This section is from the book "Mission Furniture: How To Make It", by Henry Haven Windsor. Also available from Amazon: Mission Furniture: How to Make It.
The wall case shown in the accompanying picture will serve well as a medicine case. Having a paneled door in which is set a mirror, it serves equally well as a shaving case. It is best made of some hard wood, though a soft wood such as pine or yellow poplar will work up easier and look well finished with three or four coats of white enamel paint.
There will be needed the following pieces:
First shape the ends of the two side pieces as shown in the drawing. Next square the top and bottom pieces of the case to size, and lay out and cut the tenons on the ends. Lay out and cut the mortises in the side pieces, also the groove for the shelf, having first squared the shelf to size. Cut and shape the top and bottom pieces of the back as shown. Cut the rebates in the side pieces into which these pieces are to rest their ends. Cut the rebate for the back. Thoroughly scrape and sandpaper these parts and assemble them. Cut and fit the back in place.
Wall Case Details
The door is to be made next. Plan the different parts of the door so that the edges may be planed to fit the opening; that is, make the door a good quarter larger at top and bottom than the opening. In cutting the rebate the easiest way is to use a rabbeting plane and cut the full length of the pieces. By using a tenon on the rails in which one shoulder is as much longer than the other as the rebate is deep there is no resulting groove showing at the corner.
Case with Mirror Door
The wood should be finished before the glass is set, at least, it should be filled, if of hard wood, and one coat of paint put on, if of soft wood which is to be enameled.
In setting the glass, place a thin cushion of putty between the rebate and the glass and another thin cushion between the glass and the fillet of wood or the backing which is to protect the back of the glass.
Fit the door, and then put on the hinges and lock. If desired, the tenons may be made keyed as shown in the photograph instead of through as shown in the drawing.
To finish the case, if of oak, apply a coat of light paste filler, the directions being on the filler can. Next put on a coat of white shellac. When this has hardened apply two coats of some good varnish. Allow time for each coat to harden and rub the first coats with haircloth or curled hair, and the last with pulverized pumice and raw linseed oil or crude oil.
If the wood is soft and an enamel white is desired, the enamel is applied not unlike paint. The directions will be found on the cans in which the paint is purchased.