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Friday, March 12, 2010

Broken Fruit Bowl Makes Good Mirror Frame

Well another exciting week has gone by and I have another small project to Blog about. As you may know if you read this on a regular basis I have a lot of 'irons in the fire' as they say and I have not stopped working on them... the TABLE that I am building and various other things... but those tend to be longer term things and sometimes I squeeze in other little things like this mirror project.

It all started when I was cleaning out some of the piles of junk that I have around the place and I found this broken Fruit Bowl Basket thing. The upper square portion was connected to the lower part with a bunch of metal wires and many of them were missing. In addition to parts being missing there was a big stain right in the middle of it where something sat for way too long and messes it up. So I took it apart and saved the  stained wood piece for another day and decided to use the square part for a mirror frame.

Not that I have a shortage of mirrors in my house and not that I'm so good looking that I need to see more of me... it just so happens that I have two very large pieces of mirror from a piece of furniture that I am not using and I thought that it might be fun to cut them up. Below is a picture of the two mirrors with one removed from the wood frame that they were in. Getting the mirror out and off the wood was a pain because the glue that they used to glue it in place was crazy strong and I had to cut it out with a knife that is sitting on the mirror in the picture below.

After getting the mirror out of the wood frame that it was in I cut it into a nicely sized piece for the fruit bowl frame. Cutting glass isn't all that fun and it takes a lot of practice. Actually you don't really cut it, it's more of a controlled breaking of the mirror (does that count as bad luck?). The important part of cutting glass other than gloves and eye protection is using lubrication on the GLASS CUTTER wheel. Light oil works good and it's a mess to get off the mirror after you roll the wheel across the glass!! Isn't that great?!
Back to the wood part. I used a little Dremel table that I have to hold my Dremel with a router bit in it to cut a groove in the wood frame. If you don't have a Dremel table I don't really recommend that you get one. They don't seem to work very well unless you are doing really really light work. The other problem that I have with the table is you can't adjust the Dremel height very far as there is not much travel in the adjustment. Also the way they hold the Dremel in the table is with clamps that seem to grab the Dremel motor in the wrong place so when you tighten it down the motor stops running correctly or stops all together.
OK once I had the groove in the square wood piece cut out and sized to the glass piece pretty good I had to make some critical design decisions, like what to do about the wood. I personally like the wood grain look but in this case the wood grain was looking nasty and there was about a bizillion coats of some kind of plastic sealer on it to protect it from the fruit. I decided to sand a few coats of the plastic off the wood and rough it up a bit. Then I sprayed a light coat of black spray paint on it and let it dry. This black coat was an undercoat for a finsh coat of American Accents Stone Creations spray paint. I had a can of this stuff that I was going to use on the HELMET project but never did. You can see the can in the picture above. This Stone Creations paint comes out like cotton candy stringy goop and makes a very textured surface. This particular can that I have is primarily black but also specks of gray and white come out along with all the bumpy stringy stuff giving it a look of black cotton candy mixed with rubber cement boogers that is supposed to look like stone or rock. It doesn't really look like stone but it does look cool.
Once the Stone Creations stuff had dried I glued in the mirror piece with Loctite Stick'n Seal Waterproof Adhesive. This stuff isn't as good as the glue that was used in the original mirror frame but I think it will work pretty good. My piece of mirror is smaller and lighter and if it does fall out I'll just glue in a new piece because I have plenty of mirror left over (besides the broken parts I broke with cutting (breaking) it)
That all there is to this crazy thing... now I have to find a place to hang it - maybe a dark room with no light would be good.

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