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All Replies on Framing a Mirror: How do you affix the mirror?

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View paxorion's profile

Framing a Mirror: How do you affix the mirror?

by paxorion
posted 01-21-2013 07:06 PM


20 replies so far

View salewis3's profile

salewis3

3 posts in 2460 days


#1 posted 01-21-2013 09:15 PM

Think of the mirror as if it were a picture. Set the mirror into the rabbet, use a backing board, like foamcore or cardboard, and use points or brads to secure the mirror into the frame. You won’t need any glue at all.

The use of a backing board is important so that the silvering doesn’t get scratched.

Happy framing!!

View SamuraiSaw's profile

SamuraiSaw

515 posts in 2473 days


#2 posted 01-21-2013 09:23 PM

I’ve used hot glue guns. If the mirror has to be replaced, a hairdryer set on high will loosen the glue.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2839 posts in 2805 days


#3 posted 01-21-2013 09:49 PM

I have one of these point drivers I picked up at a yard sale for three bucks (had I known how much they cost I would have picked up the second one there). It shoots about a 3/4 inch long point and it’s nice because you hold it flat to the backing of your picture or mirror so no rattling. You could try a Michaels or Hobby Lobby type place.

http://www.mmdistributors.com/Frame-Master-Point-Driver-07-555-p/1018.htm

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1162 posts in 3199 days


#4 posted 01-21-2013 09:55 PM

My wife was a picture framer for 30 years, salewis3 is exactly right.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View wjbclocks's profile

wjbclocks

16 posts in 2567 days


#5 posted 01-21-2013 10:09 PM

I did work for a manufactor of picture framing mat cutters and glass cutting tools tey also make the driver points. I know that salewis3 has gining some very good advise.

-- WJ Brady

View MNgary's profile

MNgary

313 posts in 2926 days


#6 posted 01-21-2013 10:54 PM

I have a 30×60 inch mirror we salvaged from a clothing store. Because of the size I used eighth inch masonite as the backer with 1-1/2 inch brads/nails driven 2/3’s into the frame 12” apart. Nails were horizontal, not through the masonite and the mirror just left loose.

The salewis3 method.

PS I predrilled for the nails using the next size smaller brad so I could push into place rather than hammer.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Randy_ATX's profile

Randy_ATX

881 posts in 2950 days


#7 posted 01-22-2013 01:04 AM

I’ve framed a fair number of mirrors and agree with the comments about doing it like a picture frame. Measure thickness of mirror, add 1/8” for backer board (hard masonite from HomeDepot, etc…) this is the the depth of your rabbit. I’ve done the rabbits with both the table saw or straight router bit and table. After finishing the frame, set your mirror in, backer board and then I like to pre-drill and put these holders about every 6 inches to sandwich in the mirror and back.

If it is a good sized mirror with some weight, I would make sure your miters are strong, perhaps throwing some biscuits in there and well glued up joints.

Good luck!

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2743 posts in 3430 days


#8 posted 01-22-2013 04:23 AM

I took a 36” x 36” mirror frame I made to a glazier and he cut a mirror to fit and secured it with clear silicone caulk all around. That was over 25 years ago and it still is holding up well.

-- No PHD just a DD214

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2554 days


#9 posted 01-22-2013 03:29 PM

Thanks everyone for the information. I am curious about the backer board. I get the sense that most of you cut the backer board to roughly the same size as the mirror itself? I suppose I’m having a hard time visualizing what the end product is supposed to look like.

Also, I am hoping to minimize the investment into any additional tools if possible, so I thought I’d toss out an idea that you all inspired. At the moment, I believe the mirror is 3/16” If I were to cut the rabbet groove to be slightly larger than the mirror, can I perhaps pad the excess space with ~1/2” of 3/16” hardboard to fill the groove. With that padding, I could cut the backer board to be 1” larger in length and width, and use pan-head screws to hold the mirror in place. Any thoughts or glaring concerns about this approach (e.g. wood movement)?

