Lemon Cedar Mirror Frame

RichardDIY Projects

Lemon Cedar mirror frame

Frame makingSo I decided to make my wife a mirror frame for Christmas two years ago. I hurried out in the snow four days before the big day and bought a piece of mirrored glass…. then I ran out of time. A year later I bought a single wavy edged board of reclaimed Cedar of Lebanon, also known as Lemon Cedar. I ripped it down to rough size with my circular saw and my shop made cutting guide and then I left it.

Working in a shed back then had it’s limitations. One of them was a lack of space to actually assemble things. The curse of all shed workshops.

So the boards sat at the back of the workshop and the mirror sat in a cupboard for another year.

Then came the workshop build and some room to work! So finally I got out the beautiful Cedar boards, hand planed them down to squareness and started making the mirror frame!


Lemon Cedar Mirror framePlaning the boards to size got me thinking about the corner mitre joints. As mentioned in the recent podcast I have realised the shortcomings of my current table saw set up. So mitering on there was a none starter. I then turned to my tenon saw and practiced cutting by hand. However on larger pieces of offcuts this simply wasn’t going to be good enough. More practice required there.

So I set up the sliding bevel saw and got out my engineers square and 45degree triangle and tuned it until it was cutting perfect 45degress cuts, square and true. Very satisfying in the end as you can see from the close up. Mitering corner joints are used in all sorts of things, so the precision is worth investing the time in.

Once the corners were cut, I used a router and bit to cut slots for biscuits and set about the glue up. Now came the tricky bit, needless to say I don’t have a picture frame glue up jig…. but I will. So the glue up was tricky. One long clamp sash clamp, two shorter f-clamps and lots of patience later and the Gorilla Glue set off well.

Cedar mirror frameI let the glue cure over night and then routed out the back slot for the mirror and backing board to sit in.

To smooth off I sanded down all the surfaces with a random orbital sander to 180 grit and then finished by hand with some 320 grit paper. All the time the smell of Lemons filled the workshop, what a treat!

As you can see it is now pride of place in our bedroom, I haven’t put any finish on it yet, so would love to hear your thoughts on what finishes to use, I think keeping the natural look would be good.

So after two years of waiting I now have a happy wife, excellent!