Mirror Frame Proportions

I’m thinking about building a mirror frame with a gooseneck molding as seen on period furniture such as highboys. I would appreciate any information you could give me as to proportions, cross-sectional shape, but most of all any suggestions on how to rout the curved molding.

Tim Inman: As for design considerations, go to the library, then go to some good museums. There are books full of pictures and illustrations for you.  Hit the “enlarge” button on a photocopier enough times, and you can get a copy that is almost full-sized. There isn’t anything like seeing the real thing up close with your own eyes, though. That’s where the museum trip comes in. Local historic sites are a goldmine. As for cross-section, that will pretty much take care of itself once you identify the edge contours from a picture or observation. These were typically cut on shapers using pattern boards or jigs. The “work” is clamped onto the carrier, and the carrier edge rides on a collar mounted to the spindle of the shaper cutter. Check out some books on using shapers, and you’ll see how quickly. Folks who sell shapers are a great resource, too.

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