You know those cheap, flimsy full length mirrors that you find on the back of dorm room door, No? Well I had one, But if you don't, or are like me and break the one you have, you can buy them at Walmart for 10 to 15 dollars. In this instructable I will show how I gave the mirror an upgrade using one solitary reclaimed 4x6 piece of lumber.
Step 1: Design Sketch
I take dimensions of the mirror and as with many of my projects it helps me to put some ideas on paper before I start (card board works just as well).
Step 2: Try Not to Break the Glass, Seriously!
So initially I thought I would prep the mirror by removing the frame ant the backing. I learned the hard way that the glass is incredibly thin and unstable without the frame, and as you can see I had to head back to Walmart. Fortunately for you, you can learn from my mistake, just leave the mirror intact. This will make for an extra step later on but ultimately will make no difference in the finished product.
Step 3: Gather Materials and Tools
- mirror from walmart
- 2x6 length of lumber (must be greater in length than the mirror byat least 2x its own width)
- wood glue
- some sort of adhesive (PL, liquid nails, caulking, etc.)
- finish nails
- table saw
- finish gun
- tape measure
- framing square
Step 4: Rip the 4x6
I was able to rip the 4x6 baord into 5 thinner boards each 5/8" thick.
Step 5: Cut the Sides to Length
Now you will need to make 45 degree cuts at the ends of all four sides in order to attach them in the corners. I happen not have a miter saw in my garage, therefore I had to use a miter sled for my table saw. There are plenty of decent instructables on how to make one of these sleds, I happened to find inspiration from this one in particular:
Keep in mind that when using a miter sled, make sure that opposing sides of each corner are cut from opposite sides of the blade, this will give you a perfect 90 degree corner every time.
Step 6: Cut Your Inlays and Accent Peices
In a similar manner as the previous step I cut the accent pieces also using the table saw. Of course these are not required, and you can customize your frame layout anyway that you like. I chose to have one accent diagonally bisect the frame at 30 degrees. after everything was cut I dry fit all the pieces and checked all my connections.
Step 7: Dado Cut
by making multiple passes on the table saw I created a wide enough groove, called a dado, which would receive the plastic frame of the Walmart mirror. This is the added step I talked about in step #2, had I been able to safely remove the plastic frame and backing that came on the original mirror, then a simple rabbit would have been all that would have been needed to receive the glass.
Step 8: Assemble Frame and Insert Mirror
Using wood glue and a couple finish screws at each corner, I assembled the frame. once constructed, I layed the frame on its face and filled the dado with a generous bead of "big stretch" caulk. liquid nails or any other kind of construction adhesive would work just fine for this step, however I had This tube of caulk,left over from another job and once dry the caulk was just as effective as any glue would have been.
Step 9: Sanding and Finishing
The seemingly self explanatory step that is in every wood working instructable. all surfaces of the frame in this case were sanded smooth starting with 80 grit and working to 220. Then finished with two coats of poly.
Step 10: The Finished Product!
Good Luck, and as always please share your variations!