How to Build a Modern Bamboo Medicine Cabinet

Carter Oosterhouse builds open, recessed shelving to provide handy bathroom storage.
HCCAN311_Cabinet-After

HCCAN311_Cabinet-After

Eco-friendly bamboo shelving gives this bathroom a spa-like feel.

Materials and Tools:

3/4" bamboo plywood
1/4" bamboo plywood
2" strips of bamboo plywood
wood glue
table saw
12 shelf pins
drill and shelf-pin drilling jig
finish nailer and 1-1/2" finish nails
brad nailer and 2" brad nails
shims
level
utility knife

Steps:

1. Remove your existing recessed medicine cabinet.

2. Cut 3/4" bamboo plywood to the following dimensions:
two at 33-1/2" x 3-1/2" for the sides
five at 12-3/4" x 3-1/2" for the horizontal pieces (top, bottom and shelves)
*Note: Cut more horizontal pieces if you want more than three shelves.

3. Cut 1/4" bamboo plywood to 33-1/2" x 14-1/4" for the back of the cabinet.

4. Cut the 2" strips of bamboo plywood to create the surrounding trim that will go around the cabinet after it is installed. Cut two pieces 16-3/4" long and two pieces 33-1/2" long.

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageA

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageA

5. On the two side pieces, drill holes for the shelf pins. Create two rows of evenly spaced holes along the inside edges with the shelf-pin drilling jig.

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageB

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageB

6. Form a box with the sides and two of the horizontal pieces by securing the top and bottom on the inside with glue and 1-1/2" finish nails. The bamboo plywood is dense, so be extra careful not to blow the nail out the side.

7. Place the back onto the back side of the box and attach it with just one nail to start. If everything lines up, secure it with glue and continue nailing in place around the perimeter.

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageD

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageD

8. Place aligning shelf pins inside the box and test the placement of your shelves to make sure everything lines up evenly and square. Remove the pins and shelves until the cabinet is completely installed.

9. Place the cabinet inside the recess where the old one used to live and make sure it's square and level on all sides. Place shims into the crevices for a better fit if necessary.

10. Once everything is flush, secure the cabinet to the wall through the sides with 2" brad nails.

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageF

HCCAN311_Cabinet-ImageF

11. Cut the excess length on the shims with a utility knife.

12. Using brad nails, attach the 2" bamboo plywood trim along the outside edges to finish off the medicine cabinet.

13. Place the shelf pins inside the cabinet where you would like your shelves to be and then place the shelves on top.

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