Time Thief

Monday, May 08, 2006

How to not have a good time (or, How I spent my evening)

I searched hi-and-low on the internets and local big boxes for a suitable medicine cabinet. Sure, the ones at Rejuvenation are gee-or-geeeous, but they're so large! Same with the ones at Van Dyke's.

This is a very tiny bathroom folks, and the 7 1/2 foot ceilings only add to the effect. I could have just gone with a plain-old mirror (easy to find lots of options), but how fun is that? Besides, small = exploit all available storage possibilities = I wanted an inset medicine cabinet, dammit! And I did not want to re-frame the wall to get something to fit.

There was this one at Pottery Barn that looked pretty good. Froogle found that for me. Then I decided to check Restoration Hardware which I never do anymore because they're so pricey. Well, yes, they are still pricey, but they had a near perfect solution.

I debated between the two for a while, then finally went for the one from RH since it was slightly smaller. During checkout, I saw it was on backorder until June. Hmmm.... okay, I'll risk it. There were no inset dimensions listed, but I ordered it anyway. A couple of emails later to customer service, and they sent me the inset dimensions once I threatened cancelling my order. And then, whaddya know! Luck, luck, luck, I got shipping notification on the cabinet just a few days later! It was going to be here more than a month earlier than expected!

And so it did arrive. And it was good. I might repaint it because the finish feels a little laminate-y, but it was everything I expected. Now to the fun part and the point of this post. When I emailed customer service, they replied that the inset width was 14.5 inches. Perfect! Should fit exactly within studs 16" on center! Trouble is, the studs aren't exactly 16 on center. I was short by about 1/4 of an inch. Ever the optimist (or just lazy), I tried to test fit the cabinet anyway. Not even close. Did I mention that I didn't want to re-frame the wall? Yeah, I thought so.

So, I got out the trusty planer. I shaved down both studs until I gained my 1/4 inch. What a dusty, cloudy mess. Before you think too highly of me, I should mention it is a power planer. No way I'm doing that by hand. I'm not that crazy. And it was way easier than re-framing the wall.

It sure is a lucky thing the cabinet showed up early because, of course, the studs aren't perfectly plumb. Had the cabinet not been here yet for me to test, I would've trusted a tape measure to enlarge the opening, then had all sorts of fits later after everything was closed in when the almost-square cabinet wouldn't fit into my very-not-square opening.

So, anyway, if you really want to not have a good time, spend an hour or so planing down the sides of some studs. Really, it will deliver.


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