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Chippendale Mirror Update

This mirror has been dragging on for quite a while, I think I have been a little daunted by the frame, I really hate miters!
Anyway, I finally plucked up the courage to have a go and I am very happy with the way things turned out.





After mulling over the best way to cut the I decided to build a small frame to hold the moulding flat, in place and with support front and rear to minimise tear-out.

Theres nothing fancy with the jig, its just some scrap pine and mdf screwed together to support the moulding. I also glued in a small strip of pine to help support the moulding.

This basic jig turnout out to be a great help, as I also used the jig when cutting the floating tenons using a domino later on.

With the jig securely clamped to slider on my tablesaw I dialed in the 45 degrees and cut all four sides.
Some cuts meant I had to flip the moulding to cut it, but the jig held it without a problem.

Once the mitres were cut I dry fitted them together using a picture frame clamp.

Next step was to fine tune the mitres using a shooting board. This was the first time I have ever taken this step, and it made a huge difference for me. The additional tweaking available makes mitering much easier.


Here I am re-using the holding jig for the joinery.
I temporarily added a hold down clamp and penciled in some registration marks to keep the domino joints centered a couple of minutes later I am all set for glue up. With the frame being so small I went for the 4mm dominos.

Once the glue had dried I grained filled the frame and sanded off the excess once dry. This took a lot longer than I had expected, next time i think i’ll use scrapers to make most of the job done.


Here is a quick picture after the initial sanding.


Finally a dry fit, the original fretwork seems quite a bit darker, they have been sitting around the workshop for a while, so I am not sure if they have just darkened over time or if the veneer itself is just darker.

I’ll add a touch of color to my lacquer topcoat to help create a even tone throughout the whole mirror, although I dont mind some contrast.

Next I’ll route out the dadoes for the fretwork, glue them in and apply a finish……

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