Carpathian Elm Burl Veneer Mirror

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Project by mike posted 2944 days ago 4633 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We needed a mirror over the sofa when we decorated our family room. My wife’s theme was metal and wood. The wood part fell to me. We agreed on a design that was published in Woodsmith magazine. I have never really done a veneer project before so the challenge was exciting. The frame is poplar and the main veneer is Carpathian Elm Burl with Tulip wood banding. The corner blocks are Tropical American Mahogany (TAM) with an emblem surrounded by edge face mahogany veneer. Moldings were crafted from TAM using a router table and a round over bit.

Mirror is finished with Danish Tung Oil and 3 coats of a 1lb. cut shellac.

Veneer was attached using a hand operated vacuum pump and plastic bag designed for crafting skateboards.

The mirror is a centerpiece on the sofa wall and always gets noticed by friends and family when they first see it.

Total construction time approx. 40 hrs.

-- Mike, Maryland,

13 comments so far

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1979 posts in 3042 days

#1 posted 2943 days ago

this is a “too-cool” mirror. If you hadn’t stated that it was your first attempt at veneer work, I would never have believed it. A beautiful combination of marquetry and veneers. From the reflection in the mirror, you home is quite beautiful. Thanks for taking the time to post this project for the rest of us to enjoy,

Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2936 days

#2 posted 2933 days ago

Congratulations, & excellent, a beautiful enhancement to your living room wall. it looks professionally done.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View ahpeditor's profile


5 posts in 2912 days

#3 posted 2912 days ago

Mike, Nice looking mirror. Thanks for the Woodsmith plug. Glad to see there are people out there building beautiful furniture from our plans.

-- Joel Hess, Associate Editor, August Home Publishing,

View David's profile


1970 posts in 2775 days

#4 posted 2678 days ago

Mike -

This is an oustanding piece! Thanks for posting this project. I have been browsing past postings looking for insight and inspiration. I have this issue of Woodsmith and very much admired the project when it was first published. I am looking into starting veneering this summer so this really struck a chord. Excellent work! Thanks for posting this project.


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2797 days

#5 posted 2678 days ago

oh my !!!! GORGEOUS

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View mike's profile


46 posts in 2947 days

#6 posted 2678 days ago

Thanks all for the gracious comments.

Mike if you decide to proceed with the mirror project or a veneering project in general send me an email I can share some of my discoveries while makign the mirror.


-- Mike, Maryland,

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 2729 days

#7 posted 2678 days ago

Wow. Outstanding piece Mike. Beautifully executed and it goes with the room perfectly. Thanks for sharing this with us.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12938 posts in 2619 days

#8 posted 2605 days ago

beautiful work … awesome !!

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12938 posts in 2619 days

#9 posted 2605 days ago

Hello … get out your digital camera … lets see what new things you’re working on !!

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Jeff's profile


1011 posts in 2730 days

#10 posted 2564 days ago

Mike, I got wind of this project via your posting for the glider. All I can say is WOW. This is very, very nice. Which issue of Woodsmith? When we get a new house, I may have the same need.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2616 days

#11 posted 2423 days ago


Thanks to Martin for the roll the dice feature on this site.

I missed this project before, but I have to agree with the comments posted before. Hard to believe this is your first attempt at veneering.

Great job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View jeanmarc's profile


1886 posts in 2353 days

#12 posted 2271 days ago

beautiful work

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2164 days

#13 posted 2160 days ago

WOW, first attempt? WOW, just stunning.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

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