John Hall Mirror Frame

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Project by BillG posted 08-14-2010 03:25 AM 3386 views 4 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been a fan of the Green and Green style for a long time and have great respect for the Halls and their mastery of furniture making. If you are familiar with the Green brothers interpretation of the mission style, you probably know that the Hall brothers were the builders of the Green’s designs. John Hall did a little designing as well while working for the Greens, of particular interest to me was his mirror frame (circa 1909) which hangs in the Gamble House in California .

Marc Spagnolo “The Wood Whisperer” had opportunity to visit John Hall’s relative and actually view, hold and make a measured drawing of the mirror frame, which made me quite happy to say the least. This piece has captured my imagination for a long time. The original piece is made of black walnut.

I downloaded his drawings and set out to make a pair of them, one each for my son and daughter. Making them was intriguing and challenging. I wanted to make them from something other than mahogany or walnut which was traditional for the Greens. After looking through my wood supply (which is not great) I found a couple of pieces of birds eye maple that were heavily eyed. The choice was clear and the work began. I followed Marc’s procedures for the most part, but made an extra set of templates that were modified to rout the inner puzzle pieces on the stiles.

Each frame measures roughly 20” wide, by 22” high, with the top rail 7/8” thick, the side stiles 3/4” thick and the bottom rail 5/8” thick. This creates nice shadow lines. Construction involved both machines and hand work, specifically carving. Each piece was sanded to 320 grit and rubbed with boiled linseed oil and then sprayed with three coats of catylized lacquer. The mirror is 1/4” plate glass. The ebony pegs are three different sizes, 1/4” square, 3/16” square and a 3/16” X 3/8” rectangle

I would like to thank Marc Spagnolo for the inspiration and creating the drawings, and John Hall for his design.

I hope my kids like them.

Bill G

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

10 comments so far

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3389 days

#1 posted 08-14-2010 03:35 AM

Oh so nice! That is just beautiful!
Great Job!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 4003 days

#2 posted 08-14-2010 03:43 AM

Great story and your work looks terrific!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3527 days

#3 posted 08-14-2010 03:59 AM

Really nice work Bill!

I like that you modified it for your own tastes/wood selection.

I also like the backstory, and appreciate the fact that you provided dimensions and finish info. for the piece.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Ken90712's profile


17706 posts in 3665 days

#4 posted 08-14-2010 11:49 AM

Love the lines on these the curves or little feet are awesome!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Swarf's profile


12 posts in 3339 days

#5 posted 08-14-2010 01:04 PM

Good looking work Bill, I really like those joints!

-- Terry T, South Georgia

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3553 days

#6 posted 08-14-2010 01:52 PM

Very cool!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4723 days

#7 posted 08-14-2010 02:13 PM

Very cool looking mirror. Green and Green?

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View curatio's profile


7 posts in 3473 days

#8 posted 08-14-2010 02:49 PM

I love the fact that you took the style and used the birdseye maple. They came out beautiful!

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3583 days

#9 posted 08-15-2010 06:21 AM

Excellent job on the mirror.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3667 days

#10 posted 08-15-2010 07:21 AM

Great work Bill, I’ve downloaded plans for this frame also for a future project.

I love your Maple!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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