Barrel Stave Mirror with Walnut Trim

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Project by JosephWasHere posted 09-06-2013 12:08 AM 2025 views 4 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of the things you learn quickly when working with barrel staves is that there tends to be a good bit of scrap left over. This stems from the fact that you are whittling away at the staves more so than woodworking with them. The barrel stave ends, unless they are some part of the design element, are pretty much useless, excluding using them as fuel in your smoker. So what do you do with buckets full of barrel stave ends?

I found that the texture of the ends and different shapes and sizes to be somewhat interesting as I stood there staring at these buckets full of pieces of barrel stave. I laid them out on the table and started shifting them around, this way and that, standing some on ends and others on their sides. I found a few patterns that worked, the pattern around the mirror is one of them.

The inner and outer frame is made from walnut and the backing for the mirror is 1/2 mdf. I used a high gloss lacquer as a finish. Which adds a little shine and helps to fill in and bind the char nicely. I like the way that the walnut complements the black of the char on the barrel stave pieces and the different widths and lengths of the barrel stave pieces allows for a hint of the white oak to show through. This allows for some contrast to all the darker colors. All in all I think the mirror turned out great and I’m happy with it. Its heavy though, more so than I expected. Why I expected any less I’m not sure. The mirror is pretty much a one big hunk of solid wood, glue and lacquer. Due to its weight I was glad I used a 1/2” mdf backer so that the two heavy duty mirror hangers I used had plenty to screw in to.

-- Joseph, Piedmont SC,

2 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21743 posts in 3309 days

#1 posted 09-06-2013 11:24 PM

Very nice frame. You are a true artist in they way to came about to build that!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2379 days

#2 posted 09-10-2013 02:14 PM

Very creative use of the leftovers and the staves look great with walnut. Love the look and textures of your wonderful mirror. Amazing work!

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