Framing large mirror 4' x 3'

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Forum topic by JCantin posted 05-23-2011 04:17 PM 2443 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JCantin's profile


161 posts in 2830 days

05-23-2011 04:17 PM

Looking for tips on framing a large 48” x 36” bedroom mirror. I’ve not taken it off the wall but assume it is heavy, maybe 40 lbs. Here are my thoughts:

1. Half laps for the joints pinned with accenting dowel for strength and simplicity (vs mitering).

2. Mirror rabbetted into the back of the frame with room for either a) retainer strips or b) a backer board with glazing points.

3. How much of the mirror should the rabbet capture, 1” all around?

4. French cleat or Z-bar for hanging.

3 replies so far

View christopheralan's profile


1120 posts in 3138 days

#1 posted 05-23-2011 04:21 PM

I would do a double rabbit, one for the mirror and a larger one at a more shallow depth for a plywood back. I would also do the french-cleat and the half-laps. I think 1/2 to 3/4 is plenty to hold the mirror in place.

Good luck!

-- christopheralan

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3240 days

#2 posted 05-23-2011 04:45 PM

The z-bar hangers work well for mirrors. I have used them on several mirrors that I have made. Like Christopher mentioned in his response I generally set the mirror in a 1/2” rabbet. The plywood backing will work well but it does add more weight. I prefer to mount the mirror flush with the frame and use turn buttons to hold the mirror in place. A package of 10, which is more than enough to hold a mirror, runs about $5.00.

As far as the joinery goes your approach will be a good one. I generally get lazy with mine and go for pocket screws since it is a strong joint that is quick to complete.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2340 days

#3 posted 05-23-2011 11:17 PM

I have a mirror frame I made and took it to a glaiser and they put a mirror in it using clear silicone caulk. Holding strong now for 25 years. Just another approach.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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