Ambrosia maple floor mirror with Cheval pivots

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Project by Birks posted 04-19-2013 01:17 AM 3405 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a ambrosia maple floor mirror. The overall dimensions are ~ 58.5” tall x 22.5” wide x 20.5” length of legs. I arrived at this design after several pencil and paper sketches using the relatively small size of the mirror (it was a cheap Walmart mirror in a former life) and the figure in the wormy maple as a guide. This is my first piece of furniture, and I really enjoyed working out my own design and not really following a set of plans.

I initially began this project for practicing frame-and-panel construction and mortise and tenon joinery. The mirror is housed in a haunched mortise and tenon frame with 1/4 ” Baltic birch plywood (slightly larger than the mirror” as backing. The plywood and the mirror fit into a groove and has room for expansion along the width but fits snugly on the top so the mirror doesn’t move around.
The posts are tapered along most of their length (1 5/8” bottom to 3/4” top) on 3 sides using a plywood pattern I made. They are not tapered at the mortises or along the inside of the frame.

The legs and stretcher were also made using templates. The tenons on the four legs and on the stretcher meet within the mortise in a “birdseye” miter pattern.

Please share your thoughts and criticisms. I think wood choice is a bit unusual, but I think it worked out in the end.

13 comments so far

View JeremyMorgan's profile


58 posts in 3416 days

#1 posted 04-19-2013 01:25 AM

Very nice looking piece. Is the frame wormy maple as well? It almost looks reddish in the photos.

-- Jeremy Morgan, CO Front Range,

View Birks's profile


109 posts in 3726 days

#2 posted 04-19-2013 01:30 AM

Yes the frame is wormy maple too. It was from a different board than the frame because I needed 8/4 for the posts (the frame is ~3/4” thick) and I thought the red color would provide a nice contrast to the frame.

View widdle's profile


2073 posts in 4496 days

#3 posted 04-19-2013 05:16 AM

very nice..

View SRRieman's profile


65 posts in 3683 days

#4 posted 04-19-2013 06:45 AM

Looks great – I’ve worked with quite a bit of ambrosia maple lately, because I can get it for about the price of poplar. One thing I’ve noticed, most is very soft. Don’t be too surprised if it dents easily. But it looks great!

-- Scott Rieman

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4565 days

#5 posted 04-19-2013 01:57 PM

Well done, great design!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Ken90712's profile


18123 posts in 4686 days

#6 posted 04-19-2013 02:36 PM

Great work, Looks really nice.

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

View Birks's profile


109 posts in 3726 days

#7 posted 04-19-2013 11:43 PM

Thanks all!

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3673 days

#8 posted 04-22-2013 02:30 PM

Beautiful and well crafted mirror! Will surely serve you well, great design and joinery.

View Birks's profile


109 posts in 3726 days

#9 posted 04-24-2013 10:43 PM

Thanks Fishinbo!

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3995 days

#10 posted 07-07-2013 03:10 AM

A remarkable piece in both design and execution, very nicely done in great looking woods. Great photo’s too.
I’ve never heard of a “birdseye” miter pattern before. Is this invented?

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Birks's profile


109 posts in 3726 days

#11 posted 07-07-2013 09:50 PM

Thanks for the nice comments Gene!
I think I got my nomenclature wrong when I said “birdseye.” I read about it somewhere and thought this was what it was called, but maybe I meant birdsmouth? The two leg tenons are mitered at ~22.5 deg. and meet in the middle of the mortise to make a 45 deg. notch for the stretcher tenon that is mitered accordingly. I just did this to maintain the length of the stretcher tenon and to fill the entire mortise with no empty space.

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

203 posts in 4666 days

#12 posted 07-08-2013 08:31 PM

Excellent job on the mirror! I really like the illusion created by the outside taper and inside curve of your supports. It looks like you purchased the mirror hardware. Where did you order it from and do you by chance know what the size and thread pitch of the hardware is? I am not sure that I am saying that right but the size of the hardware that I am using is 1/4-20.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View Birks's profile


109 posts in 3726 days

#13 posted 07-08-2013 09:02 PM

Thanks emetric!
I used the Lee Valley hardware:,41306,41307,40567

My notes (which can be unreliable at times…!) say I measured the bolts to be 9/32 ” and used a 17/64 drill bit. The threaded inserts were measured at 9/16” circumference. I don’t know what the threads are, but I’m sure Lee Valley would tell you. Hope this helps.

There are also used cheval pivots online at various places on the web.
I was strongly considering the unfinished brass ones here, but wanted a darker hardware to match the light wood:

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