Weekend Medicine Cabinet Project
As many of you know, I recently bought a new (old) house. Though I’m still waiting on my roofer to finish up work on the porch roof (grrrrr), most of the major “must do immediately” stuff is done (read: I now have A/C, and a furnace that was built during my lifetime).
Last night, Christopher Schwarz kindly helped me move my little Roubo bench and tool chest from the PWM shop where I’ve been storing it since early April to the new place; I’ll be transporting home my personal tools this evening.
First on the list is to make the second-floor bathroom bearable. I won’t bore you with the plumbing, wallpaper removal, painting and wiring stuff. There is (in addition to all that), some woodworking involved. This weekend, I’m building an Arts & Crafts-inspired medicine cabinet to replace the circa 1985, faux brass-framed three-panel-mirror cabinet with integrated round vanity lights above.
And I’m also trying to get better at SketchUp.
So during lunch today, I finally stopped being a lazy SU user. Instead of just drawing the visible portion of the thing to size, I actually drew the dovetails and mortise-and-tenon joints in the model. (OK…I didn’t add all the m&t joints – just the ones on the door.)
I have SketchUp Pro, so once one half of a joint is done, the “Solid Tools” (which aren’t in the free version) make it pretty simple. Align the pieces as they will be in the actual build. Then click on the “trim” tool, click the part on which you’ve drawn the joinery, click the mating part, and presto – it makes the other half of the joint for you. In this case, I drew the tails and the mortises. So the next time I have a model to build for the magazine, I’ve no excuse to be lazy and pass the model off to our illustrator, Donna Hill, for the joinery. (For personal projects, I really just need to see the overall form – still, I’m happy I took the time to learn.)
Anyway, below are three iterations with just minor differences. The first has mirrors in all the door openings – note that the top of my head will meet the mirror about two-thirds of the way up; the mirrors at the top will serve no real purpose. The second has nothing in the three small upper openings. I’d put a shelf even with the 1″-wide rail and put a couple decorative items in the space (glass canisters, perhaps). The third has 1/4″ wooden panels in the small openings (which would possibly be out of a contrasting wood). But I’m leaning toward the first one. Of course I am; it will cost more to have the additional mirror pieces cut. Sigh.
Now I just have to find time to get to the lumberyard tomorrow to pick up some maple, so the medicine cabinet matches the chimney cupboard that holds my clean towels. Or, I could use the cherry or walnut that I have on hand, and build new towel storage to match…in between the plumbing, wallpaper removal, painting, wiring…
p.s. If, like me, you like the Arts & Crafts style, take a look at the new (second) edition of “Popular Woodworking’s Arts & Crafts Furniture Projects,” with step-by-step instruction for 42 projects (at least one of which looks a bit like the above).