Building Log Furniture


Begining log work

Finding trees
Log Peeling
Cutting logs in half
Quartering logs

Log projects

Rustic mirror frame

Making a log mirror frame

The first thing you need to do when making a log mirror frame is make a half log. You need to cut your logs in half and make one side and the back of the log flat (which is explained in the half log article). I like to use dado blades on my table saw to make the slot for the mirror to sit in. Set the height of the blades to your mirror thickness. Run your four logs through the table saw with the flat side against the fence. Now set your miter saw to 45 degrees. Place your half log with the flat dado side against the fence. Make sure You set the saw to the correct 45 degrees, so the dado will be on the inside of the frame when you screw the four pieces together.

If you are making the mirror frame to fit a piece of mirror you already have, you must measure and mark the inside of the dado cut. Take a triangle square, put it on your mark and draw a line to the outside of the log. Make sure you can see the line when you flip the log over so you know where to cut. Now cut another log to the same length. It is important to measure the second log from the inside of the 45 cut. DO NOT MEASURE THE OUTSIDE OF THE LOG! So cut one end at 45 degrees. Hold the two logs together with the two 45 degree sides flush with each other. When holding flush, make sure the flat dadoed inside edge stays flush the entire length of the logs and make a mark on the inside of the second log. Again take your triangle square and mark it until it reaches the outside and you can see the mark when flipped and ready to cut. Do the same for the other two sides.

Now you have four pieces that should fit together to make a mirror frame. Place two sides of the frame together on a table with the inner frame flush with each other. Mark all down the one log that sticks out. This way you can take this log to the edge sander and sand down to that line. Now put that log back against the same log and it should match perfect. I like to mark A, B, C, D on the inside 45 of each log before I sand them so I know where each log goes when I need to screw them together.

The next step is to make pocket holes on the back of each piece so you can screw them together. I like to use this pocket hole jig for logs because it is small and cheap and I stick a screw through it into the back side of the log. It is hard to fit a half log into a clamp, so take a 3/4 inch screw and go right through the jig. Look at my pictures below to see the locations of where to put the holes. Make sure you offset the screw holes on the long and short logs. You put one hole on each side of the four pieces.

Once your holes are drilled, you need to glue and clamp two sides together so you can put screws in them. I find that spring miter clamps work the best on logs because of their contour. Once glued and clamped, use the longest screws you can without poking through the other side. When clamping the frame together, make sure the inner dado is flush so your mirror looks good inside. Now simply go around with your glue and clamps and screw your mirror together.

Wipe the glue from the front and back of the frame, and sand with an orbital sander. Put your choice of finish on. Cut some 1/8 inch material into 3-4 inch strips as long as your mirror to secure the glass in place.

If you don't feel like doing all the work, you can purchase one of my rustic picture frames.

mark the log

Mark the log with a pen and sand off until you reach the mark.

Kreg Jig

Use the pocket hole jig to drill the holes. Use a small screw to attach the jig to the log.

Pocket holes

Notice the holes are offset.

Clamp the logs

Use the spring miter clamp when screwing together.