Victorian Mirror and Shelf.

Try decking your hails with this striking pear of period pieces. The fanciful fretwork has enough presence to provide a focal point for any entry way. And with the aid of our new pattern insert, we offer you full-sized patterns for several fretwork, design options.

Let’s Start with the Mirror.

1. From 3/4″- thick stock, rip and crosscut two frame stiles and two frame rails to rough dimensions of 1 3/4×31″ and 1 3/4×20″, respectively. (We selected Honduras mahogany.) Next, rip and crosscut two molding stiles to 1 1/8×32″ and two molding rails to 1 1/8×21″. Now, resaw last two parts (stiles and rails) to 1/2″ thick. (You can also use 1/2″-thick stock.)

2. Cut mating spline grooves in the frame and moldings. To do this, elevate your blade to 3/16″ and set your rip fence 5/16″ from the blade. Next, cut a centered 1/8″-wide groove along the outside. Then, reset your fence to 1/2″ from the blade, and cut a centered groove along the inside faces.

3. Fit your table-mounted router with a rabbeting bit and fence. Next, rout a 1/8″ rabbet 3/8″ deep along the back inside to receive the mirror glass. Next, change to a 5/32″ Roman ogee bit, and set it to cut a 1/16″ shoulder. Then, rout an ogee along the front inside.

4. Miter-cut both ends of the frame parts to finished length as listed on the Bill of Materials. To do this, attach a wooden extension to your miter gauge, and set the miter gauge to 45°. (We verified this setting using an angle gauge.) After miter-cutting one end of each part, flip the parts over, and move the miter gauge to the opposite slot on your saw table. To ensure uniform length, clamp a stop- block to your miter-gauge extension before miter-cutting the opposite ends.

5. Rout a 1/8″ groove 5/16″ deep in one rail and both stiles. To do this, fit your table-mounted router with a slotting cutter and fence. To rout the two stiles, first lay out a stopped, 7 1/4″-long groove along the inside edge of each. Mark start- and stop- lines for the two parts on your fence before routing. (We made all marks on masking tape.)

6. Glue, assemble, and clamp the frame parts. (We used corner clamps for this.) Now, check for square, remove any glue squeeze-out, and allow the glue to dry.

Now, Scrollsaw Some Fretwork.

1. To make the corner fretwork and center fret-work, first cut two blanks from 1/4″-thick stock, one to 7×8″ and one to 7×11″. Fit your table-mounted router with a rabbeting bit, and rout a 1/8″ rabbet 1/4″ deep along one end and an adjacent edge of each piece.

2. Crosscut the 7×11″ blank to 8″ long, then stack the two 7×8″ blanks using double-laced carpel tape. (Note: Before stacking, make sure you’ve aligned the rabbets on the two blanks and that the rabbeted surface of each blank faces outward.) Next, photocopy the full-sized Corner and Center Fretwork patterns shown on the pattern insert. Adhere the corner pattern to the stacked blanks and the center pattern to the 3″-long waste piece you cut from the 7×11″ blank. (Be careful to align the pattern edges with the appropriate edges of the stock.)

3. Drill the 1/4″ and 1/8″ holes where marked on the patterns, then drill 1/8″ start holes in each interior waste area. (We used brad-point bits and a backup board to minimize tear-out.) Next, scrollsaw the interior cuts on both patterns. Then, scrollsaw the parts to shape, keeping your blade outside the line. Now, sand the contoured edges. Remove the patterns, separate the pieces, then finish-sand the three parts.

Next, Add the Splines, Moldings, And Fretwork.

1. Unclamp your frame, and then add corner splines to reinforce the corners. To do this, first make a single jig and cut a 1/8″ spline groove 1 3/8″ deep in each frame corner. From 1/8″- thick hardboard, cut four triangular splines as dimensioned on the full-sized Corner Spline pattern. (See the pattern insert.) Now, glue the splines into the grooves. After the glue has dried, sand the splines flush with the frame.

2. Fit your table-mounted router with a 1/8″ cove bit set to cut 1/8″ deep. Then, rout a cove along the front inside face of the moldings.

3. Measure the frame’s actual outside dimensions. Next, miter-cut both ends of the moldings lo fit these dimensions, using the same technique you used to miter-cut the frame parts in Step 4 of the first section. (Note; Make sure you orient your miter cuts so that the spline grooves will be on the inside faces.)

