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I am thinking of building a mirror frame using walnut and I am wondering what the standard way to put it together is.

I imagine the basic strategy is that there is a backing which is screwed to the studs in the wall. Then I attach dovetail rails to the backing. Then the four sides of the frame are slid onto the dovetails around the mirror. My questions are:

  • do I need to use some kind of sealant between the wood and the mirror, and if so, how is it applied?

  • what is the order of assembly for the frame?

  • the strategy outlined above will result in butt joints; is there a way to do it with mitred joints?

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Traditionally they were rebated in to the frame with a backer of plywood behind the mirror, sometimes with a pad often of cardboard, the mirror is allowed to "float". On some newer ones the mirror is glued in from the back before installing the backer board. The backer boards are usually nailed, screwed or stapled in.

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