Okay, I had some ideas... See the attached sketch before reading on. I took as a challenge.
I figured to be able to create with a basic table saw and a router table and maybe a miter saw as optional (you were leaning away from that). I thought making and dressing it up with some basic profiles you might have (so it doesn't look so plain).
Materials- I thought hemlock or poplar. That way it could go paintout or not. But still be a bit moisture resistant. (Bathroom mirror.)
Traditional Mitered frame with a rebate was a fallback option... With holding a mirror, unless you use loose tenoning, then is a basic butt joint and not real strong for the weight it would be supporting.
So the first mental challenge was to creatively add a rebate or groove for a mirror in a frame. Not carry the rebate in a manner that is carried through as a void in the edges of the frame (it so, then incorporated into the design).
First idea was to use Rails and Stiles. First (Main) design was to use rails with through mortises and rails with tenons. That joint is cut back the depth of the groove or rebate (where the M&T meet in the stiles) so the void is not carried through to the edge.
Using this same idea, You could just use a Rail & Stile door profile set... You could strengthen that with loose tenons... but at least with pocket screws through the rails from behind. And you could always use the groove for the moirro or mill a rebate through the backs of the rails and blind rebates in the stiles so they don't carry through to the edges...
Then I had some ideas with glue edge profiles. I've been playing with that profile for a while- using it for things other than just for a glue edge. I've done mitered glue edge profiles to strengthen up miters... Creating locking joints and locking miter joints... Then I remembered that I've made rail and stile frames using glue edge profiles to make cabinet doors with glass panels... If you used a glue edge profile on the inside edge of the stiles and rails... then the reverse glue edge profile on the ends of the rails... that would create a R&S frame with a groove and a rebate for glass on the inside edge. If the rebate to the back is used, then the groove can be covered with a mitered half-round trim... or the rebate extended into the groove, like I do to put glass into R&S profiles.
Mentioning trim, I threw in a few ideas for trim and/or dressing it up with a few basic profiles.
"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."
Last edited by MAFoElffen; 11-30-2013 at 02:17 PM.