Hall Mirror #3: And the hits keep-on coming...

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Blog entry by Greg Wurst posted 07-29-2008 03:57 AM 1465 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Did I say Walnut? Apparently not... Part 3 of Hall Mirror series no next part

Well, I’ve finished the mirror but not without my usual array of screw-ups. Let’s get started, shall we?

I only really have one more detail piece to cut, and that is the arch. I go ahead and print a scale model of the arch in Sketchup and draw it on the board. I run it through the bandsaw and clean-up the arch with the drum sander.

Since I need two 3/8” thick arches, I figure I’ll cut the piece in twain with the bandsaw using the currently attached 1/4” blade. Surely it can cut through a couple inches of 3/4” oak, right? Well, in short no. It couldn’t hold a straight line to save its life and I ended-up planing the thing down to 1/4” on my jointer and buying another piece of 1/4” oak at Lowes for the other side. Only $2, but one more delay and another piece of wood from a different tree (although this one matched pretty-well). A 1/2” would have given me a much better result I would imagine.

I screw the main frame together using pocket holes (no glue – which turns-out to by quite fortunate), and lay the pieces on to see how things will look. Looks good, except those rails look a little thick. Sure-enough, I cut them 5 1/2” instead of the 4 1/2” I had figured. These were the pieces I had miscut earlier and had to get another board, so this just adds to my pleasure. I unscrew them and cut them down to size and re-chamfer the end. Fortunately, I put the pocket screws far enough inward no holes would show.

I then lay the mirror on the back to check the fit. The side fits fine, but it’s too long! What the heck! I check the mirror and it’s 47 3/4” long. I check the package and it says the same. I had it as 47 1/4” in my plans, so where did I get that number from? I check the Ikea website and it’s listed there at 47 1/4”! AARRRGGGHHH!!!! The stupid website had the wrong dimensions, and that’s where I got it from! After pounding my head into the wall a few times, I figure I’ll just have to score and cut the mirror a 1/2” shorter. Since that’s such a small amount to remove, I create a snapping jig out of some 3/4” plywood scrap and a 1/4” piece of plywood. The mirror broke correctly so I’m back in business. (UPDATE: I went to Ikea to get another mirror and they are now 47 1/4” long like the website states).

I tape-off and pre-finish what I can before attaching the trim. I used Zinser de-waxed shellac with a golden oak tint.

I then glue and attach the moldings. At this point I can see the new pieces I had to cut from a different board are darker than the rest of the mirror, despite my sanding them as fine as I could. Most people probably wouldn’t really notice, but it sticks-out like a sore thumb to me.

Apply 3 coats of water-based polyurethane..

Place cut mirror in the frame..

Attach hardboard mirror backing and mounting cleat and I’m done.

Finished mirror hanging in the entry-way.

Despite a number of setbacks the mirror is finished and in my opinion looks pretty-good. The rails are darker than the rest of the mirror since they came from a different board, but I’ll just have to live with it. If you’re interested in my Sketchup plans and material list you can get them here:

Thanks for looking!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

12 comments so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3743 days

#1 posted 07-29-2008 04:42 AM

Nice job, Greg. Since both of the rails are the same color, it looks like you planned it that way. As far as your resawing with the 1/4” blade, you may want to try tightening up you blade a little next time. Also, maybe use a center guide, instead of the fence, and draw your center line on the material. All I use for everything is a 1/4” blade, but I do run it a little tighter than the indicator on the saw. Thanks for the post, the mirror turned out great.

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3831 days

#2 posted 07-29-2008 04:51 AM

I have a bandsaw in the garage with a 1/2” blade I bought for resawing, but I’m waiting for new tires since one flew-off when I was doing a practice cut. It was cutting straight until that point. I’ve seen the center guides in use that allow you to adjust your angle to account for drift, and just haven’t built one yet. I also though about tightening the 1/4” blade, but of course that was after I mangled the cut! (doh!) :)

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4098 days

#3 posted 07-29-2008 05:29 AM


For all the challenges that you encountered along the way, this sure did turn out great.

This is a great design and you did well on all facets of the project from design to completion of the project.

Momma’s gotta be happy with this hanging in the entry!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4098 days

#4 posted 07-29-2008 05:32 AM

Just to let you know, I would have used the same joinery techniques as yourself. I am a pocket screw and biscuit man myself and I love the Domino!

These methods of joinery are fantastic and fully acceptable for these projects.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3727 days

#5 posted 07-29-2008 05:39 AM

This is great. I’m just wondering, you mentioned a cut mirror. Was it pre-cut, or did you need to cut it? If you did it, how tough was it? I really like the project. I’m hoping to finish my current project in two weeks and start on a mirror project of my own. It will also be oak, but not nearly as intricate. I’m glad you blogged this though. I learned a lot.

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3714 days

#6 posted 07-29-2008 06:07 AM

Here’s a suggestion for resawing a 1” or 3/4” thick board down into two 1/4” thick pieces. Set your table saw blade up about 1/3 of the width of the board. Position the fence so that on when the board is on edge, it will cut down the center of the board. Run the piece through vertical, flip it around and then cut the other side 1/3 of the way through. This will leave you a 1/8” track to cut with the bandsaw. Less strain and I can usually resaw freehand this way. Then just run the boards through the planer to get them to 1/4” or 5/16”. I did this when I bought a bunk of ash a few years back that was about 2” thick. i resawed them using this method to make them all 3/4. Got it for a heck of a deal at 35 cents a board foot since no one wanted to mess with stuff that thick. Great job on the mirror. If you don’t mind I am going to bookmark this blog for my students who want to make a mirror also. Tooldad

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3831 days

#7 posted 07-29-2008 12:59 PM

Thanks for all the kind comments. Despite a few “issues”, I do think it turned-out pretty-well and as always I learn from my mistakes. I like to think the “expert” in any field is the person who made the most mistakes and learned the most from them.

I had to cut the mirror since the website had the wrong dimensions and the mirror I had was 1/2” too long. I wasn’t happy with that to say the least, but I was able to cut the mirror to size. Using a glass cutter dipped in cutting oil I scored both sides of the mirror and used my jig to hold and snap the end off. It was mostly a clean cut, but a small amount of backing came-off in one corner and there was a jaggy edge or two. All that was hidden in the frame, though, so no worries. I read you needed to seal the cut ends of a mirror back to keep it from further delaminating, so I sealed the edge with some nail polish.

In hindsight the table saw method would have been a fine way to resaw those boards. Since I ended-up going with 1/4” thickness anyway the saw kerf would not have been a factor. Unfortunately, I got it in my head I had to have as close to 3/8” thickness as possible. Once again, I learn something new. I just ordered a new thin kerf Tenryu GM-25540 blade, so in the future I’ll probably use the table saw to ease the burden on the bandsaw in the future.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Partridge's profile


296 posts in 3955 days

#8 posted 07-29-2008 06:11 PM

woow nice work

-- I get out in the shop when I can

View king's profile


71 posts in 3946 days

#9 posted 07-30-2008 03:25 AM

njce looking mirror


View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3831 days

#10 posted 08-03-2008 02:36 AM

A little update here: My in laws requested a mirror so I went to Ikea to get another one. They have it there still, but no they ARE 47 1/4” long instead of the 47 3/4” I had. Apparently I got one of the last of an old stock that was 1/2” longer. As such, I’ve updated my Sketchup models and material lists to reflect the correct size. If you downloaded them before you may want to get the updated versions.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3798 days

#11 posted 08-03-2008 03:52 AM

really nice. Looks great in its new home

-- making sawdust....

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3713 days

#12 posted 08-03-2008 04:46 AM

Nice work!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

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