How to Make a Three Mirror Medicine Cabinet
Learn how to make (or, “build”) a custom three mirrors, tri view, medicine cabinet for your bathroom by following this plan for fabrication. This style, three door make-up bathroom cabinet, is what every woman would love to have. You can fabricate it to be inset into the wall or hang it on the outside of the wall. The bathroom cabinetry can be built using 5/8” thick Melamine board and either European full overlay hinges or piano hinges. If you use piano hinges the center section will be a fixed panel. If you use European full overlay hinges, you can make the center section be an actual medicine cabinet. The mirror that gets applied to your parts will be 1/8” thick.
- Tip: The glass should not overhang the edges of the doors at all. Make sure that the person who takes your order, at your local glass company, understands this. If anything, the pieces should be slightly smaller, about 1/64 to 1/32 of an inch.
Making an Inset Tri View Mirror Medicine Cabinet
The steps for making an inset tri view style mirror medicine cabinet are basically the same as one that sets on the outside of the wall. The only difference is the inset cabinetry needs to have a 3/4” thick by 1” high frame all around it. In comparison to a wall hung design which would need to be finished on the sides, top and bottom. The following fabrication instructions are applicable when the cabinet design is planned for European concealed full overlay hinges.
- Tip: When you fabricate the doors, even though they will be covered with mirror, you should plan on finishing the face of them about 1” all around. You must do this because the glass cutters don’t always cut the mirror exactly the same size as the medicine cabinetry doors. As previously mentioned it’s good to have the pieces a little smaller anyway so no binding will occur and break the mirrors.
1. Rip all of your parts 4” deep for the sides, tops and bottoms. This dimension applies to a framed wall that is 2 x 4 thickness. If your wall is thinner, perhaps because it is in a mobile home, adjust the depth accordingly.
2. Figure the overall size of your bathroom medicine cabinet to be 1/2” smaller than the framed opening in the wall, where it will be installed. If your opening is 48 1/2” wide and 36” high, your finished box size will be 48” wide x 35 1/4” high. Now, divided the width by three. The result will be the size that you will build each of the three mirrored medicine cabinets. In this example each one would be 16” wide. Remember that the maximum door width for European concealed hinges should not exceed twenty one inches. If your opening is larger than sixty three inches consider designing the center panel larger and make it a fixed panel. If you design your medicine cabinet to have a fixed panel, it will be easiest to just build a dummy box.
3. When you figure the medicine cabinet door sizes allow for the finished gaps, between the doors, to be no less than 3/16 of an inch. So, if we have three cabinets that are 16” wide deduct 3/16” off of 48” three times, then divided by 3.
4. The finished width of the doors should be 15 13/16” in this example. The height can be 35 1/4” for the finished dimension.
5. On the bottom of your 5/8” thick Melamine doors, cut a 12 to 15 degree angle so that you can open them with ease.
6. Assemble and finish the cabinetry complete. Once it is totally finished, deliver it to your local glass company and have them attach the mirrors. If you are not using a fixed panel in the center, you may remove the doors and just deliver them to the glass company. Remember, have them attach 1/8” thick mirrors onto your parts.
7. Install the cabinet and then apply the doors. Be extra careful when you are making the adjustments on the European hinges paying close attention to the area where the mirrors are next to each other. You do not want any binding to happen when you are making the cabinet hinge adjustments.
- Tip: Use three to four hinges per door. You may want to consider using 176 degree hinges because they are able to carry more weight than a 110 degree hinge style.
This article is written from the prospective that you already know how to make things with wood. If you have general wood working knowledge, then you shouldn’t have any trouble following these plans for making a tri view, three mirrored doors medicine cabinet. I always recommend taking the doors to a cabinet shop and getting them drilled for the European hinges, if you don’t have a drill press set up for this operation. This will save you a ton of time when making this make-up bathroom cabinet. Cupboard manufactures usually have a machine already set up with the correct specifications for the concealed hinges to work properly. Making this vanity cabinet is going to require a certain level of skill so don’t waste time and money, especially if your not planning on making cabinetry building a regular event in your life. Cut as many corners as possible to make life easier on yourself.