Reclaimed Wood Mirror Frame
Using reclaimed wood for a project like this mirror frame is always rewarding but being able to reclaim an old mirror for this project brings it to a whole other level of gratification!
This project started with an old mirror from an old dresser we bought off of Kijiji a few years ago.
The mirror was attached but you could tell that it wasn't the original mirror for that dresser as the frame style was different and it wouldn't attach properly on the dresser.
We opted to remove the mirror and its frame from the dresser refinished and sold the dresser.
We kept the mirror for another day and that day has finally arrived, albeit about 6 years later.
The frame for the mirror didn't look original either, it had an ugly stain finish, it was sanded a few times before with dips and crevices so we decided to scrap the old frame.
We took the old cardboard backing off and the wood frame was not hard to dismantle as it almost fell apart on its own.
This is where the guy in the picture comes in.
The back of the mirror had orange paint along with a company stamp.
The company stamp on the back of the mirror reads "Horwood Glass Manufacturing Co." with the address of 402 Bank St. Ottawa, Canada which is just a few miles away.
There are also some numbers in the center that may be a date but unfortunately, most of the numbers are eligible except for the number 23. Does it appear that it may be June 23, 1919 ????
Take a look, let me know what you think the numbers represent.
It turns out that Mr. Horwood was quite renowned for his stained glass windows. He provided the windows to Canada's Parliament buildings along with many cathedrals and churches in the region including New York State in the United States.
Knowing that we have an interesting story behind the mirror, which may be over 100 years old, we certainly wanted it to continue to be a useful feature in someone's home, maybe for another 100 years.
We cleaned the mirror the best we could and set out to build a wood frame in a style that we prefer and using some more of the reclaimed wood we had in our workshop.
After making items with many pieces of our reclaimed for a recent craft sale we didn't have many full pieces of wood to work with.
So we had to improvise our plan to make it a solid wood frame as you will see further down.
How We Built It
Design and Dimensions
There wasn't much we can show in regards to design for this project as we figure out how to use the remaining reclaimed wood we had left-over in our shop.
The dimensions are of course very close to being within the Golden Ratio.
Mirror Dimensions: 24" x 14"
14" x 1.618 = 22.652"
So the mirror isn't exactly made according to the Golden Ratio but it is very close. They likely rounded up the measurement to an even number so it works better for easier calculations for manufacturing or their equipment was made a certain way that it worked out better to have a standard.
If anybody knows the reason please leave a comment below.
Frame Outer Dimensions: 30" x 20"
Frame width 3"
- We used reclaimed cedar boards of various sizes.
- If we were to use new wood then we would have changed the frame width down to 2 5/8" wide so we could use standard 6" boards and rip it in two so we would have 2 boards 6' long for a total of 144" board length.
- This project only requires 100" board length so if you can get a 3" x 10' then that would be ideal. No ripping required.
Note: Lumber size listed here is in actual size. Learn more about Nominal vs. Actual sizes here.
- Wood of choice. We used Reclaimed Cedar Boards
- Wood Glue
- Wood Finish of your choice
Must Have Tools
- Safety Glasses
- Ear Protection
- Dust Mask
- Tape Measure
- Circular Saw
- Paint Brush
- Compound/Miter Saw
- Table Saw
- Biscuit Joiner
- Impact Drill
- Orbital Sander
- HVLP Paint Sprayer
- Top and Bottom
- 2 - 1" x 3" x 20"
- 2 - 1" x 3" x 30"
Steps To Building This Mirror Frame
We start with the design. We're not sure if it's because the thought of designing the mirror frame in SketchUp would be the easiest to date or if we were just tired but we couldn't get our SketchUp design done as nicely as we wanted but it was good enough to know the basic dimensions being 30" x 20".
We gather the wood we need for the project. In our case, it was pulling out all the reclaimed cedar boards we could find in our shop. It was looking pretty scarce.
We started by cleaning up the ends of all the wood pieces.
Next, we had to rip the wood into 1" widths at various lengths.
Time to assemble the pieces in approximate lengths to create the board stock we need to create our frames.
Once the general look and sizing were figured out it was time to glue and clamp or what Brenda likes to call, "A friggin mess!"
With the glue-up complete it's time to start doing the main deep sanding.
Using the table saw we created a 1/4" groove along the inside edges of the wood for the mirror to slide into and hold in place.
Now that the groove has been made we can cut the angle cuts at 45 degrees to make the frame.
The wood is now sanded and cut to size with the angles so it's time to dry assemble. Fingers crossed!
Before we do the final glue up we need to do a thorough cleaning of the mirror. You can tell it's an old mirror with the old scratches and some fogginess showing behind the glass in some areas.
We used biscuits and wood glue to join the corners. This way there are no nails required.
We did some sanding earlier but its now time to do some more, hopefully, the final sanding stage.
Turns out that sanding was not the last step. We decided to go over the front of the frame with a wire brush to bring out the grain a little more.
Instead of using a stain on this reclaimed wood and worried that the stain would get in behind the mirror paint we decided to go with the weather accelerator.
We used the grey barn wood accelerator. It's funny how it looks brown when we apply it to the wood.
Now the weathered wood accelerator is dry, we do a light sanding with "0000" steel wool to clean up the wood then we add the final finish of Linseed Oil.
The final finish looks amazing!!!
The plan was to put it up for sale but we may keep it for ourselves.
Please let us know what you think. Is this something you would make? Would you suggest a different color or style?
Please comment below or if you have any questions about this project we would love to hear from you.