the simple wooden 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.

these are the wooden boards needed for making a simple wooden frame for a mirror
The planed ash wood boards needed for the frame

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.

we routed the slots for installing the mirror into the wooden frames
The routed slots for 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.

before cutting the ash wood boards we sanded all the faces with 120 grit sandpaper
Sanding the faces before cutting the boards to the needed lengths

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.

we checked the 90 degrees angle of the wooden frame before applying the adhesive
Checking the 90 degrees angle before applying the adhesive

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.

we used polyurethane adhesive to build the ash wood frame for an entryway mirror
Gluing the wooden frame
I used a strap clamp to tighten the wooden frame after checking the 90 degrees angle
Tightening the wooden frame with a strap clamp

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.

I reinforced the corners of the wooden frame using wooden dowels
Reinforcing the corners of the ash wood frame

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.

we sanded again the wooden frame after the glue dried
Sanding the wooden frame after the glue has dried

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.

in order to glue the mirror into the wooden frame, we used sanitary silicone
Sanitary silicone used to glue the mirror

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.

how we made keyhole slots in the wooden frame for the entry way mirror
Routing the keyhole slots with the T slot router bit
we made some keyhole slots to hang the wooden mirror frame
The keyhole slots for hanging the mirror frame

This frame is one of the simplest frames I could imagine, but I believe it matches the simple style of the entire set.

the simple wooden mirror frame
The ash mirror frame

This is the way the whole set looks:

the way the entryway set looks
The entryway mirror and the entire wooden set

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