Introduction: LuxO's Open Joinery 32" Smart Mirror

About: luxOmat is dedicated to making it easy for Makers to make things, for Designers to bring their creations to life, and for their customers to buy with confidence

luxO's Open Joinery 32" Smart Mirror is a cool joinery design that Kasey put together while we were working on the design for our Smart Mirror kit. It looks great, is easy to assemble, easy to CNC and is really unique in its design and approach. We hope you'll like it as much as we do!

Features include:

  • Instructions and hardware for easy assembly
  • Sleek Japanese-inspired design
  • Customizable display with Raspberry Pi*
  • Reflective glass, not acrylic, 6mm thick and easy to clean

Start your day right!

Materials Needed

  1. Monitor - 32", available from Amazon or a local store
  2. Glass - We use 6.34mm (1/4") thick Reflective Glass from a local glass store. It's about $150 just for the glass but it doesn't scratch like acrylic, lasts forever and is easy to clean
  3. Frame wood - Choose a good hardwood like Walnut or Oak, should be about 19mm thick and 150 mm wide, 3.8 linear meters. Obviously it doesn't have to be one piece but do make sure your facing pieces come from the same piece of wood so the grains match, we made that mistake our first attempt
  4. Dowels - You can match the wood or use metal, available at wood hobby shops or online
  5. Raspberry Pi w/Case (we used Raspberry Pi3 with a Class 10 SD card)
  6. MicroUSB to USB cord for power
  7. HMDI cord for display
  8. Velcro strip with sticky backs
  9. Optional wireless keyboard & mouse

Tools Needed

  1. Small Hammer, Mallet or Coconut & a piece of driftwood if you're on a deserted island.

*If you are working with an RTA Kit from luxOmat, the Raspberry Pi comes pre-programmed with:

  • Lovely Compliments
  • Clock display
  • 7 day weather forecast
  • News feed

Step 1: Tech Prep: Monitor Selection

For our screen, we used an Element Monitor (32" Class LED Model ELEFW 328). It's not available anymore, but there are a lot of 720p monitors still on the market that are really inexpensive.

When choosing your own, it needs to have:

  • HDMI port
  • Powered USB port

You can leave it as-is or you can slim it down by removing nonessential parts like the support stand or the outer frame. Other Instructables or Youtube videos can show you how to do this best. Because this can vary so much from monitor to monitor, we just supply the CNC files and let you work out the rest.

  • We took off the mounting bar from the original TV and used it as the hanger for our model, with this frame though you can also just use a standard TV mounting kit too.

Step 2: Tech Stuff: Prep Your Monitor, Cables & Raspberry Pi

Attach your USB and HDMI cables to the correct slots in your monitor. (We're going to leave the Raspberry Pi aside for right now.) Tape or tie up any excess - you won't need much length on either of these cords. Also tape up any excess electronics, buttons or panels on the back of your monitor and let the power cord hang downward depending on the orientation you choose.

Prep your Raspberry Pi to display whatever you'd like on your mirror. Code is available at a range of public repositories. For the programming we recommend Michael Teeuw's MagicMirror², a complete setup tutorial for which can be found here .

When it comes to customizing your display check out all the awesome modules here: MagicMirror² Modules

Step 3: Wood Prep: Adjust Your Design

Start by downloading our free awesome luxOdesign for the mirror frame pieces.

Modify luxOdesign files as needed to lengthen or shorten the supporting back-pieces, make the side-pieces deeper or move the rear braces back or forward to accommodate a deeper monitor, or extend the length of the front-pieces to accommodate a wider screen.

The variety of shapes and sizes of TVs and monitors out there are almost endless, but for this design only 3 factors are really relevant:

  • the total thickness of the screen,
  • the overall outside dimensions of the screen, and
  • the width of the screen's bezel (the frame which surrounds the display portion of the screen).

In many cases it's important to note that the lower bezel (frame) of the screen is commonly wider than the upper bezel. This is important because the pieces of the mirror frame that you'll be CNCing are asymmetric and you'll want to modify your version to accommodate the specific dimensions of the screen you'll be using.

Also, the thickness of the monitor has to stay consistent in order for the joinery to brace the monitor properly, so measure your glass/acrylic and monitor thickness, then subtract that from the lip edge to the back braces to make sure they are snug. You want at least 5mm of thickness for the lip though, as it's holding the whole shebang together.

