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George III Dressing Table Mirror


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Furniture pieces like this one was the biggest reason for my desire to take brass turning classes, you simply can not buy hardware like this.


I used South African black stinkwood and South African yellowwood to make this little piece, it is destined for my Cape Dutch house and these two woods were the ones mostly used for making fine furniture in the Cape in the 17th and 18th centuries.


It was quite a challenging piece to build as I wanted my wood as thin as possible so as not to look out of scale. All the brass knobs are threaded and just screws into the wood.


I plan on building a chest of drawers for it to stand on in the future.

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Thank you Bill, Linda and Marie.

I thought I would show you the jig I built for gluing the two mirror supports with the right angle, for me this step was the most tricky because there is very little wood from the mirror support touching the top even though the support is tenoned into the top. And since I am teaching this piece later this year I had to come up with something to help the students glue it correctly. I hope my photos are self explanatory :-)



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Elga, you mentioned that your threaded brass screws into the wood.  Did you pre-drill a pilot hole?  It looks like a fun project, and the grain is pleasing.  Which wood is in which piece?  It is most enjoyable to see your use of native woods in your pieces.



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Tamra, yes I drilled pilot holes where the brass pieces screw in. I used the black stinkwood (it does have quite a smell when you saw it...but not really unpleasant) for all the parts that you can see and the yellowwood for all the drawer pieces except the fronts. Working with the black stinkwood feels similar to cherry. The tree is protected now and only occasionally sold under license by the forestry department, since a lot of the 18th century Cape furniture that I want to make were made from this wood I am going to have to be very careful with my stash, no mistakes allowed :-)

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Brilliant! Walking straight into a wall, then finding your way around it is half the fun :) Maybe that's a bad analogy but I just love thinking up and making jigs when I get stuck, yours is a perfect solution---

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  • 4 months later...

Since most of the work that still needs to be done on the dressing table mirror doesn't really have any milling I decided to continue here with the last few steps. Today I am making the feet, once again I used pinrouting to do the shaping, because these pieces are so small I cut my blanks longer than needed and drilled a hole in the center to fit over a small nail in the jig, otherwise these just want to fly away when they hit the cutter.


Next I needed to saw the miters, I did this by hand, to keep the length consistent I used double sided tape to stick a piece of wood to the miter box and used a small clamp too. This is how I positioned the wood for the first cut.


For the second cut I turned it upside down.


If I didn't turn it the miters would have come out wrong.


For the front feet I glued the front piece first onto the curved edge, I then sanded the miter on the side piece carefully to fit without a gap since the join is slighty bigger than 90 degrees because of the front curve. Lastly I glued in a small piece of wood to give support to the feet.


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