Blacker Entry Mirror

Flex your skills and build this iconic Greene & Greene entry mirror.

By Tim Celeski
Pages 30-37

The 1907 Robert R. Blacker House in Pasadena, Calif., is a masterpiece. The architecture and furniture inside can only be described as breath-taking. One of the lesser-known pieces of furniture is my personal favorite – a small vertical mirror that hangs above a beautifully carved cabinet. It’s
a great woodworking project with some interesting challenges.

The sides gently flare outward near the top, ebony splines wrap around from the top to the sides and square plugs seem to be everywhere. It’s sized perfectly to hang near the entrance of any home, but if you’d like a dressing mirror version, just add 10″ to the bottom of the mirror – the proportions still work wonderfully.

I make a precise copy of the mirror with just two minor changes: On the original, a few of the 18 square plugs are slightly smaller than the others. I find them distracting and prefer all plugs to be the same. I also leave off the leather hanging straps.

The mirror may seem straightforward, but it’s not. At the top is an unusual angled haunched joint – a joint with a few challenges. Over the years I’ve tried six different methods for making that joint. Most require a lot of fussing, fitting, fine-tuning and corrections. I’ve found that with a careful approach, and a few simple-to-make jigs, it’s easy. This is a project where accuracy is particularly important because the jigs and the parts have to match perfectly. Take your time, use rulers, squares and calipers and check all measurements.

Web Extras

Get a full-size template for the mirror here.

Purchase the June 2018 issue of Popular Woodworking here.

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