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Building a Walnut Floating Mirror Frame

Building a Walnut Floating Mirror Frame

For this build, the client wanted a custom walnut mirror frame built that would look like it is floating off the wall. To accomplish this, I made an inset inner frame on the back to make it stand out.


Video Recap

Mirror Script

Today I’m building this mirror frame for a client that wanted it to appear like it was floating off the wall.

Now I realize that the shadows in the picture are hiding the floating aspect, so you’re just going to have to use your imagination.

One of the key ingredients to getting perfect miters is to start with perfect square stock, so I took the time to set up a feather board when ripping to width.

I mitered one end of all four pieces, and then I set a stop block up so I could cut the corresponding sides to the exact length, without them getting pinched between the fence and the blade.

I needed to cut a deep dado to accept the mirror and supporting back panel, so instead of trying to hog out that much wood with a stacked dado set, I did a two-pass cut on the table saw.

The 1st cut was to establish the width of the dado. Then I reset to the fence and blade height to cut the depth.

This mirror was so heavy it made me grunt when I lifted it, so I decided to reinforce the corners with floating tenons.

I clamped the pieces together to add a little stability while I cut the mortises.

Since band clamps are primarily useless tools, I opted to attach some temporary clamping blocks with CA Glue. These blocks gave me something substantial to clamp to, and they don’t hide the miter on the outside corner as a band clamp does, so I can be sure the corners are tight on all visible edges.

I added some paper under the glue joints to protect my pristine-looking assembly table and checked the diagonals for square.

Once the glue dried, I broke off the glue blocks and went to work, cutting the back panel to size.

I squared up some alder for the back inner-frame.

Marked them to length

Cut them to length

I added some pocket hole screws so I could secure the inner frame to the outer frame. This gave the whole piece some rigidity and strength to hold that large of a mirror.

Then it was time for some assembly, for the inner frame, I just used some glue and brand nails.

I dropped in the mirror and painted the back components black so that they would disappear in the shadows.

I dropped in the back panel.

And Finally, I Dropped in the back inner frame and secured it with pocket hole screws. Here you can see that the inner frame is inset; this is what will give the illusion that it is floating off the wall.

The whole thing is hung from the wall by the inner frame on a French cleat.

Thank you for making it to the end of the video, if you want to see what I am working on in my shop for upcoming videos, please follow me on Instagram, and of course like subscribe and hit the bell.



I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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