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This medicine cabinet combines clean styling that can fit into modern or more-traditional environments. It offers adjustable shelves inside, and shelf space on the outside for more storage or display. It’s built from a half sheet of plywood and an off-the-shelf mirror, plus acrylic for the shelves.

Difficulty moderate

Materials

Wood Products

  • 1 Plywood , 3/4" Thick , Half Sheet

Hardware & Supplies

  • 32 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket hole screws
  • 1 Roll 3/4" x 25' Iron-on Veneer Edge Banding
  • 1 20" x 24" Mirror
  • 1 Mirror Adhesive
  • 1 16" Bar Pull
  • 1 Pair Full Overlay 110° Concealed Hinges
  • 1 1/4" (or .22") x 18" x24" Plexiglas Sheet
  • 10 1/4" Shelf Pins
  • 1 Hangman Mirror and Picture Hanger (100-lb)
  • 1 Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig

Cut List & Parts

  • 2 Case Side , 3/4" ply x 5 1/2" x 36"
  • 1 Top , 3/4" ply x 5 1/2" x 18 1/2"
  • 1 Bottom , 3/4" ply x 5 1/2" x 18 1/2"
  • 2 Top/Bottom Fixed Shelf , 3/4" ply x 5 1/2" x 18 1/2"
  • 1 Case Back , 3/4" ply x 18 1/2" x 22"
  • 1 Door , 3/4" ply x 19 7/8" x 23 7/8"
  • 2 Adjustable Shelf , 1/4" acrylic x 4" x 18 1/2"

Directions

  • Cut the Case Parts

    Cut all of the Case parts out of a 3/4" x 48" x 48" piece of veneer plywood, as shown in the cut diagram.

    Tip: Make Better Plywood Cuts

    When cutting plywood with a circular saw, use an edge guide to help keep your saw straight and on your cut line. To support the sheet, lay it on a sheet of 2"-thick rigid foam insulation. To get the cleanest cuts, swap your saw blade for a “plywood” or “fine cutting” blade. Finally, place the best looking face of the plywood down, so that your saw is on the other face as you cut.

  • Drill Pocket Holes & Add Edging

    Set your pocket hole jig for 3/4" and drill pocket holes in each end of the Top, Bottom and two Fixed Shelves, as shown. Apply veneer edging to one long edge of each part, then trim the edging flush and sand smooth.

    Tip: Iron On a Finished Edge

    Plywood is a wonderful material for building projects. Most of the time, though, you don’t want the raw exposed edges to show. To hide them, you can use iron-on edging. It comes with adhesive already applied. You just cut it to rough size, apply it using a hot iron, and then trim it with a utility knife and sand the trimmed areas smooth.

  • Make the Case Sides

    Mark the locations of the shelf pin holes on each Case Side and, using a shelf pin jig, drill all of the holes. Apply veneer edging to the ends of both Case Sides first, then trim it and sand smooth. Then apply veneer edging along the front long edge of each Case Side. Trim and sand that edging, as well.

  • Complete the Case Back

    On one face of the Case Back, drill pocket holes where shown. On the opposite face—the face that will be seen on the interior of the cabinet—lay out and drill the shelf pin holes as shown.

  • Assemble the First Side

    Attach the Top, and first Fixed Shelf to the first Case Side using 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket hole screws, making sure the pocket holes are facing toward the top of the Case. Set the Case Back in place 1/4" in from the back edge of the Case Side, and secure it to the Case Side and the Fixed Shelf. Then, attach the Bottom and the second Fixed Shelf. On these two pieces, the pocket holes should face down. Secure these pieces using 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket hole screws.

  • Add the Second Side

    Attach the second Case Side to the assembly you made in the previous step using 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket hole screws. This will complete the case body.

  • Edge-Band the Door

    On the Door you cut earlier, veneer the top and bottom edges first. Trim and sand the edging smooth, and then veneer the side edges of the Door. Trim and sand the side edges smooth to complete the door.

  • Add Concealed Door Hinges

    Now you can add hinges to the Door. We chose concealed hinges. To install them, you’ll need to drill 35mm holes using the Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig. Follow the manufacturer's instruction for the locations of the holes on the Door. Mount the hinges to the Door, then mount the Door to the Case, again following the hinge instructions.

  • Apply a Finish

    Remove the Door from the Case then remove the hinges from the Door. Complete any final sanding and clean all of the parts thoroughly. Apply your favorite finish to the case and to the Door. The Door should only be finished on the inside face and edges. Leave the outside of the Door unfinished so the Mirror Mastic bonds to the plywood properly.

  • Wrap It All Up

    When the finish is dry, you can mount the Bar Pull towel holder on the bottom of the case, reinstall the hinges on the Door and remount the Door to the Case. To attach the mirror to the Door, apply the mirror mastic, and let it dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Hang the Cabinet and Add Shelves

    To mount the cabinet, we used a “Hangman” mounting system. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, mount the hanging system to the Case Back just under the Top Fixed Shelf. Then mount the other half of the system to the wall where you want your medicine cabinet to hang. After that, you can hang the medicine cabinet on the wall. For Adjustable Shelves, we used acrylic (Plexiglas). You can cut this yourself or have it cut at a home center. Sand the edges of the Adjustable Shelves smooth. Then install each Adjustable Shelf sitting on five shelf pins. Another option is have glass cut and the edges finished at your local glass supplier, or you could make the shelves from 1/2" plywood.