The rugged look of industrial design furniture and accessories continue to make their way into our home decor. Follow along as we show you how we built this unique bathroom mirror.
A common theme of industrial design furniture is the bulk and sturdiness of their construction elements. For this project, we chose to build a mirror that would feature a 4-inch wide by 2-inch thick pine frame with decorative industrial fasteners in each corner. We had decided to keep the pine in its original rough surface straight from the lumber yard with only a slight sanding to eliminate any stray wood fibers. (TIP: You could also build the frame using recycled pallet wood. Pallet wood has that industrial flare to it.)
As far as corner fasteners were concerned, we considered the following design options:
We decided to go with the design that featured 3 hex bolts to give the mirror that sturdy industrial look. The hex bolts would be for appearance only and did not serve as actual fasteners in the frame assembly process. Since we wanted to make sure that all 4 corners featured the bolts in the same pattern, we decided to build a simple cardboard template that would guide us in drilling the pilot holes for each bolt. Since our frames were 4 inches wide we designed the following template (TIP: Modify your template to reflect the width of the lumber you select.):
In the center of each drawn bolt position, we drilled a small ¼-inch pilot hole through the cardboard template. This template would guide us in marking the bolt hole positions on the frame. These pilot holes would then facilitate positioning the larger drill bit to bore out the larger bolt holes.
As described earlier, our frames were 4 inches wide by 2 inches thick. Use your favourite method to assemble your frame pieces. (Options include half lap joints, cookies, pocket screws, etc...).
Don’t forget to use a router on the back of the frame to make the necessary recess (rabbets) to hold the mirror.
We chose pocket screws (very easy) to assemble our frame pieces and completed 5 frames in all (4 shown)!
We were now ready to drill the pilot holes for the bolts on the face side of the frames. Using the cardboard template we had made earlier, we drilled the 3 pilot holes in each corner. Each hole would be no more than ¼-inch deep. (TIP: Remember to flip the template over as you draw the bolt patterns on the opposite corners of the frame. Do this in each corner.)
Once the ¼-inch pilot holes were drilled, we used a larger bit to accommodate the dimensions of the bolts we had purchased. (TIP: We actually made the bolt holes a bit smaller than the bolt diameter so that we could actually screw the bolts snuggly into the lumber. Experiment with a piece of scrap wood.)
The fact that our lumber was 2 inches thick, we purchased 1 inch long hex bolts from the local hardware store. These were inserted into the 1-inch deep holes we had pre-drilled. (TIP: If your frame is thinner than 2 inches, we suggest that you cut larger/longer bolts to size. With store-bought smaller/shorter bolts, you’ll end up with a proportionally smaller bolt head, which makes the frame look less rugged. So go for a bigger bolt and cut the bolt ¼-inch shorter than your frame’s thickness with a hacksaw – watch your fingers!)
We then stained the frames with black wood stain. We really liked the rough industrial look it gave the frame.
Once the stain dried, we applied 4 coats of wipe-on polyurethane to protect the finish and then inserted the hex bolts in all 4 corners.
The 5 frames awaiting their content: