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A Recycled Mirror

 

A recycled mirror, a large space, a small bit of wood, and some ingenuity...

This was the "canvas" to be filled. We have this large masonry fireplace, and we wanted to cover over a large chunk of it. We considered ripping it out; too much work. We considered getting a large painting, which was a possibility. But in the end decided that a nice big mirror would brighten the space and make the room feel larger.

Large mirrors are expensive. New ones, that is. Old ones are cheap and plentiful at the local Habitat For Humanity ReStore. The downside is that you have limited choice in sizes. It took us two visits (separated by a few weeks) to find one that was a size we liked and in good shape. (This mirror is about 30" by 40".)

We opted for a fairly unadorned frame, which suited the decor of that room. A butt-joined frame (joined with dowels -- love my Dowelmax Jig!) is fairly quick and strong. The frame is resting against a piece of surplus 1/8" oak plywood, which will serve as the back.

The rear of the frame, shown here, has a double stepped rabbet in it. The deeper inside rabbet will hold the mirror. The outer shallower step of the rabbet is for the plywood back.

These were ripped on the Table Saw. Rather than go through contortions to stop the rabbets on the top and bottom frame pieces, I simply ran them the full length of the piece. I then filled in the ends with some custom-cut pieces of oak. First, they're on the back, and second, they're practically invisible.

Another view of the back, showing the recessed hanger for hanging the frame. (There was a bit of an error in measuring, which is why the vertical rabbet looks a bit odd there!) There is one hanger on each frame. These required a fair bit of finesse, as the mounting screws on the wall needed to be situated in the mortar between bricks. There was a lot of careful measuring and figuring.

And finished and installed.

Yes, it is big!

The frame was stained with Flecto Varathane "Golden Mahogany", and then two coats of waterbased Flecto Varathane diamond finish.

 

Thanks for reading!