by Megan Fitzpatrick
In 2008, I built a contemporary maple chimney cupboard to hold towels in my bathroom. Eight years on, I decided it was time for a matching medicine cabinet – in large part because the house I recently bought has solid masonry walls, so I needed a nice-looking mirrored cabinet that can hang on the wall rather than be recessed.
So, using that 2008 piece as a starting point, along with a similar piece that hangs in a friend’s bathroom, here’s what I came up with: a simple-to-make maple medicine cabinet that takes its cues from Arts & Crafts, but with joinery and style details that give it contemporary appeal.
When I initially modeled this cabinet in SketchUp, I used dovetails to join the carcase. But when it came time to build, I decided to use loose tenons instead. The resulting clean lines on the sides (no end grain) seem more in tune with an updated look, and loose tenons are plenty strong enough for this application.
But there is, of course, no reason you couldn’t use dovetails (tails on the sides), or even dowel joints.
The Festool Domino, however, plus a trick for the divided-light glass door I picked up from David T. Smith (more on that later), allowed me to make this piece in about 12 hours of shop time.
After surfacing and cutting my four case pieces to size (note that the top and bottom are 5⁄8″ narrower than the sides), I set up a dado stack on the table saw to cut 5⁄8″-deep x 1⁄2″-wide rabbets on the case sides to house the backboards.
Plan: Download a free SketchUp model of this project from our SketchUp Warehouse.
Article: “Rub to Create a Great Finish,” by Bob Flexner – free on our site.
In Our Store: “Making & Fitting Doors,” a digital magazine with eight articles.
To Buy: “Chimney Cupboard” by Megan Fitzpatrick & Glen D. Huey – the piece that inspired the style and wood selection for this medicine cabinet.
To Buy: “American Country Furniture: Projects from the Workshops of David T. Smith” (Fox Chapel).