My first mirror frame

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    Hi all,

    Today I finished a mirror frame. Here are some specs:

    wood: American walnut
    Joints: mortices with through tenons
    Finish: Sanding sealer (Shellac), waterborne varnish and furniture wax.

    The walnut was leftover from a coat rack I made. Of course I don’t have to tell you I didn’t make the mirror, just the frame 🙂

    I am very happy with the mortice and tenon joints. The shoulders meet perfectly without gaps. I use Paul’s method and no jig. It’s still a challenge to get the mortices parallell to the surface. This time I won haha.

    I do have some questions about applying wax. When Paul puts on the wax he almost instantly starts buffing it out. My wax states to wait 3 or 4 ours before buffing. Is he using a different wax? And what is the real purpose of wax? I think to enrich the wood as it does, but may be there are other advantages.

    Anyhow, some pictures are attached.



    ps. I see 2 pictures flipped the wrong way. Sorry about that.

    Greg Merritt

    That looks really good Michael. All waxes are little different. Generally you just need to wait for it to haze over before you start buffing. How long you have to wait depends how much thinner vehicle is in your particular brand.

    Why use wax? I think it creates a nice tactile feel as well as an even sheen. It also makes the item easy to dust.

    Steve Follis

    Looks really nice Michael, Congratulations!!

    Memphis, Tennessee

    Eddy Flynn

    well done Michael that is a great little project , i wouldn’t use varnish and wax together as the wax wont be able to penetrate the varnish, i would use one or the other, am i wrong on this theory people

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK


    Thanks all.

    : Paul did the same with the coffee table if I remember. I don’t believe wax should penetrate the surface. That would mean you can only apply wax and nothing else that seals the wood.


    Micheal, the mirror looks terrific. I agree, wax as a final coat seems to work with most all finishes. As Greg said, it really improves the overall look and especially the feel of a finish after a final light sanding. I’ve even used wax on top of a highly buffed out glossy finish.

    If you watch the last installment in the coffee table video series, you’ll see that Paul finished the coffee table top exactly as you have finished your mirror.

    What is next on your project list?

    i'd prefer to make it myself


    Hey Michael, good job. The mirror will stay in between these joints forever.

    “The wax might give a tad bit of a protection but it makes it all nice, and shiny and silky for when the customer picks it up…” (Curtis Buchanan,

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    Eddy Flynn

    thats the beauty of this forum there is always new things that you learn each visit thanks for the heads up guys

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK


    Thank you for the kind responses.

    : my next project…ouch, too many to choose from. First I will repair a flaw in my coat rack and then I might make some shop furniture and may be a nice table with storage for my daughter, where she can play with “lego” (not sure if the term lego is international).

    David Gill

    Nice mirror Michael My understanding on the finish is that paul only put a coat of varnish on to his table top to protect it from any water or alcohol damage , it is not something he generally does on shellac finished projects, I think it would not have been necessary on your mirror. Shellac followed my a wax polish would be sufficient.

    Wigan, Lancs. England :


    Thanks David. I’ve used sanding sealer from ubeaut which is shellac based but not pure shellac I think. I feel safer with the protective varnish though. I agree that it might not be neccessary for a mirror frame.


    Great project Michael, it is nicely finished.


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