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Woodturning Pocket Mirror With A CA Finish

by Jonathan Downing on February 07, 2022

Today, I'm working on a piece of pocket mirror. I wanted to show you real quick how I do them. We're gonna put a CA finish on the back of it. I have here a piece of walnut which is about two inches thick. Depending on the size, you may pick based on the mirror size or adjust a little bit. I can get two or three out of it. Then we can epoxy it in into the little recess and we'll foot around and use the jaws to expand it to finish the outside of it.

As far as the recess goes, you don't want to make it too deep but you need enough to where you expand the jaws to hold it on the outside. It needs to have something to bite into. I'm gonna round over the edge and sand it just a little bit. With the size of my material, I could actually do more of these. I'm going to send this up and then I will put a CA finish on it. The key to doing a good CA finish is to put on several coats and don't sand it too hard. You're applying a super thin coat so you must sand it just lightly. I'm gonna turn the lathe speed down a little bit. Put a little bit on a paper towel (or any cloth) and just keep on adding. This is a thin CA and it's gonna stick to your hand so you must be careful on handling this. Check if you already put enough and wait few seconds for it to completely dry. Apply a little bit more. You can repeat the process about six or eight times.

I have here micromesh pads soaked in the water. I'm going to rub the surface with these pads for smoother finish. Remember to not sand it too much as you don't want to remove the finish off. There we go, we just put a nice durable finish on it. You can polish it if you want using a scratch remover cloth with a little dab of CA on it. This will help on making your finish look more glossy. After that, you can now epoxy the mirror. Just a note, you can use different CA products. This is just the one I have. All done! These are great quick little projects that you can do for gifts or you can sell them. Again, I'm using a walnut which is about four and a quarter inches in diameter. A scrap wood would actually do. For projects like these or pins, a CA finish is fantastic and it's super durable. Just keep in mind whenever you're doing it, don't sand it off. That is probably the hardest thing I had to figure out when I was first doing it. I would always put on several coats and then hit it with a rough sandpaper removing the finish. Then I have to start over again.