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Pictograph Wall Mirrors

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Project by splintergroup posted 05-08-2020 01:25 PM 656 views 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I did a simpler version of this mirror a few years back, it was time to make more!

These are based upon big box store 12” mirror tiles, a true bargain compared to buying a mirror of any size from a glass supplier.

The construction is a simple mitered and splined frame bordered with walnut trim and a narrow shelf top. The two woods used are

Red Gum:

“Pommele” Sapele:

I avoid using miters on the inside trim by using 1/4” square sections of jatoba to add some dimension. Jatoba is also used to trim the main woods.
(Lots of dust here 8^)

The pictograph figures are from some of the local Indian tribes, a few are ancient, the rest are traditional for pottery. I would occasionally find similar designs on cliff rocks I’d pass by while hiking in local wilderness areas, usually from getting way off trail trying to find elusive trout pools.

They are about 2-3/8” square copper (FR4 2 oz.) made in a similar way as detailed in my blog posts on the subject.

What is different this time is I’ve switched from the blue mystery goo to positive dry resist film. The blue goo is a lot easier to use (you just spray it on), but several of the latest jars I have bought would never fully dry (and the stuff is expensive compared to the resist film)

Plenty of how-to info on using the film but it has a higher learning curve to get it done correctly.
I’ve also used up the last of my Ferric Chloride etchant (which is expensive) and switched to a simple/cheap mix of hardware store muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide. This is not only cheaper, it also works much faster and supposedly can be reused many times (though I’ve not yet had success getting the mix to regenerate yet)

Thanks for looking!





23 comments so far

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1107 posts in 4614 days


#1 posted 05-08-2020 01:43 PM

First I’ve seen of this idea…. where did the inspiration come from? Seems very original to me…. I love them! Nicely done. Thanks for sharing ….

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1514 posts in 2842 days


#2 posted 05-08-2020 02:27 PM

Wonderful! I love the simplicity and clean lines.

I’ve done the copper etching with the hydrogen peroxide/muriatic acid mix. It works pretty well, although I haven’t messed with it since the first couple of times. I have no idea if the mix is still good. Probably not though.
I kept having problems transferring my pattern. I’d get enough heat on my iron to transfer the print toner, but then it’d smear…
What are you using for resist?

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View socrbent's profile

socrbent

1014 posts in 3076 days


#3 posted 05-08-2020 03:02 PM

This is a great looking mirror frame. Your pictographs are a great addition to the design. Well Done!

-- socrbent Ohio

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3865 posts in 2029 days


#4 posted 05-08-2020 03:11 PM



First I’ve seen of this idea…. where did the inspiration come from? Seems very original to me…. I love them! Nicely done. Thanks for sharing ….

- Charles Maxwell

Thanks Charles!

I’m always trying to think of ways to dress up projects with something unique. The beauty of the copper is there is no limit to the designs I can use. For these I was after something that fit in with the local art “flavor”.

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

970 posts in 930 days


#5 posted 05-08-2020 03:12 PM

Great work and it looks very clean and classic.
You’ve certainly have an eye for detail and your choice of contrasting woods is very pleasing to the eye too.
Your whole etching process keeps evolving and the results speak volumes.
Jon

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3865 posts in 2029 days


#6 posted 05-08-2020 03:30 PM



Wonderful! I love the simplicity and clean lines.

I ve done the copper etching with the hydrogen peroxide/muriatic acid mix. It works pretty well, although I haven t messed with it since the first couple of times. I have no idea if the mix is still good. Probably not though.
I kept having problems transferring my pattern. I d get enough heat on my iron to transfer the print toner, but then it d smear…
What are you using for resist?

- Underdog

Thanks for the comments Jim!
The etchant is supposed to be rejuvenated by running oxygen through it (air stone on an aquarium pump) to release the copper. Plenty of info available on the chemistry but my first try didn’t seem to “take”, It is cheap enough that I’m not too concerned, but I’ll keep trying.

I tried the printer toner trick and while it works, I never could get the fine lines and consistency.

I did a blog post about using the Ebay “blue goo” and now I’m trying the industry standard photoresist film

It can be applied with a clothes iron (at the correct temperature, see the link in the project post) much like the toner method. It needs to be applied in a UV-light free room.

Eventually I’ll get a cheap laminated as they make it all super simple to apply but for now the iron works well enough (and I only paid $9 for a cheap one at the store). The film is then exposed through a mask (image printed onto a transparency sheet) with a UV light source. For the light I use a fingernail polish hardener lamp (also inexpensive) but you can use an LED lightbulb with the yellow phosphorous removed. There are bulbs out there where this phosphorous is part of the outer lightbulb shell and easy to remove The type where it is applied directly to the LED emitter is very difficult to remove with out destroying the light.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3865 posts in 2029 days


#7 posted 05-08-2020 03:33 PM

Thanks Socrbent, Jon!

I’m lazy enough to spend lots of energy trying to find ways to spend less energy 8^)

View JimYoung's profile

JimYoung

384 posts in 2394 days


#8 posted 05-08-2020 04:49 PM

Cool project, I’ll have to try something like this.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3777 posts in 3155 days


#9 posted 05-08-2020 06:23 PM

Nice wood contrasts too. I could see these frames with craftsman inlays as well, though buying pre-made inlays is pricey.

The wood selection and variety of profiles adds to the look as much as the etchings. As always, great ideas and excellent craftsmanship.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

1825 posts in 354 days


#10 posted 05-08-2020 07:18 PM

Wow, Splinty! Just epic all around. Im really really likin that red-gum, is that 4 book-matches from the same board? The pommele is real purdy too.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5952 posts in 1381 days


#11 posted 05-08-2020 07:58 PM

:-) Awesome, love the pictoghraphs almost as I much as I do those great looking woods.

Makes me feel like I’m at the Kokopelli store.

-- Think safe, be safe

View SenecaWoodArt's profile

SenecaWoodArt

484 posts in 2426 days


#12 posted 05-08-2020 08:11 PM

Having spent some time walking through the pictographs from Utah to Arizona I thought that I recognized the art. Great ideas and certainly a unique take. This is inspiring for a box maker to think about.

-- Bob

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3865 posts in 2029 days


#13 posted 05-08-2020 08:18 PM

Thanks Jim, Earl!

Earl, I really wanted to do it more full-on craftsman, but I desperately needed some Southwest stuff for the booth.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3865 posts in 2029 days


#14 posted 05-08-2020 08:29 PM



Wow, Splinty! Just epic all around. Im really really likin that red-gum, is that 4 book-matches from the same board? The pommele is real purdy too.

- wildwoodbybrianjohns

Thanks Brian.

4 book matches? you could call it that. Actually it’s veneer (I’m a cheap basted 8^)
I press it over 1/2” BB plywood.

Maybe you could goad the LBD into sending you a pallet or two of it, I read that it is native to, hmmm, where is that place now….. Austria?

Some of the stuff included in the “mystery” box from Veneering Supplies (I can’t say enough good about these boxes of veneer) Basically 100+ sq. ft. of nice cutoffs, usually 2’ in length and 6”+ in width. Great deal when on sale or free shipping (probably U.S. only, Sorry 8^)
Plenty of goodies for the size stuff I do.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3865 posts in 2029 days


#15 posted 05-08-2020 08:31 PM



:-) Awesome, love the pictoghraphs almost as I much as I do those great looking woods.

Makes me feel like I m at the Kokopelli store.

- therealSteveN

Glad you dropped in George, thanks!

You have a Kokopelli store? Honestly I don’t know what to say, is it anything like “pottery barn” 8^)

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

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