Building a mirror frame of pine, need advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-28-2015, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Building a mirror frame of pine, need advice

Hi all,

My daughter had been looking at some rustic mirrors online, and since we had just pulled a large mirror from their bathroom wall during renovation, we thought we might tackle this ourselves. As I've only done a few amateur wooden projects in the past - some trim work, some shelves (which are more utilitarian than aesthetically pleasing), and general framing stuff for house projects - I ask for your input.

For this project, we selected some 1" pine. The frame is going to be 2.5" wide all the way around. So far, I've only ripped the strips for the frame. One thing that's disconcerting to me is that my rips weren't perfect, as such there is a little wander in the sides. Additionally, there is a bit of warp in the wood, just enough that I'm worried that the frame won't be flush against the mirror.

I have two questions for you all:

1) How do I mitigate the warping of the frame?
2) How would you join this together? The edges won't be mitered, but rather straight up against each other for a more "rustic" look. I initially had planned to use a biscuit joiner, but some co-workers mentioned that they might use pocket screws, which I've no experience with.

Any other advice is welcome as well...

My woodworking tools are pretty rudimentary:

- Table saw
- Miter saw
- Circular saw
- Hand saw
- 8 gallon compressor
- Sandpaper

Last edited by West North West; 08-28-2015 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention equipment at my disposal.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-28-2015, 08:11 PM
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Pine construction lumber is rather unstable and some warping and twisting will happen---
Sorry to tell you this---but you should reject the ones that won't stay flat---

As to joining them for a rustic piece?

Your choices are wide---mortise and tenon-- exposed dowels---just to name two that are simple and look good (and use tools you already own)
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-28-2015, 11:55 PM
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I say start over.

How come the rips weren't perfect?

A push stick and possibly a featherboard to keep the workpiece against the fence should produce a good rip.

You might try poplar instead. But there are no guarantees.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-29-2015, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm...$40 of wood down the drain. I guess I'll do a test run with what I have. Is there no way to straighten it out? I think the rips will be alright, to be honest, but the warping is what I'm concerned with.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-29-2015, 05:06 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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go with Poplar as suggested

Pine has a tendency to twist after it's been ripped from the original board. Poplar is a straighter grain wood and is great to work with in my experience.

For a rustic look you may want to use "rough sawn" stock, either Oak or what ever you can acquire locally.
The issue I see is putting a large frame around a large mirror will not be easy. The frame will have to support the heavy mirror, so the corners will have to be strong enough. Most large mirrors have a thing sheet of wood on the back to add structure. The corners are usually pretty weak, if mitered as most would be.

What are the dimensions of the mirror?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-29-2015, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. The mirror will be freestanding with a hinged stand on the back. Do you mean that we should put a full sized piece of wood on the back side of it to hold everything together?

The mirror itself is going to be about 5' tall. Our plan is to leave the side trim longer to act as a stand, so the sides will be a total of about 5' 5".

We're trying to duplicate something like this: https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=...1376063673&f=1
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-29-2015, 05:54 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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that looks like it will work

Since the side rails will support the weight directly to the floor, there is much less concern about the weight being supported only in the corners on a miter frame... whew!

So if you can mortise the bottom pieces into the long vertical ones, the legs, that would be best. A rabbet all around the back side will support and keep the mirror inplace. Make the opening 1/8" larger to allow for insertion of the glass. I would still put a 1/4" plywood backer behind the glass for protection. So, your rabbet would have to be deep enough to accept the mirror and the plywood.

A really good idea would be to make a 2 step rabbet, one for the mirror and another for the backer. Very easy to do once you are set up. That way, any screws to hold the backer will go into only wood not the mirror and you won't have to use special clips to restrain it all.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-30-2015, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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I don't really have the tools for doing a mortise/tenon, we did put the front frame together tonight using pocket screws and glue, and it looks pretty good right now...

You mentioned a rabbet to set the mirror in, how might I go about that with the uneven wood? That sounds like just what we need here. Is there a tool that mounts to an even edge that you can do a rabbet with?
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-30-2015, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West North West View Post
I don't really have the tools for doing a mortise/tenon, we did put the front frame together tonight using pocket screws and glue, and it looks pretty good right now...

You mentioned a rabbet to set the mirror in, how might I go about that with the uneven wood? That sounds like just what we need here. Is there a tool that mounts to an even edge that you can do a rabbet with?
A router with a rabbet bit will cut it if the screws aren't in the way.
Try You tube. Surely someone has a demo.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-05-2015, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West North West View Post
Hmm...$40 of wood down the drain. I guess I'll do a test run with what I have. Is there no way to straighten it out? I think the rips will be alright, to be honest, but the warping is what I'm concerned with.
Home Depot has pine 1 x 4 X 96" at $3. Why $40 for wood for this project?
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-02-2016, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, I just wanted to let you know I finished the mirror. It turned out OK, I used pocket screws for the joints and simply mounted the mirror to the back with mirror hangers. They're plastic and don't seem to be the most sturdy things in the world, so I'm considering replacing them with some wood trim on the back. It was a very simple project, but inspired me to do more.

ChuckBarnett, the pine I purchased was wider, the mirror is huge.

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-02-2016, 07:48 PM
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Looks great! :-) Good job.
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