Reverse Bevel Mirror Frame

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Project by MoshupTrail posted 08-27-2014 07:05 PM 2639 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project creates a simple reverse bevel picture (or mirror) frame for a 8” x 8” mirror. This is so simple, I’ll just post instructions you can copy.

I start with some red oak. This is 5/4 material and I’ll have to plane it a lot. You’d be better off to start with 4/4 or even finished 1×4 oak (or whatever you choose). I’m going to make 1×4. (3/4” x 3 1/2” actual dimensions)

So here are some boards…

And then cut to 4” widths. I’m making 3 frames. Each board will make one frame. (4 sides)

Notice the nice ray flecking in the cross grain. Too bad it’s not quarter sawn. :(

Now cut to length. Each board is cut to 32” or so. That’s the length of my small jointer. Much longer, and it won’t joint them well. There’s enough scrap allowed for any snipe created by the planer.

Next, joint them all on two sides. I’ve got a little Steel City jointer with a helical head and granite bed.


And then run them through the planer, and cut to width on the table saw. 3/4 ” x 3 1/2 inches wide.

Once you have all the pieces cut to size, you can set your saw angle for the bevel cuts. I set the angle once and make all the cuts only changing the fence and blade height. This uses a 20 degree angle.

1. Cut the backside 20 deg bevel. Set the blade height at about 2” and the fence to 1/4 inches. Send the boards through on end. The side closest to the fence will be the front face of your frame.

2. Cut both edges to 20 deg. Set the saw to about 1” and the fence to 3 3/8”. Cut the small side first being careful not to press down on the side of the board that has the 20 deg bevel underneath, then flip the board and cut the second side with the fence set at 3 1/8”.

3. Cut the rabbet for the mirror. First set the blade about 1/2” deep and cut a slot on the bottom side, opposite the bevel cut. Set the fence at 2 5/8” for this. Then flip the board on edge and cut again with the fence set at 1/4”. This should remove a small square rabbet about 3/8” x 3/8”.

4. Now cut the 45 deg mitered corners. There are two ways to do this on a good miter saw. You can set the saw at 45 one way and then the other way, going back and forth to cut alternate angles. Each time, set the board on the 20 deg bevel so it sits at an angle with the high end against the fence. Or you can make all the cuts with the blade set in one position. To do that, you must cut first one side of the board with the 20 deg bevel flat against the table, and then flip the board over and cut from the back side. To do that, you’ll need to make a special 20 deg bevel jig for the board to lean on to get the 20 deg angle it needs. This second method has the advantage that if your saw angle isn’t exactly 45 deg, it will still work out to 90 deg angles.
You can see how I’m doing it here. Notice the pine board underneath. That’s my 20 degree jig.

5. Finally put the whole thing together. I just used Titebond glue and a pin nailer to hold it together. If your 45 degree angles don’t work perfectly use wood filler to hide small cracks. I always get some. :)

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

3 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4833 days

#1 posted 08-27-2014 11:37 PM

Looks very interesting… Looking forward to other Parts…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View MoshupTrail's profile


304 posts in 3261 days

#2 posted 08-28-2014 12:21 AM

Okay, Joe – you got it. Took me several edits to get everything right.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2969 days

#3 posted 08-28-2014 05:15 PM


I think they look awesome. Nice walk through!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

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