Well done the colors really pop. Kinda has an Asian feel to it as well. Enjoy!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View dustyal's profile


1299 posts in 3621 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 01:07 PM

nice design and build… simple clean lines and very functional.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View PurpLev's profile


8540 posts in 3794 days

#4 posted 07-31-2012 01:37 PM

very nicely done. looks like it matches the rest of the trim as well.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2643 days

#5 posted 08-01-2012 04:37 AM

157 days after saying:
“I’m afraid to say that it took me most of 2011 to learn to chip carve,”(!) – it’s posted, and that’s patience personified. Wow.
Pic 3 is a beauty. Nice work.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View SteveL's profile


167 posts in 3914 days

#6 posted 08-01-2012 05:14 AM

Indeed Gene! I’m ever the optimist. Looking back at my post from 157 days ago, and I see I thought it would be done by Easter! And here it is with the 4th of July come and gone!

-- SteveL

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