A Medecine Cabinet ... the "ad nauseam"

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Project by vipond33 posted 10-07-2011 06:47 AM 3289 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In the last little while, we at the shop happily made a complete restaurant and bar for a small national chain and all was good, but seven small glass shelves somehow came back, being the wrong size they were. Throw em in the garbage says my boss; well nuh-uh I reply, they’re gonna be for my nifty new medicine cabinet.
For I had a simple plan in mind to build a very modern unit when I said that and now all the materials were in hand. Then I decided to have some fun with it in my head by incorporating a strange old plastic off cut that I had saved for 25 years.

The design of the Teak veneered door started out with the form of the most recognized symbol of relief from suffering, the Red Cross. A subtle rearrangement of grain provided the Maltese Cross buried within it and it ended up looking quite three dimensional as well.
In Spain, the Maltese Cross is the symbol used by the military Medical Corps. The Maltese Cross is also part of the logo for various ambulance services in Australia and it is used by the St John Ambulance organization as their main form of identification. Street cred for sure.
On the inside a plain interlocking pattern on the back of the door surrounds the laminate motif…

Macasser ebony veneer clads the body of the cabinet with solid ebony edging and solid handles buried under the veneer. The veneer itself is matched all the way around, although I don’t know why I bothered for it’s very hard to notice at its normal mounting height. An offbeat Octopus laminate lines the interior with a white melamine back and a brightly dyed solid teak divider. It is wall hung with a Z clip. In addition, the cabinet is symmetrically designed so that it may be hung left or right upon moving, and the chrome 5mm shelf supports have fancy rubber O-rings to help keep things quiet.

Now for the fun.
So here you are as an overnight guest, waking in the night, feeling ill.
In pain, you go to the bathroom and approach the door, your succor within! your confidence rises! for there are two genies at work facing you, the symbols of all the worlds helping societies are displayed to your pale wan smile—that is until you open the door and find that the bug in your stomach is somehow painted and moving all the way over the inside of the case. Hi there. Quickly closing the door you think; “I’ll be okay till morning, really I will”.

25 1/2” x 25” x 6 1/4”
About 34 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

As a construction side note, all of the teak veneer joints were cut on the table/miter saw with a simple technique that I like for small stuff, up to 40” or so.

Rough cut veneer pieces should be first arranged for book matching or slip matching and hard clamped between two slightly over-sized pieces of MDF. Then very tightly wrap lengthwise with filament tape only. Trim both sides of the block with a very sharp fine tooth high angle ATB blade.

Wrap again cross wise and cut the angles. I use a 12” x 96 TCG zero rake blade on a finely tuned Ridgid saw. Sometimes I tape the first cut angle before making the second cut.

An easy beauty, that falls into place without any further sanding or planing. I think it works so well because the MDF seems to cushion the cut, its uniform consistency aids in maintaining a very straight line and it’s dead smooth, hard and flat.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

6 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4279 days

#1 posted 10-07-2011 07:24 AM

One man’s trash, another man’s treasure, Nice work Gene. love that very recognisable cross on the door, a tradesman’s result indeed :: )))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4645 days

#2 posted 10-07-2011 09:50 AM

Nice work, the inside is trippy? Love the door, you nailed this well done.

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

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5338 days

#3 posted 10-07-2011 02:47 PM

It does look like a stomach bug….
Love the mdf trick. I have such a love/hate relationship with that stuff.

Good job Sir,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5857 days

#4 posted 10-07-2011 04:37 PM

Great job opn the design. A great trick on veneer cutting

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4443 days

#5 posted 10-07-2011 10:45 PM

Great cabinet.
Thanks for the tips on cutting veneer.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3884 days

#6 posted 05-04-2014 08:27 PM

Gene, you are the master of meticulous workmanship. Whenever I need inspiration I return to look at your immaculate body of work here on LJ’s. How fortunate are those that have the privilege to see your work first hand.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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