This Arched Mirror frame has been constructed using a series of short wood lengths, with each joint featuring two timber butterfly inserts that have been dovetailed into the end of each section. As well as being decorative, the butterfly inserts are functional and can significantly increase the strength of a butt joint.
Made from Walnut the butterfly inserts stood out well against the oak, with an eye-catching contrast of the two timbers, enhanced when oiled during the finishing stages. Various other combinations of contrasting timber would work well for this project as an alternative to oak and walnut, or this combination could be reversed. This project includes how to make these butterfly joints using a router.
After working out the size of the frame, its thickness needed to be calculated. The thickness of the lipped inner front edge, the mirror, backboard and fixing area to secure them needed to be considered, so that a deep enough rebate could be made in the back of the frame.