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Forum topic by wishIhadmoretime posted 01-29-2016 07:53 PM 465 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wishIhadmoretime

6 posts in 316 days


01-29-2016 07:53 PM

I have a large display case project ahead of me. One wall will have 21’ of cabinet. I’d like to build it into place and then stain and lacquer it in place when I shoot the baseboard and casing. The monkey wrench in my plans is the fact I want to put a bunch of full length mirrors along the back wall of the cabinet. Any ideas on how to install mirrors on the “front” of face frames and have it look nice? Thanks in advance!


12 replies so far

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jdmaher

384 posts in 2047 days


#1 posted 01-29-2016 08:03 PM

“Front” of face frames? I thought you wanted mirrors on the back wall of the cabinet? And I’m assuming either no doors or glass doors at the front of the cabinet?

I’m not following.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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wishIhadmoretime

6 posts in 316 days


#2 posted 01-29-2016 08:41 PM

Sorry about that Jim. What I meant was making a frame in the back of the cabinet for each mirror similar to a face frame. Normally when I make a curio cabinet I build two face frames (probably calling one of them incorrectly) when one is for the front and the other for the back. Then I rabbet the inside of the back of the back frame and lay the mirror inside of it.

Since I won’t have access to the back of the rear frame in this case since these will be built-ins, that’s where I’m struggling to come up with a clever way to insert the mirror from the front after the cabinet is installed. I’m envisioning 7 sections roughly 3’ in width where there is glass shelving from one end to the other. There will be wood framed glass doors on the front.

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2443 days


#3 posted 01-29-2016 08:50 PM

Could you put rabbet in front face of the rear frames and secure mirror with trim of some type???

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wishIhadmoretime

6 posts in 316 days


#4 posted 01-29-2016 09:07 PM

That thought had crossed my mind. :) Any suggestions on a trim and how to secure it? I’d be scared to death to use a pin nailer.

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jdmaher

384 posts in 2047 days


#5 posted 01-29-2016 10:09 PM

Haven’t done this, but . . .

Normally I rabbet out the back edges of all four sides of the carcass to hold the back, which would normally be applied from the back. So, I’d probably do the same here, with extra room to maneuver. Let’s say ½” deep and 1.5” wide – on bottom and one side, and 5/8” deep and 1.5” wide on the top and other side.

Size the mirrors carefully. Inside carcass width plus ½”, by inside carcass height plus ½”.

Build in-place.

Take a mirror and slide it in. Should be enough room to angle it in side-to-side, lift it up (like a sliding door) and seat it in the bottom rabbet. Probably, you want to cushion that bottom rabbet with something (e.g., 1/4” backer rod?) and maybe use some cabinet door cushion pads on the side with the 5/8” rabbet. Get the mirror pretty well centered.

Make some trim strips from the same material as the carcass. Should be 1” wide and long enough to fit either the width or the height, some ½” thick, some 5/8” thick. Use these to fill in those extra-wide rabbets, and serve as the trim stop to hold the mirror in place.

1” wide should be big enough to safely pin these in place (which would allow removal for later replacement of a broken mirror). If painting these cases, you could caulk and paint touch-up. Even if stained, at the back of the cabinet, you should never notice these trim pieces flush with the interior sides of the carcass.

What do you think?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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wishIhadmoretime

6 posts in 316 days


#6 posted 02-01-2016 04:34 PM



Haven’t done this, but . . .

Normally I rabbet out the back edges of all four sides of the carcass to hold the back, which would normally be applied from the back. So, I’d probably do the same here, with extra room to maneuver. Let’s say ½” deep and 1.5” wide – on bottom and one side, and 5/8” deep and 1.5” wide on the top and other side.

Size the mirrors carefully. Inside carcass width plus ½”, by inside carcass height plus ½”.

Build in-place.

Take a mirror and slide it in. Should be enough room to angle it in side-to-side, lift it up (like a sliding door) and seat it in the bottom rabbet. Probably, you want to cushion that bottom rabbet with something (e.g., 1/4” backer rod?) and maybe use some cabinet door cushion pads on the side with the 5/8” rabbet. Get the mirror pretty well centered.

Make some trim strips from the same material as the carcass. Should be 1” wide and long enough to fit either the width or the height, some ½” thick, some 5/8” thick. Use these to fill in those extra-wide rabbets, and serve as the trim stop to hold the mirror in place.

1” wide should be big enough to safely pin these in place (which would allow removal for later replacement of a broken mirror). If painting these cases, you could caulk and paint touch-up. Even if stained, at the back of the cabinet, you should never notice these trim pieces flush with the interior sides of the carcass.

What do you think?

- jdmaher

Thanks, Jim. I’m not sure I’m following all that well though. :( When you say angle it in and lift up like a sliding door, I’m worried about having to “flex” a mirror. The other place you lost me was the different rabbet depths. I can’t tell if you mean from the front or back.

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#7 posted 02-01-2016 04:52 PM

I agree with the idea of rabbiting the face frames on the back of the cabinet and then just installing stops like you would on a a glass cabinet door. You have to make sure you can replace the mirror in case it’s broken during your cabinet install or in the future without taking all of the cabinets out to get to it.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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jbay

819 posts in 366 days


#8 posted 02-01-2016 05:16 PM

I would make individual frames to go inside of the cabinets after the cabinets were installed. Then I would rabbet the frames as normal and use either clear double stick tape or silicone to attach the mirrors to the frame then put the frames, with the mirrors already installed, into the cabinets last. I don’t know the specifics of your front frames so you would have to be sure you could fit the rear frame through the opening before going that route.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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wishIhadmoretime

6 posts in 316 days


#9 posted 02-01-2016 08:29 PM



I agree with the idea of rabbiting the face frames on the back of the cabinet and then just installing stops like you would on a a glass cabinet door. You have to make sure you can replace the mirror in case it s broken during your cabinet install or in the future without taking all of the cabinets out to get to it.

Thanks for the picture. I like this but hope to heck I don’t get a stray brad. Now I need to find some maple quarter round. I may just put a back on the whole thing, forget the rabbet, and use a 1/2” quarter round.

Thanks to all who made suggestions!

- a1Jim


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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#10 posted 02-01-2016 08:36 PM

If you’re going to put a back on it anyway why not just use mirror adhesive on mirrors cut to size ,no nails involved .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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wishIhadmoretime

6 posts in 316 days


#11 posted 02-02-2016 08:30 PM



If you re going to put a back on it anyway why not just use mirror adhesive on mirrors cut to size ,no nails involved .

- a1Jim

I’m flattered by your faith in my abilities to have a perfectly square rectangle that is 84” x 24” with no variation in the length. ;) I only wish I had as much confidence.

By making the hole a little bigger, I know I’ll always have a little wiggle room in case the wood moves a little when the stain/lacquer dries or if the mirrors aren’t 100% perfectly cut. I found a trim to use in lieu of quarter round from a local supplier that should work nicely and give me lots of wiggle room. :)

http://kaydeeco.com/catalog/common/viewpicture.asp?PictureID=578&Image=l&Type=1

Thanks again to all for the suggestions!

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#12 posted 02-03-2016 12:09 AM

Hey whatever works that you feel comfortable with go for it. :))

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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