Sunday, June 29, 2008

change in medicine cabinet

Well, I haven't made much forward progress with the medicine cabinet the last week or two - mostly progress sideways. I've spent a fair bit of time at it, and made an awful lot of oak turn into sawdust. At the heart of it is my inability to find hinges that will work well with the design, which has led to a significant design change.

The medicine cabinet I am replacing (and the commercial cabinet we intended to use originally) had three doors. The use of three doors is that you can open the left and right doors and get a sort of U-shaped mirror that gives you side views of your stylin' do. Of course, this means that none of the doors have their hinges on the vertical sides of the cabinet frame. Instead, the hinges are attached to the top and bottom of the frame. Believe it or not, finding a hinge that works well in this situation is really hard. A complicating factor is that you don't want the cabinet doors to bind up on one another as they open, so some cleverness is involved.

Really, what I ought to have done was buy hinges before I designed the rest of it. As it was, my first choice, while functionally appropriate, was far too large and bulky to work with the relatively thin bezel I was putting around the mirrors. My second choice was mechanically simpler and more compact, but required me to make some rather large cutouts in the cabinet frame and shelves to allow the doors to swing freely. Of course, in both cases, I got about 2/3 along before deciding it wasn't workable. I'd have to backtrack, scrap some pieces, and start again.

So, change in plans: to heck with three doors, I'll just do one large one. I can use just a plain ol' set of hinges for that, get one large continuous mirror instead of three segments, and overall just get a cleaner finish. I'm now more than 2/3 into building this, and I still like it.

Cutting glass is really neat. It amazes me that you can get something like glass to break predictably along a nice clean line, using a tool the size of a pencil.

Now comes a long process of sanding, staining, finishing, then assembly and installation. But, at least I know there aren't major design problems ahead. Fingers crossed!

1 comment:

Mark Alvarez said...

So THAT's why they make tripartite cabinets! I thought it was just stupidity. The single door will work better...unless you both change your hairstyles.