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 few hangers for scarves, hats and other accessories and a mirror with a matching wooden frame.
I had lying around a piece of mirror that was left from an Ikea mirror that was made out 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 the remaining piece was 60 cm by 45 cm.
For the frame of this mirror I used 4 ash boards, 4 cm wide and 2 cm thick. I cut them to the desired length: two 70 cm long boards and two 55 cm long ones.
I used the router to cut a rabbet, 4.5 mm deep (the mirror is made out of 4 mm thick glass) and 2 cm wide, on the inside of the boards of the frame. This way, when gluing the mirror into the frame, there will be 2 cm left on every side of the mirror piece.
Before cutting the boards to their final lengths, I sanded them completely and beveled the edges. If I hadn’t done this at this time, it would’ve been much harder after gluing the frame.
I cut the boards with the miter saw, at 45 degrees. This step is critical, as a bad angle can lead to a frame that doesn’t close completely. Before applying the glue, I did a final check that the frame closes completely and that the mirror fits in the frame.
I glued the frame using polyurethane adhesive, since it is very strong. I used a strap 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 then used dowels to increase the strength of each corner. Because I didn’t want the dowels to be seen, I drilled the holes through the short sides of the frame. Those were going to be the top and bottom of the frame, because they are not as visible as the sides.
After the glue hardened completely, I sanded the assembled mirror frame once again. I used some water based varnish after the first coat of primer. Of course, I sanded between the layers to obtain a very smooth surface.
When the finish was completely dry, I was able to turn the frame upside down. I spread a bead of sanitary silicone to glue the frame and then I carefully placed the mirror in the frame. I waited for the silicone to set, and then I cleaned the excess on the front, using a sharp chisel and an utility knife.
I then drilled two keyholes on either side, to make the frame able to sit flush on the wall. I could have used a router, but I didn’t have the proper collet so I used the bench drill instead, using it’s highest speed setting (way lower than a router, but it did the job)
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: