Steampunk Mirror / Light / Clock




About: Happily married, self employed, full wood shop, some metal work as well as electronics, antique collector.

This is a project I have been working on over the last few weeks, it is made mostly of Morado (Bolivian Rosewood)
but I also used some left over Cherry and Walnut, the little accent bulbs I found in a second hand store, the side lights
I purchased at Home Depot. The Morado was 82.00 bucks and the rest was just sitting around.

All the lighting fixtures I got at the Habitat for Humanity store for about 10.00 dollars.

Total cost was about 150.00 including the wood, clock, varnish, fixtures, bulbs

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Step 1:

The obvious place to start is the frame, I must say I have worked with many kinds of wood and this rosewood is one of the worst for splitting
it would split even with small screws in pre-drilled holes, the grain pattern and color is worth it if you have the patience for it.

Make a rabbit down the verticals to accomodate the mirror and the outside piece.

In this case it was 3/4 walnut cut in half to save wood and weight,
I filled the screw holes with plugs cut from scraps. there is a glued in backer board to hold the top pieces togeather.

The red wood is Paduk with Ebony in lays the strip was cut in half to fit under the top and bottom ledges.
Cuts are kept consistant by using a guide on the saws square, the bolt you see can be losened to allow me to pick the spacing of the cuts

Step 2: Mirror

The mirror I bought at HD for 6.00 bucks I stripped the frame and paper backing off and cut it in to the correct sizes.
I am really happy with the way the side mirror sections add dimension.

This was a real learning experience, I tried using copper foil that is used in stained glass work, planing to cover it with
brass strips purchased at the local hobby shop, it was difficult, time consuming and ugly,
then I cracked the mirror trying to solder the brass to the copper.

Hot glue holds it to the frame.

Step 3: Switches and Fixtures

All the switches were bought second hand for pennies, because I wanted to use the fake drawer pulls as switches,
I needed a way to get the small cabnet screw to attach to the switch, one is on off for the neon lights, the other is a dimmer
swt. that turns off with rotation, as opposed to those you must push in to switch on.

I used springs soldered to the pulls threads, then made some mounts hopefully the pictures will explain it well enough.

A nice bonus was that because the springs are friction tight you can over twist them and it won't break the switch.

The on off uses a metal plate adjusted to make a tight fit for the knob on the front, the dimmer uses a wood block with
screws through the excisting holes.

Step 4: Obvious Details.

The bottom is 3/4 Walnut cut in half, with holes drilled for effect, the top is left-over Rosewood cut out with a router
the left over inside section of the center made the side decorations for the clock.

As I went to mount it to the wall I discovered the clock stuck out the back and would not allow a flush fit
so I got out the router and made a plywood insert and covered it with some left over brass strips after painting it black.

The second brass strip covers the seam between the clock face and the base.

Porcelain numbered balls are not from bingo, they were purchased at an antique shop, if you know what they are
for post a guess/ answer.

The small alu strips hold the mirror to the cleat that mounts to the wall. last photo.

Wire it up and you are ready to mount, after staining of course,( before the hardware is put on.) 

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    17 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I dont know if I missed this,or have already commented,just in case I havnt,top notch,very nice.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    No doubt,at least when you make your own,you get what you want,well made,nice looking items.

    No I do not know, there were two sizes at the antique shop, if you have an idea let me know, glad you took the time to check out another project of mine.

    Winged Fist

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Just took another look at this... Still one of my favorite Instructables;-)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Sweeet! The exotic woods can be a challenge! Great job pulling all the elements together.

    Hi my Friend,

    This is really a masterpiece. Great job and excellence design!

    H. Steam


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Longwinters

    Five stars from me too for this masterpiece (just rated and also voted at the wood challenge;-)))))

    Cheers Aeon Junophor

    Winged Fist

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! This is really an incredible piece of craftsmanship! You combined a bunch of different retro-elements into one truly beautiful Steampunk masterpiece...The old Edison-style bulbs are a really nice touch. You got my vote for the Wood Challenge;-)

    1 reply

    It seems much more useful when certain design elements are recognized, it makes you feel like you got it right.

    My wife asked me what the numbered marbles were for, I said for fun,
    it's not something to be taken seriously, but the wood kind asks you to.

    It really makes a nice display, because the depth of the shelf and the side mirrors,
    in person the combination of mirrors and wood grain really make it pop.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Longwinters

    Phantastic job! Quite a master piece!!!
    Take a bow
    Yours Aeon Junophor