Intro: How to Build a Bunch of Hand Held Mirrors.
With the fixtures that I show you you can build one or one hundred. It's easy.
Step 1: Hand Held Mirror
I purchased some round four inch mirrors from the internet because I wanted build some hand mirrors. I decided to use a couple of templates to make the job go a bit faster. I learned a lot along the way and will share with you my findings so that you won't have to go through the same process that I did. It was a learning experience although I have been doing woodworking for over 45 years I haven't stopped learning.
You can find mirrors of different sizes from the internet or even from Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby. You can also use this building template technique on different items as it works good for many things.
Some tools that you will need to build this project.
- Scroll saw
- Disk sander
- Router table
- Laminate trimmer
- Router bit with a bearing on the top
- Router bit with a bearing underneath
- Supply of wood 1/2" thick by 6" wide and long enough to hold the mirror.
- Supper 77 Spray on glue
- Spray lacquer
- Wood burning tool
- Copy of the picture that you want to make
- Sandpaper 120 grit or higher
- Disk sander
- Carbon paper
Step 2: Building the Template
I used Fusion 360 to design my project. Above you can find a picture of the mirror. If you use a photo editing program you can scale it or you can just draw your own freehand. Make up a few different designs and see what you like best. I first drew my mirror up in the Fusion 360 program and extruded it out to .062 thousandths. The mirror was 4" in diameter according to the packing slip. It turned out to be a little different and this caused me some consternation during the building of the template to cut the mirror out. Luckily I used some scrap plywood to test this out on so that I made sure that the mirror would fit into the dado nicely.
I built two different fixtures. One was for the wood itself and was used with the bandsaw. You can see this one above in the photo alongside the mirror handle. The other was for the cutting of the dado for the mirror insert and has lines drawn on it so that I can use the top of the first jig hole to locate the second jig.
When you use the first jig you screw your wood to the jig and then use the bandsaw to cut around the fixture as close as you can without cutting the fixture itself. If you leave a lot of stock on the part before you router it on the router table you will end up chipping out your stock.
After you are close on your mirror handle with the bandsaw you can rout it out with the router bit that has the same sized bearing on the top of it as the size of the cutter. Keep the top tab on the mirror as this is going to be used for the dado cut out fixture.
Step 3: Time for the Mirror Cut Rabbit Out
You can use the mirror to draw a circle. Then using a scroll saw cut the hole out for the mirror. This is fairly straightforward however; Make sure that you cut on the inside of the circle. You can always make it bigger with sandpaper, but it won't go smaller. After I cut the hole out in my fixture, I used my bandsaw to cut the center circle that I just cut out on the scroll saw as stops for my mirror to sit in. I used the same hole as on the first fixture. I drew some lines to get everything lined up. When doing this make sure that the screw is recessed so that the part is not proud on one side as this side will be down on the router table. You will get an uneven cut if that happens. You can use the fixture to set up the depth of the cutter to the depth of the mirror. Now cut out your dado.
Step 4: Finishing Up the Job
It is always nice to put a logo on the back of your mirrors. One way to do this is to use a laser. There are many on the market or you can go to your local Makerspace. I decided to do a design for a friend that does Henna. Her store is called "I Need Henna". I went to her web site and found a picture of her design. I scaled the design down to fit the back of the mirror. Using some carbon paper (that stuff that was used for copies a long time ago) I traced the logo on the back of the mirror. I then got out my woodburner and burned the logo in the back of the mirror.
After this was done I sanded the mirror and then went back and adjusted all of the spots that did not look right. It is now time for the lacquer. I used spray lacquer and put on a few coats letting each dry between coats. It is best if you use a light coat and then put on additional ones instead of one heavy coat as you will get streaks if you put too much on.
After everything is dry spray the back of the mirror with super 77. Let it dry to the touch (you can check this with the back of your hand, if it sticks to your hand it isn't dry wait a while). Be careful putting the mirror in the dado making sure to center it in the hole.