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Thread: 3 Door Medicine Cabinet With Mirrors

  1. #1

    3 Door Medicine Cabinet With Mirrors

    Hi,

    I would like to build a 3 door medicine cabinet with mirrors. The 2 outer door will open towards the inside so that the mirrors face each other. I made rough sketches (shown below), and would like some advice regarding two issues. As you can see I plan to have a frame around the mirrors. The two sides would have the frame going around the top and bottom as well as on the outer side. The middle mirror would only have a frame on bottom and top. As of now I was planning to place the mirror in a groove but in order to secure the mirror I would have to glue it and I am not sure how well that would work. I can also see problems replacing it if the mirror cracks. Any suggestions would be helpful.
    The other issue is what kind of hinges can I use. I certainly don't want to use glass hinges with parts showing on the outside. As of now the only option I can think of is hinges that can be glued to the back of the mirrors but I have to see if I can get strong ones for a decent price. The only other way would be to attach hinges to the frame and if anyone can suggest the right type, I would appreciate it.

    IMG_20220125_170426145.jpgIMG_20220125_170453503.jpg

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Cincinnati, OH
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    944
    I have used dabs of silicone caulk to hold glass in place including mirrors. A small amount is needed for indoor applications. It looks like the center panel will be fixed in place. A number of hinges could be used such as European, barrel and Soss. BTW, I like your idea for the mirror combination you have. Good luck!
    Last edited by David Utterback; 01-25-2022 at 11:17 AM. Reason: Added text
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  3. #3
    Thanks for your advice. Middle door is also supposed to open I just didn't show it in the sketch. To be honest the concept is not mine, they sell these pre-made but I am out of the US for some time and I can't find a good online image to see how they do it. I have seen it done with hinges on top that stick out over the front but I don't like the look.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Michigan, USA
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    490
    We had a pre-made cabinet similar to this in our previous home. The doors were mounted with knife hinges - visible from outside, but discreet. Each door had a plywood backer behind the mirror. IIRC, there was sort of a two-step rabbet in the rails and the backer board was larger than the mirror and was attached to the rails with small screws. I don't know whether the mirrors were secured to the backers with an adhesive, or if the rabbets were designed to make for a snug fit that kept the mirrors from sliding.
    Last edited by Gary Ragatz; 01-25-2022 at 2:09 PM. Reason: Typo

  5. #5
    Thanks Gary. I had actually thought of something similar but what you are describing sounds better than what I had in mind.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norristown, Pa
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    239
    I have one that you described. It like Gary says uses knife hinges, the only thing showing is the rounded pivot point like you would see in a normal door hinge, but smaller. The mirrors are backed with metal instead of plywood. It is not clear if the metal is attached to the mirrors. The center open edge seems to be sealed mirror to metal, but tapping in the center shows that there is play between. The metal is not recessed into the frame just attached with screws.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Michigan, USA
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    490
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Coates View Post
    I have one that you described. It like Gary says uses knife hinges, the only thing showing is the rounded pivot point like you would see in a normal door hinge, but smaller. The mirrors are backed with metal instead of plywood. It is not clear if the metal is attached to the mirrors. The center open edge seems to be sealed mirror to metal, but tapping in the center shows that there is play between. The metal is not recessed into the frame just attached with screws.
    Bob,

    Does your cabinet have the three-sided frame on the outer doors like Elliot describes? As I was thinking a little more about it, I believe on the cabinet we had, all three doors had just a top and bottom rail and they were set inside a face frame that covered the entire perimeter of the cabinet - like the one below (minus the integrated light bar).


    The reason I ask is, I'm wondering if knife hinges would work on the sort of design Elliot has in mind.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
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    944
    How can the center panel pivot on one side when the adjoining panel pivots on the same axis? Does anyone know of such a hinge? The hinge must be fixed to the frame in some fashion for the outer panels to pivot toward the center panel.
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norristown, Pa
    Posts
    239
    Here are the pictures of the knife hinges on my cabinet. Actually it looks like a modified knife. I did not purchase these. I removed them from the old metal cabinet that had these mirrors and built new "guts". The picture shows the left bottom, and top right with both doors open. I think it would be possible to make the bracket that attaches to the base and a modified knife hinge. Didn't look long, but Lee Valley had knife hinges that were very expensive. From the right picture it could be possible to make the whole thing perhaps using angle brace.knife1.jpgKnife2.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norristown, Pa
    Posts
    239
    Yes my cabinet has side rails just like he posted. It has no frame like the one you posted.
    The light bar is separate from the base cabinet. I rebuilt a metal one that was rusted and made the light separate. I don't remember if the original one was attached.
    Last edited by Bob Coates; 01-26-2022 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Added light coment

  11. #11
    Just want to say thank you for all the helpful info. I appreciate everyone's contribution.

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