Where to buy mirrors - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-21-2020, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question Where to buy mirrors

I want to make a few mirrors with wooden frames. Can anyone recommend a place that sells good quality, but affordable mirrors? I've checked big box hardware stores and they have an okay selection but I keep thinking there has to be something better out there.

On the same topic, if anyone has worked with mirrors - what thickness do you prefer? I would love to just do 1/8" but I have read that they don't always look as good as thicker mirrors, say 1/4". I'm worried about how heavy the 1/4" might be.

Any other mirror wisdom would be appreciated :)
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-21-2020, 07:55 PM
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don't buy individual mirrors.
buy a glass cutter and practice cutting different shapes and sizes.
check yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores, etc for mirrors.
then - cut your own.
and - you can also buy Mirror Plexiglass - easily cut on a table saw,
scroll saw, bandsaw to any shape you can imagine.

Where to buy mirrors-b7646fe3-7e85-43bd-b50d-c38ef9279be8_1.a624973946508e0fc02d41d1173ac4b0.jpg

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post #3 of 24 Old 09-21-2020, 08:24 PM
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Any glass company that sells window glass should be able to supply you with mirror glass. You can have it cut to any size you desire.
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-21-2020, 10:03 PM
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I buy mirrors and glass from a local glass shop. There should be a glass shop near you.

Glass shops always have scraps and other glass pieces with problems. Talk with them and explain what you need and what you can afford - you may be able to work out an arrangement to get some of their "seconds" at low cost if you're flexible.
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-22-2020, 02:08 PM
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Around here, in Houston/Galveston area, Binswanger Glass is all over the place.
Anyway, just search for 'glass' in your area.
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Good ideas. I am planning to get some cutting tools and finding some thrift store / craigslist mirrors and working with those. Local shops are also a great option! I love the idea of trying to find seconds or off cuts that they wouldnít normally have a seller for.

Thanks everyone!
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 08:46 AM
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If you plan on cutting any 1/4 mirror don't cheap out on a glass cutter. Get a really good quality one. Cutting 1/4" glass is a lot harder than even cutting double strength glass. Use a good amount of pressure and just make one score on the glass. You roll it back and forth and it's unpredictable where it will break. Then if you have a belt sander you might get some silicon carbide belts to take the sharp edges off the glass.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 09:02 AM
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"when" you get the hang of cutting your own glass,
you can make some pretty impressive projects with your own hands and tools
limited only to your imagination.
take regular clear 1/4" thick glass plate, cut and shape it to the size you want
for your project, then take it to a glass/mirror shop to have the edges beveled
and the back mirrored. there is nothing more rewarding than to give someone
a very personal mirrored project that you did completely by yourself and your talents.

on a related note: sign makers have been using a product called Angel Gild for years
to "embellish" hand painted signs on glass doors and windows and other projects.
there is a short learning curve with a "modest" initial investment.
the chemical can be sprayed on like Windex glass cleaner to vertical surfaces or applied
flat when supported in a plastic tub. only it leaves behind a metallic color
like bright gold, copper, mirror chrome, etc. - limited only to your imagination.
just know that it permanently stains anything it gets onto besides glass:
skin, clothes, carpet, wood floors, etc. (part of the learning curve).

just another "craft" that can easily be used with your working imagination !!!

John

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post #9 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 12:38 PM
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My spouse does stained glass and glass mosaics. If you will be cutting your own glass, be prepared for micro-size razor sharp bits that go farther than you expect. Keep the glass work separate and away from your woodworking to avoid scratches. Keep a few small bandages on hand for those pinprick wounds and small cuts, too.

DAMHIK.
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 07:09 PM
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Also, NO sand anywhere near by. It will scratch the glass.
I did minor sand blasting in my shop for special effect on things like etching and frosting glass. If you have left over glass. get
RESIST Tape or something similar. Stick the tape on glass in fancy shapes and blast the glass. Peel off the tape and everything will be frosted except for where the tape was. If you cant find resist tape and itching to go, use the old style cheap rubber type electrical tape. It is more that sufficient to experiment with.
Glass cutting will open a whole new world for you and your woodworking.
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post #11 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 07:30 PM
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Tony, another great idea to add to glass work !!
with a small "sand eraser" all kinds of designs can embellish a mirror.
limited only to your imagination. the "Sand Eraser" is less than $40.00.

