Dressing Mirror

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Project by Eli posted 03-04-2010 12:26 AM 2393 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Dressing Mirror
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This dressing mirror, or shaving mirror, is solid cherry with madrone burl drawer fronts and mystery wood banding. This is one of my favorite projects. It’s a nice size and understated. The lines are simple and clean. The transition pieces on the front are poorly executed.

9 comments so far

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 3072 days

#1 posted 03-04-2010 03:29 AM

That came together nicely. I really like the combination of woods that you used. Great stuff.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View woodchic's profile


841 posts in 3383 days

#2 posted 03-04-2010 03:59 AM

Tell me….......why do you say that the front pieces are poorly executed. What would make them better? I like the piece, I think it’s beautiful. Shine a light for me to see what you see that I don’t when looking at this piece.

Robin Renee’


-- Robin Renee'

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3988 days

#3 posted 03-04-2010 04:17 AM

I guess I can’t see what you are calling “poorly executed” either. Maybe if I had it in my hands I could see what you are talking about. We all tend to see the shortcomings in our own pieces. Others see them as a whole and tend to overlook the flaws. I think, we as craftsmen are just built that way. This is a very fine piece of work. We all must learn to forgive ourselves for the little flaws that prove we are human. Or like the Navajo, we need to leave a mistake to let out the evil spirits.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Eli's profile


141 posts in 3032 days

#4 posted 03-04-2010 06:11 AM

The transition pieces between the foot and the horizontal bottom rail are just glued in. I didn’t arrange the grain or anything. It’s a little hard to tell from the picture, but the grain direction makes them kind of counterproductive as transition pieces.

Thank you for the compliments. I like this piece and dressing mirrors in general. I was just talking to some friends about furniture being “relatable” and I think this just fits in that category.


View JuniorJoiner's profile


487 posts in 3466 days

#5 posted 03-15-2010 03:47 AM

this is a great piece. I first saw this type of furniture piece in the book “English furniture” by John C. Rodgers, he calls them dressing glass. I like the form, and have wanted to make one ever since.
I am quite curious as to your execution of this piece, it looks like spline miter carcass construction. did you dowel the mirror stand to the piece , or through tenon? did you make the mirrors swivel hardware , or source it ?
on curved drawers like that, did you use solid wood with veneer applied, or bent lamination for the curve?

I think you have done very well with this piece, any flaws you see are from the craftsman’s curse, seeing flaws where others do not look. flaws like that become minor in a few months, disappear in a year, and in two years, they never existed.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Eli's profile


141 posts in 3032 days

#6 posted 03-15-2010 04:42 AM

The top corners of the case are splined on the inside. The bottom of the case is housed tapered dovetailed into the sides. The standards holding the mirror have half of a dovetail on the bottom. A wedge then goes in to lock it into place. You can just see the wedge behind the standards. The wedges are removable so the mirror can be packed flat on the case for moving. I made the mirror hardware. It’s just a bent screw. The drawers are such a gentle curve, it was just cut out of solid and veneered.

I appreciate all the support, but this time it’s not the craftsman’s curse. A funky dovetail or “organic” carving fall under that title. This is an inconsistency in the grain. It draws the eye like a bad patch would. I was lazy. I did this project as a side project and didn’t give it the care I should have. On many originals, there was a banding running around just under the drawers. Below this banding, it would have been veneered to hide the transition blocks and the wedges for the feet. I didn’t want to do the banding because I wanted to keep it visually simple. The mismatched blocks defeated the purpose.

Let me know if you need any more help with construction details.

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3314 days

#7 posted 03-15-2010 05:19 AM

very nice piece, i wish i could get my work to look this good!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#8 posted 03-15-2010 06:27 AM

Another wonderful piece Eli

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Leonard5's profile


377 posts in 2719 days

#9 posted 04-26-2013 11:46 PM


-- Leonard H.

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