Build a Free Standing Glass Mirror Frame

What You'll Need
Brass decorative wood screws
Threaded hex drive screws
Threaded sleeve nuts
Dowel centers
Wood glue
Hand plane
Rebate bit
Straight edge
Measuring tape
Straight bit
Rounding over bit
Round bottomed spokeshave
Pipe or sash clamps
Stain or finish
Clear coat

Building a hand-made free-standing glass mirror frame is worth the time it takes. Once finished, you will have a quality piece of work that will last years and can be passed down generations.

Step 1 - Cut Frames

Cut 2 end frames using a hand or electric saw. Next, cut the mirror frame.

Step 2 - Remove Marks

If the wood has machine marks, remove them using a hand plane.

Step 3 - Draw Shape and Cut

Set the two end pieces face down and draw out the curved shape you want. Using a jigsaw, cut out the shape, tapering the front. Make sure to cut slightly outside the lines. Use a round bottomed spokeshave, cut to your line.

Step 4 - Round Edges and Mark Center

Round off all of the edges except bottom with router. The position of the frame brace is on the center line and flush with the bottom, mark it.

Step 5 - Drill Holes

Clearance holes must be drilled through end frames. Make the hole size larger than the shank diameter of the screw so it drops through.

Step 6 - Sand, Screw, and Glue

Round over along 2 top edges of frame brace and sand both faces. Screw and glue it into position.

Step 7 - Check Dimensions

Double-check internal frame dimensions to make sure the mirror frame pieces will fit.

Step 8 - Drill Dowels and Fit

In each end of the mirror frame pieces, mark out two dowels. Use dowel drill for drilling. On a flat surface, transfer dowel positions onto side pieces using dowel centers. Squeeze the pieces together. The dowel centers guide you.

Step 9 - Drill and Glue Sides

In the side pieces, drill holes. To hold excess glue, the holes should be half the length of the dowel. Squeeze glue into holes, spread around surface of hole using a long nail. Use a mallet to drive dowels into holes.

Step 10 - Assemble the Frame

Squeeze glue into the remaining holes and assemble the frame. To avoid damage to the frame, use scrap material between frame and pipe clamps when assembling. Set aside clamped frame and let dry.

Step 11 - Sand

Remove the frame from the clamps. Round the edges and sand the entire frame.

Step 12 - Route the Rebate

Set up the router. Use a rebate bit and rout rebate on the inside of the frame. Route the second rebate. Use the straight edge as guide.

Step 13 - Drill Pilot and Clearance Holes

Drill a pilot hole for screw-in nut at center point on each long edge of mirror frame. Drill clearance hole on each side of end frame for the machined screw.

Step 14 - Attach Frame and Base

Use a washer between the upright and the mirror frame and tighten the screw. Make sure there is enough clearance between mirror frame and upright. If there is not enough clearance adjust the frame.

Step 15 - Finish the Wood

Finish and seal the frame in the wood coating desired.

Step 16 - Have the Mirror Fitted

Take the mirror frame to a local glass fitter to have it fitted.

Step 17 - Apply Backing

Apply MDF backing to the top rebate and attach to frame with staples.