Need suggestions for securing the back of a custom mirror frame

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Forum topic by SawTooth1953 posted 06-09-2014 05:46 AM 1269 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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335 posts in 3483 days

06-09-2014 05:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: frame mirror hanging modern lips

I am making a couple of custom mirrors…in the shapes of lips. The first one I am making is for my office and is a smaller version of one I am making to donate for a fundraiser. The smaller one is like a prototype where I hopefully learn from my mistakes… it is about to be completed except I don’t know a good way to secure the cutout that holds the mirror in the frame. I’d like the back to remain flat. For that matter, any suggestions for hanging this would be appreciated. As you can see, there isn’t that standard width of wood to work with. If anyone has suggestions for me, please add pics or drawings or links to pics or drawings…and if not, then tell me in words. It is made of plywood, a sandwich with 1/2” ply front and back and 3/16” ply in the middle (which is the same thickness as the mirror and which has a cutout 1/4” larger than the opening and matches the outline of the mirror…this method served to avoid routing a groove for the mirror.) So the cutout is 1/2” thick… the entire frame is 1 3/16” thick.

Thanks, in advance…

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

7 replies so far

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1698 days

#1 posted 06-09-2014 01:15 PM

Spence, typically I use pins shot by a picture framing tool. ..However, if your backing piece isn’t inset some it would probably chip out at the frame. Could you carve out some depressed areas in the backer (or, maybe, both the backer and the frame) for hold-downs ?

That frame’s sure got style.

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2868 days

#2 posted 06-09-2014 01:32 PM

Make a full back 1/2” smaller than the front.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View 69BBNova's profile


341 posts in 2394 days

#3 posted 06-09-2014 08:37 PM

I made a jig, even though I didn’t finish it to make these clips for a frame I made as a gift…

If I remember correctly I used 1/2” wide .060” thick brass to make the clips and hooks. On the few times they will need to be removed, just back off the screws…

I just couldn’t get myself to use anything that I didn’t make myself…

Something like these should work for you also…

Give it a try, I think you’ll like them.

View TheFridge's profile


10513 posts in 1663 days

#4 posted 06-09-2014 08:53 PM

If that ^^^ doesn’t work, you could inset the clips and just put a screw on the side without the mirror.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View SawTooth1953's profile


335 posts in 3483 days

#5 posted 06-10-2014 01:34 AM

For some reason, but not because I’m getting old, I blanked and couldn’t come up with the keyword “turnbutton”. Insetting either a turnbutton or a clip will do the trick nicely, as would a new, solid back. Thank y’all for the suggestions… I love!

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


5056 posts in 2529 days

#6 posted 06-10-2014 01:51 AM

You could just counterbore some washers using the appropriate sized Forstner bit, so that the washers overlap the inset, that would keep everything flush.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SawTooth1953's profile


335 posts in 3483 days

#7 posted 06-10-2014 06:27 AM

Bondo, I had that mental image in mind from a magazine tip I saw a while back…but of course I can’t find it when I need it. Must be for a fender washer to be used cuz I thought the tip said to drill a smaller off-center hole for a smaller screw…and in the end it works like a turnbutton or clip, screwed in on the frame and overlapping to hold the cutout. Matching the Forstner bit to the washer makes it neat and clean.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

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