Name:  Air Eraser.jpg
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and if you are going go that far with etching glass, you may as well go a bit
further into the craft of Glue Chipping - which requires a light sand etching.

in my last shop, I made a dedicated sandblasting booth that was completely
enclosed with a viewing window. I glued sheets of Coroplast to the walls
and sealed the bottoms with tape and only used aluminum oxide abrasive
so I could recover and reuse the grit over and over.
[I think that every craftsman should try Glue Chipping at least once).

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post #12 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 09:41 PM
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@John Smith_inFL
I am completely lost in the sand eraser and glue chipping.
Can you explain a little further please?

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post #13 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 10:29 PM
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Tony - you said you did minor sand blasting in my shop for special effect
on things like etching and frosting glass. so I just assumed you used the
Sand Eraser. which is very similar to the average paint air brush. only it
shoots very fine aluminum oxide grit and not paint to etch glass.
regular sticky back vinyl shelf paper makes an excellent mask that is easily
cut with an X-Acto knife.
Glue Chipping is a very elaborate embellishment to glass that is very easy
to do once you get the hang of it.
basically, it is sandblasting the edges of a glass panel and putting a quality
liquid hide glue on the etched area. and when the glue dries, it is so aggressive
that it pulls out thin chips of glass like snow flakes - no two chips are alike.
many videos on YouTube on chipping glass.

a quick google search turned up a project by a member on LumberJocks,
our sister website by savannah505 in 2008. (this is his project)
(and his other project)
Where to buy mirrors-42503.jpg

it was a standard square glass mirror and the silver part outside of the oval
is chipped using the chipped glass method.

.
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post #14 of 24 Old 09-23-2020, 10:34 PM
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if anyone gets into the town of St. Marys, GA. there is a MacDonalds
burger place near the Navy base. it has glass partitions between the booths
that I etched naval submarine scenes into the glass with a Sand Eraser.
again, etching and embellishing glass is limited only to your imagination.
and putting that glass in a custom handmade wood frame just adds to it.
woodworking has so many associated crafts and skills with it that all you
have to do is explore a little. it is more than just making a table and chairs,
it is a far reaching artform.

.

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post #15 of 24 Old 09-24-2020, 12:11 AM
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WOW!!!!!!
I have got to try this in the very near future.
Thanks

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post #16 of 24 Old 09-24-2020, 12:18 AM
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A small sand blaster can be used to drill a small hole in glass. Just use resist tape, rubber coated electrical tape or as John says - vinyl coated sticky back paper.
Mask around an area, doesnt have to be a perfect circle and just blast the open area in the middle. Makes a nice clean hole in a mirror or sheet of glass. Only takes a minute or 2.

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post #17 of 24 Old 09-24-2020, 12:09 PM
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if you intend to purchase a glass cutter, spring for a carbide cutter. it will stay sharp much longer!
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post #18 of 24 Old 09-24-2020, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, great discussion! Thanks to everyone for chiming in. Iím excited to keep practicing and hopefully Iíll have something to show for it soon.
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post #19 of 24 Old 09-24-2020, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnww View Post
............ Thanks to everyone for chiming in. ..........hopefully Iíll have something to show for it soon.
That will be our reward.

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post #20 of 24 Old 09-24-2020, 10:56 PM
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Let me toss some gasoline into the fray.

If the glass is shatter proof, you ain't going to cut it, period. It has been hardened and annealed. The glass has to be cut with a water/abrasive machine.

Mirrors may or may not be shatter proof. The silvered backing that makes it a mirror is sensitive to touch and moisture, be aware. Mirrors that are manufactured for a moist environment and have the back coated are vulnerable to ammonia base cleaners. (e.g. Windex with Ammonial D) They will erode and effect the silvering at the edge of the mirror. You'll see dark incursions into the edge of the mirror.

Rich
Just a dumb old paper boy from Brooklyn, NY
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