4. From 1/8″-thick hardboard, cut four splines as dimensioned on the Exploded View drawing. Then, dry-assemble the moldings to the assembled frame using the splines. Check for fit, and adjust as necessary. Now, glue, spline, and clamp the moldings to the frame. Remove any glue squeeze-out, and allow the glue to dry.

5. Unclamp the frame, then dry-assemble the fretwork pieces to the frame to check for fit. (Note: Make sure the rabbeted faces are on the back.) Adjust the fit if necessary and then glue and clamp both parts to the frame.

Now, for the Final Assembly.

1. Finish-sand those parts of your frame that still need it. Then, apply your choice of finish. (We brushed on a coat of Minwax red mahogany stain, let it penetrate for 10 minutes, and then wiped off the excess. After the stain had dried overnight, we sprayed on three coats of Defthane no. 2 satin polyurethane. Between coats, we leveled the finish using 0000 synthetic steel wool.)

2. After the finish has dried overnight, measure the inside dimensions of the back panel recess. (Ours measured 19×30″.) Next, cut the back panel to fit from 1/8″-thick hardboard. Lay out and bore two 1/2″ holes through the back panel where shown on the Exploded View drawing and accompanying Hanging Wire detail. Position the panel in its recess, then drill and countersink ten 3/32″ pilot holes 1/2″ deep evenly spaced around the perimeter and 3/4″ from the edge. Now, center and drill a pilot hole (not countersunk) in each 1/2″ hole for the wire-anchoring screws.

3. Measure the mirror rabbet on the back of your frame. (Ours measured 16 1/4×27 1/4.) Have your local glass dealer or hardware store cut a piece of 1/8″-thick mirror glass1/16″ smaller than this recess (both in width and length). Set the mirror in the frame, and then attach the back panel using #6×5/8″ flathead wood screws. Next, attach a 28″ length of picture-hanging wire using roundhead screws and washers.

The Shelf Is Easy Using the Patterns.

1. To make the shelf and back, cut two blanks from 1/2″-thick stock to 8 1/4×22″. Next, lay out stopped dadoes on the two blanks where shown on the full-sized Shelf and Shelf Back half-patterns.

2. Fit your table-mounted router with a 1/4″ straight bit set to cut 1/4″ deep. Using a miter gauge and extension on your router table, rout the dadoes on the shelf and shelf-back blanks, (We used a fence as a guide.) To do this accurately, first establish and mark stop lines (for both the shelf and the back) on your router table surface. (We used a soft pencil.)

3. Make two copies each of the Shelf and Shelf Back patterns and one copy of the full-sized Shelf Bracket pattern. Tape the half- patterns together at the centerlines to make full patterns, and then adhere them to the blanks, aligning the dadoes on the patterns with those on the stock. Next, drill the 1/4″ holes in the shelf back where shown on the pattern. Then, bandsaw and sand the shelf and back to shape.

4. Drill counterbores on the shelf and countersunk shank holes on the shelf and back where dimensioned on the patterns. Next, lay out locations for your keyhole hangers on the shelf back. Then, bore 1/8″-deep holes as necessary to create space behind your hangers. (Our hangers required four overlapping 1/2″ holes.) Also, lay out and drill pilot holes as needed for attaching the hanger screws.

5 To make the shelf brackets, first cut two 6×8″ blanks from 1/2″-thick stock. Fit your table-mounted router with a rabbeting bit and fence, and then rout a 1/4″ rabbet 1/8″ deep along one end and an adjacent edge of both blanks. Next, rout the opposite faces of the blanks to create 1/4″-thick tongues.

6. Using double-faced carpet tape, stack the two blanks, aligning the rabbeted edges and ends. Next, adhere the Shelf Bracket pattern to one face, aligning the edges of the pattern with the appropriate edges of the stock. Drill the 1/4″ hole where shown on the pattern, then drill start holes for the interior cuts. Now, scrollsaw these cutouts and then the outside contour to shape. Trim the tongue at each end where shown, then sand the edges as you did on the mirror fretwork,

7. Dry-assemble the brackets to the shelf and back, and adjust the fit if necessary. Next, clamp the pieces, and drill pilot holes in the brackets using the shank holes in the shelf and back as guides, Unclamp the assembly, then glue, reassemble, and clamp. Remove any glue squeeze-out, then drive #6×3/4″ flathead wood screws into the shelf and back.

8. Cut four 3/8×1/4″-long plugs from scrap stock, and glue them into the counterbores on the shelf. After the glue has dried, sand the plugs flush, and then finish-sand all surfaces. Now, finish the shelf as you did the mirror frame. Allow the finish to dry overnight, and then attach your keyhole hangers.

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