Oval Mirror

How do you make an oval frame for a mirror? First, cut a number of short pieces and glue them together to form an octagon. Then rout the octagon into an oval.

The idea of building an Oval Mirror has always intrigued me. But without some kind of jig to cut the oval-shaped frame and rout the complex profiles, it's virtually impossible to make a consistent oval. So after a lot of thought (there's more to an oval than a circle), 1 came up with a jig that made it possible. (For more on the jig, see page 22.)

profiiji. The most interesting aspects of this project are how the profile is created and how the frame is cut to size.

To cut a profile like this normally requires a shaper and an expensive cutter. But I molded this profile and cut the oval to size with a router (mounted in the jig) and three router bits.

To rout the profile shown here and cut the frame, youll need a W' round-over bit (without a bearing), a V4" core box bit, and a W straight bit.

joinery. The frame is made from eight pieces joined together with splined joints. I used W-thick Masonite for the splines because it's very stable and less likely to cause the joints to move during changes in humidity (a real concern in a project like this).

wood & finish. To allow enough thickness for the profile, youll need Wa stock (1VW' actual thickness). I actually made two mirrors. The one shown here is cherry and the one on the back cover is walnut.

For the finish 1 applied two coats of General Finishes' Royal Finish (Satin).

mirror & hardware. The mirror is standard Vfc"-thick mirror. Locally it cost $42. And that price included a special cutting fee for the oval shape.

To hang the mirror, I used a heavy braided picture frame wire and brass hinged hangers. For sources of the hardware and router bits, see page 31.

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