How To

Carve a Celtic Mirror

1. Design a circular template with the celtic pattern for size and carving purposes.

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2. The blank is cut out on the band saw and the edge is cleaned up with a sander.

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3. A disk is stuck to the bottom to raise the blank off of the surface. This aids routering and helps to protect the work surface.

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4. Then center the blank and fix the router to a length of thin Ply. With the length of Ply mark two holes for cutting circles. Then fix a screw through the Ply and into the blank.

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5. Then cut down to have the right depth to fit the mirror glass and backing board to.

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6. Relocate the position of the router and make the final cut all the way through the blank.

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7. You are left with a blank frame to start carving.

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8. Stick the design to the mirror frame.

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9. Shape the edge with a jigsaw but leave two to three milometers around the edge.

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10. Now the edge of your blank is ready for cleaning up with a gauge.

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11. Placed the carving on a slip mat and place a block of wood under the inside edge to cut onto. Work your way around the outside of the frame with a gauge, taking it back to the line of your design.

12. Using different size gauges to cut around the design, cut out sections of wood of 8 mm deep into the pattern.

13. Cutting down and cleaning out as you move around your design.

14. This is very time consuming but your work needs to be clamped onto a slip mat and cut out in stages.

15. If you have lettering then place it into the design. The grain of the wood should be running straight through the lettering and needs to be placed correctly.

16. Adjust your work and re clamp then start your design and make it flow.

17. Look at your design, it needs to be cut where every line meets so straight cut down and then cut across at an angle to your straight cut. This will leave you with a little step and now all the way round you go cutting down and cutting across to your straight cut.

18. Do this in stages and clear the paper stencil off as you go. Now you are progressing you will be shaping your Celtic pattern and making it weave up and over and down and under. You have long angled cuts to your straight cuts and short angle cuts to the shorter cut. This has left a lovely Celtic weave and shape to your design.

19. Clean over the carving with a fine grade sanding sponge.

20. Finish it with three treatments of Tung oil. Leaving it six hours in between and buffing with a cloth. Leave and then buff again after six hours.

21. Take your frame to a mirror cutter. Make your back plate. Screw in picture hook. Fix back plate with framing clip.

You have created a fantastic celtic mirror.

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