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Project Spotlight: John’s Medicine Cabinet

Feb 19, 2018

Just like any home or workplace, there is always something on the “honey list” to do. Kudos to John Sweet for marking “medicine cabinet” off the list with his creative take. Learn about the project and John’s experience at DIYcave.

How did you find out about DIY Cave? I believe the first I heard about DIYcave was in an article in the Bend Bulletin. I remember thinking that it would be great to have that kind of place to work on various projects.

Tell us about the medicine cabinet project There is always a list of things to be done or accomplished by the stewards at the cave. One of the items on the list was a first aid cabinet. I had never built any cabinet, but I figured that since it did not have to be too big, I should be able to come up with something. I spoke with Dave to get an idea of what he was looking for and with that information, I then had to come up with the materials.

What was your inspiration for the project? My favorite place to go when looking for lumber is the Habitat Resale Store. You never know what you are going to find, so you need to be somewhat flexible with the plans for your project. I found some solid wood cabinet doors that I figured I could get enough wood out of for the project.

How did you prepare for the project? I took the cabinet doors to the cave and started fabricating the pieces for the face frame and the door itself. I had an assortment of maple, cherry, and a couple of other mystery hardwoods. I ripped enough pieces to lay up and glue together for a colored door. I needed to put a handle on the door and also identify the cabinet as a first aid cabinet. There was one piece of wood that looked just right to cut a medical cross out. I painted it red and hung it over the edge for a handle- two things taken care of with one piece of wood!

What are some of the skills you have learned at DIY Cave? On this project, I laminated the pieces for the door, which I had never done before and I also used a pocket hole cutter to connect the face frame to the box.

What were the easy and hard parts of your project? The most frustrating part of the project was routing the rabbet cuts in the back of the case so the plywood back would fit flush. The first attempt at the rabbet cuts with a router blew the sides of the case out. I rebuilt the case and then cut the rabbets on the table saw. Applying the hand rubbed oil finish was probably the easiest and most rewarding. This is when you get your first look at the real character and grain of the wood. The piece really begins to pop at this point.

Favorite project you witnessed while hanging out at DIY Cave? I would have to say that the teardrop trailer that Phillip Robert built was probably the most amazing. His attention to fit, finish and detail are amazing. His woodworking ability is top notch.

What advice would you give someone who wants to join DIY Cave and start a project? Stop by the Cave, take a tour, make it happen!

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