Step 4: Wood Stuff: Cut Out Frame Pieces With CNC & Finish to Taste

Cut your pieces using CNC. There are a number of 6.34mm holes in the design that are there to help you place your material firmly so it doesn't shudder on you. We used regular drywall screws to tie into the MDF spoilboard we have on our machine.

Finish your pieces using whatever you like. We just used a 400 grit sandpaper and teak oil - we like the natural look of it.

For ours, we used a home-brew CNC machine, but these DXFs should work on almost any machine. Remember to do the math for the lip cut-out and adjust accordingly. We cut 14 of 19mm of wood leaving a 5mm lip for ours.

We also used walnut, mahogany and red oak, but you can use anything that your heart desires. (Show us what you got! We'd love to see it!)

*A note on selecting your wood: The front-pieces will be the main part of this design that you see when it's done. To the extent that you can, guesstimate which sections of wood are going to become the front panels and check to see whether they are going to look good together. Sometimes the very same board looks different at each end. (For example, one of a board might have dark knots and spots, while the other end has stripes from a tight wood grain.) It can be a bummer to assemble everything and then realize that it looks like you used two totally different pieces of wood for your frame.

For the dowels you can either buy matching wood dowels from most woodworking shops or sites and cut them down to size, or use metal if you like the look better. Either way they have to be at LEAST 35mm to keep the joinery together safely.

Step 5: Assemble Frame Pieces

You should have six pieces of wood to start:

  • two straight pieces with two holes at each end (back-pieces)
  • two cool pieces with tabs sticking out (side-pieces)
  • two SUPER cool pieces with slotted ledges cut into them, a wide bezel side and a narrow bezel side (front-pieces)
  • plus some twelve dowels

You're gonna start with the front-pieces and side-pieces. Lay the front-piece on the floor so that the ledge in the front-piece is facing up. Then, grab your side-piece and slide the tabs into the holes on the front-piece. Roll the interlocked pieces back so that you can see the tabs sticking out of the front of the mirror. You should be able to see pre-drilled holes in the tabs (this is done by the CNC, you should not have to hand-drill these).

*Optional: Clamp the side-piece and front-piece together to push that tab out as far as possible.

Use a hammer, mallet, or coconut-and-driftwood stand-in to gently tap a dowel through the holes in each tab.

Step 6: Start With the Glass

First lay the glass on a soft nonabrasive surface like carpet, reflective side down. Then, lifting from the top and bottom of the glass, slide the narrow bezel side piece underneath one long edge and nestle it in until flush.

  • Since the top and bottom bezels on most screens aren't symmetrical, you'll want to make sure that the slots for the front pieces match up with the orientation of your screen's bezels. This will allow the display of your smart mirror to be properly centered once you've put it all together
  • Usually, this means to put the bottom of your screen toward the side of the frame with a wider ledge. Check out the images above to remind yourself about the subtle difference on each side of the mirror frame.

Step 7: Add Back-Pieces With Pins to the First Side

Slide the back-pieces into the holes in your side piece. Adjust the back-pieces until there is a dowel hole visible on either side of this piece as shown, then slip dowels into each of those holes to keep the back-pieces in place.

Step 8: Adding Monitor

With your glass still flat on the floor, reflective side down: Slide your monitor, face-down, gently across the glass, with the thin bezel side of the screen going "into" the mirror first. (Assuming you are working with the thin bezel side-piece.)

  • If you mix up your thick and thin sides, the monitor display will be skewed off center. If this happens, just take it back out and turn it around and the world will be right once again.

Step 9: Frame Side 2

Now, we will attach the second side of the mirror frame. Line up the corners of the glass and monitor with each other, then line those up with the ledge on the inside of the 2nd frame piece. At first, you may see a gap between the inside of the frame ledge and your monitor, like in the first three pictures.

At this point, you won't be able to push the frame all the way in, until you line up the back-pieces with the holes in the side of the frame. They should be pretty much lined up, just guide them through until the monitor is flush with the inside of the inner ledge. Insert a pin into each of the holes on the other side of the back-pieces just as before.

Step 10: Mounting & Connecting Raspberry Pi

Last but not least, mount and connect your Raspberry Pi.

We recommend using velcro strips for mounting. That way, you can easily remove your Raspberry Pi device to update your code or change your devices out.

Your HDMI and Mini USB cords plug right in!

Step 11: That's It! Now Just Modify the Programming to Your Taste!

There are a LOT of mods available for MagicMirror², we think they're great but there are too many to list. Check out their Github for all the latest!

Internet of Things Contest 2017

Second Prize in the
Internet of Things Contest 2017