Somewhere amongst making wall installations, school store cabinets, and helping during the courses, I was taught how to make hand mirrors. It was no big surprise to me to realize that I love making hand mirrors. They are small projects but functional and beautiful (as is the Lohr Woodworking way).
We've all owned hand mirrors. Most of them are brightly colored plastic
heaps that we glance at to adjust our hair before we run out the door. But, the mirrors that come
out of our shop make me stop to admire the mirror itself more than my
face being reflected in it. I had only seen Lohr Woodworking mirrors in pictures (like the one to the right) so I was excited to attempt one myself.
The process started with the design of the mirror's shape. Jeff sat me
down with a piece of planed cherry, a circular cut mirror, and a set of
traditional French curve templates. He told me to draw out a hand mirror
that would be practical and comfortable for someone to hold while being aesthetically
pleasing and interesting.
You can see the template as well as all the other assorted tools I used to start off this project in the picture. Notice that the holes in the template gradually get bigger so that base of the router always has something flat to ride on.
Using a combination of files, sanding sticks, block planes, and sanding bits in the drill press, I rounded the edges down. My favorite of the new tools I got my hands on was the rasp; that thing can tear wood up like crazy.
Eventually, the mirror looked like a rough version of the image to the left. But then, although the edges were rounded, they were a mess from being torn up by the rasp. So, I took to them with a file and sand paper.
Finally, I used a special mirror adhesive to glue the mirror itself into place. Because we make practical pieces here, the mirror is completed with a leather loop attached at the bottom of the handle making it easy to hang/store. Although it's far from perfect, I am pleased with the final result. And, I can say that I finished my first (of many, I'm sure) mirror!