-- paxorion

View salewis3's profile

salewis3

3 posts in 2460 days


#10 posted 01-22-2013 04:23 PM

Paxorion,

Typically, the backing board and the glass are the same size, and the frame is cut 1/8” larger leaving an allowance for the materials to expand and contract. The rabbet is typically 1/4” wide, and deep enough to accommodate the materials it contains.

Your idea of a stepped rabbet is sound, but more work than you really need to do. The steps should match the thickness of the materials so there isn’t any slop (in the thickness. There should still be an allowance.)

However, simple brads every 5-7 inches along the rail lengths will hold well and not cost much. But you should do what makes you happy.

Scott

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2554 days


#11 posted 01-22-2013 05:50 PM

Sounds like I might be over thinking things.

Salewis3 – How would you recommend the brads go in? Would it be perpendicular through the backing board into the frame material, or should it go in at an ~45 degree angle through the backing board and into the frame?

-- paxorion

View Bogeyguy's profile

Bogeyguy

548 posts in 2576 days


#12 posted 01-22-2013 06:03 PM

Pax, ditto what salewis3 advises. You won’t be disappointed. You can buy glazer points at any hardware store and some come with a small drive tool to set them into the wood. One more thing, why are you waiting until spring. It’s winter my friend, time for wifey projects. Spring is time to get outdoors.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5350 posts in 2818 days


#13 posted 01-22-2013 06:09 PM

Do the glazier points go into hardwood well?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5350 posts in 2818 days


#14 posted 01-22-2013 06:11 PM

Found this on another web site.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2554 days


#15 posted 01-22-2013 06:43 PM

Bogeyguy – I’m waiting until spring because I actually do all my work outdoors. It’s pretty painfully cold at the moment, so I’m not in a rush to dive headfirst into things. Frozen fingers will likely mean careless choices.

-- paxorion

View salewis3's profile

salewis3

3 posts in 2460 days


#16 posted 01-22-2013 06:48 PM

Insert the brads this way. Fletcher Framer’s points will work well in hard or soft wood. Glazier’s points can work, but they are shorter (to hide under the glazing compound when used to secure window glass in mullion framework.)

Rockler used to sell a bunch of this stuff, you can also source via art supply stores.

Brads are still cheaper for the occasional use. Pointdrivers can cost $80 or more.

Best,

Scott

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2554 days


#17 posted 01-22-2013 07:54 PM

Pictures definitely are worth a thousand words…your suggestion now makes a whole lot more sense. Thanks Scott

-- paxorion

View Chovpisl's profile

Chovpisl

1 post in 1923 days


#18 posted 07-12-2014 06:21 PM

I moved my home in Texas last year. I carried everything by big Truck, unfortunately my customized mirrors get broken. Yes, we fall same problem sometimes. Friend suggested me to hire the Home/Mirror Affix Service provider. They did a good job for me.

-- Dale K Hartness

View KoriDee's profile

KoriDee

1 post in 1427 days


#19 posted 11-13-2018 06:47 AM



I ve framed a fair number of mirrors and agree with the comments about doing it like a picture frame. Measure thickness of mirror, add 1/8” for backer board (hard masonite from HomeDepot, etc…) this is the the depth of your rabbit. I ve done the rabbits with both the table saw or straight router bit and table. After finishing the frame, set your mirror in, backer board and then I like to pre-drill and put these holders about every 6 inches to sandwich in the mirror and back.

If it is a good sized mirror with some weight, I would make sure your miters are strong, perhaps throwing some biscuits in there and well glued up joints.

Good luck!

- Randy_ATX

I’m about to start a 3” wide 6/4 walnut frame for a 58” x 42” bathroom mirror. My plan was to use 4” L-brackets to support the miters but you’ve got me second guessing it’s strength, Randy!

Any thoughts on making the miters stronger? What about supporting it from the bottom with angle iron (instead of hanging it with an aluminum cleat)?

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

1813 posts in 1916 days


#20 posted 11-13-2018 01:05 PM

Kori, with tight miters and a good glue up there’s no need to add anything for strength. Biscuits or splines could help with alignment if you’d like. I like to let use a cleat that spans almost the whole width so that it’s attached to the two sides, not just the top rail. Since its for a bathroom you also may be able to let it sit hard on top of a backsplash depending on profiles and the desired result

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