We had this old mirror that a friend gave us when she moved. It came from a bureau, and had seen better days. There were a couple of cracks in the arch. I decided to make a new frame. SWMBO also pointed out that the mirror itself was pretty rough, with parts of the silvering looking bad, and also warranting replacement. If you look at the top arch, you can see the two places where the wood cracked. I hot glued them together to use the frame as a pattern.
I liked the overall feel of it though, and the size was just right, so I am re-making it in cherry. Now the tricky issue was how to deal with grain and cross grain attachment. One reason the original failed, IMO, was cross grain gluing, and weak areas of material. I decided to try a rather dumb way of making the frame, but it should be interesting to see what happens. The bottom is mitered, with FF biscuits. The top of the arch is all butt jointed together, with all the grain running vertically. Once glued up, I cut the outside curve with a bandsaw, then trimmed it with a router, and then spokeshaves. The inside curve is not yet done, but will follow a similar method, except that I did the rough cutting with a hand held jigsaw.
Where I think I may have problems is that the wood - assembled to be 24" wide is bound to move in and out with seasonal changes. And the bottom, being long grain, won't. I'm hoping there's enough give in the sides to allow this movement without ruining those nice little biscuited miters at the bottom. When I put a back on, behind the mirror, it'll either be solid wood oriented with the grain running vertically, or more likely some 3/16" plywood, held on in slots with screws.
Comments, suggestions and criticism are welcome. This is turning into a multi-day project, as each side to side glue-up, and there were several, was allowed to dry before combining the next ones. And I won't get the new mirror before next Tues, at the earliest.