Simple ash wood mirror frame
A few days ago I designed and sketched on a piece of paper (even though I usually use SketchUp to draw my designs) an entrance hallway furniture set. It is rather a special place consisting of a tall table (with two drawers and a shelf for shoes), a coat hanger for scarves, hats, and other accessories, and a mirror with a matching wooden frame.
I had a piece of mirror that was left from an Ikea mirror set (it consisted of four pieces) out of which only three could fit on the wall since the overall height of the four pieces was 240 cm. The size of this piece I wanted to use was 60 cm by 45 cm.
For its frame, I used 4 ash boards: 4 cm wide and 2 cm thick. I cut them to the desired length: two boards of 70 cm length and two of 55 cm length.
I routed a channel of 4.5 mm depth (the mirror was 4 mm thick) and 2 cm width, on the inside of the boards using a rabbeting router bit. This way, when gluing the mirror into the frame, there will be 2 cm left on each side of the mirror.
Before cutting the boards to their final lengths, I sanded them with 120 grit sandpaper and I beveled the edges. If I hadn’t done this, it would have been much harder after gluing the frame.
I cut the boards with the miter saw, at 45 degrees angle. This step is very important, as a wrong angle can lead to a frame that doesn’t fit well. Before applying the glue, I did a final check to be sure that the angles are right and that the mirror fitted the frame.
I glued the frame using polyurethane adhesive. I used a strap clamp to keep the pieces tight until the glue dried. Even though I double-checked, it turned out the angles of the cuts were not perfect, but it was too late so I had to deal with it in the next steps.
To make sure that the frame won’t fall apart, I drilled a hole on each corner using an 8 mm drill bit. I inserted wooden dowels to increase the strength of each corner. Because I didn’t want the dowels to be visible, I drilled the holes through the short sides of the frame. They were going to be the top and the bottom of the frame because they were not as visible as the sides.
After the glue has dried, I sanded the mirror frame once again. I used water-based varnish after the first coat of primer. Of course, I sanded between the layers to get a very smooth surface.
When the varnish has completely dried, I was able to turn the frame upside down. I spread sanitary silicone to glue the mirror and then I carefully placed it. I cleaned the excess, using a sharp chisel.
I drilled two keyhole slots on either side, to be able to hang the frame on the wall. I used the benchtop drill press, using its highest speed setting (way lower than a router, but it did the job). Meanwhile, I learned to make such keyholes slots with the router.
This frame is one of the simplest frames I could imagine, but I believe it matches the simple style of the entire set.
This is the way the whole set looks: