Creating the finishing touches around your home can be both personally rewarding and useful.
Building this Mirror Frame for example will not only save you money but add a significant item of furniture to your home that carries lasting meaning.
Before You Start
Firstly, you need to decide what size mirror you want. Consider what space you will be using it in. You can get a variety of sizes from Mitre 10. Measure up the mirror. Then decide what sort of timber you want to use. If you want to use recycled timber, using a thicknesser is a really great way to make it come up like new. If you don’t have access to a thicknesser, you can use an electric planer and then sand down until you’re happy with the result.
Getting It Done
For all 4 sides of the mirror cut the timber roughly to length with the bench saw, allowing an additional 150mm at both ends. Next, cut a rebate around the inside of the frame to allow the mirror to sit flush. You can do this using a router or a bench saw.
Take two of the pieces of timber to be joined and cut a mitre (45° angle) on one end of each piece of timber to form the first join. You can use a drop saw or a mitre box to do this.
Line up the mirror with this first corner and mark 2mm past where the mirror ends on the timber. Using your combination square, draw a line to show the 45° angle from this point. This will show you where to cut the next join. You can then work out the rest of the mirror from here and cut the remaining mitres. Once the corners are all cut, go around the edge of all the timber with a hand plane. This will create a nice rounded edge detail on your frame.
Now it’s time to join the four pieces of timber together. There are two ways of doing this. You can either use a biscuit joiner or your trusty bottle of PVA glue and panel pins. Using a biscuit joiner, cut a biscuit in each of the adjoining edges. Put PVA glue into both the biscuit holes then put the biscuit in place. Place the edges together then use the mitre clamps to secure into place. Leave overnight to dry. If using glue and panel pins, apply the glue to the edge of the joins, place together and secure in the mitre clamp. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth. Secure with panel pins at the corners.
Once the glue has dried, remove the mitre clamps and give the surface a light sand using 120 grit sandpaper initially and then a 180 grit sandpaper. This will ensure a nice finish.
To finish the frame we have applied Danish Oil, but you can use any oil or stain to get your desired finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product you choose.
Lastly, when the finishing product is dry you can insert your mirror. Place the mirror into the frame and use glazing push pins to secure into place. Use the end of your combination square or a flat head screw driver to gently push them in around the edges.