A while back I came across some wall mirror plans from Woodsmith. Finally decided to make the mirror. I wanted to do something different (I use a lot of oak for my projects) so I bought some African Mahogany. That stuff is expensive!! But, it is totally beautiful.
I started where I always start by matching up the different pieces for grain and color. Next, I moved on to cutting out all the pieces. Over the years I have learned to cut them somewhat over sized initially and do a final cut to size as the project progresses. African Mahogany works very nicely, but at $8 a board foot you don’t want to make too many mistakes.
The plans called for mortise and tenon joinery to build the mirror frame. Just recently I obtained a Zip Slot Mortise Mill so I decided to use that to do this joinery. There is a bit of a learning curve with the Mortise Mill, but eventually I got it all to work well. The Zip Slot Mortise Mill uses loose tenons. It all came together nicely and I learned a bunch of stuff about the Mortise Mill that will make it easier to use in the future.
As you can see the mirror has some molding top, bottom and around the interior area. I made the top and bottom cove molding on the router table. I then made the interior trim molding on the table saw. I used my band saw for the shelf corbels.
I used several scrap pieces for stain testing. I tested all kinds of stains, but finally settled on good old Cherry stain from Cabot’s. It had a bit more brownish tint which I preferred. Once I had applied two coats of stain I applied three coats of Semi-Gloss Deft Spray Lacquer.
I was a little disappointed with the finish. I started looking into applying a paste wax on top of the finish. I have never really done this before, but for a mirror, which will not receive any wear and tear like a table, I thought it might be just the thing. I did some research and got Howard paste wax from Amazon. I can tell you this is wonderful paste wax. It has a nice citrus smell and works very well as a finish product. I put on three coats of Howard paste wax using 4-0 steel wool. After a good buffing the finish looked great.
If you are thinking about using African Mahogany for a project I say, go for it! It is beautiful wood. I have some left over which I will use for another, as yet to be determined, project. Be sure and check out the photo gallery of the production process.