View Full Version : Anyone ever make a mirror?
07-20-2010, 12:16 PM
Plastic mirror that is. Looking into options and thought someone may have been down this road before me...
07-20-2010, 12:18 PM
Ah... forum search IS your friend...
Found some info- sorry for repeat question.
07-20-2010, 02:01 PM
Anyway, it seems if you are going to make a mirror- mylar film is the best choice. There are actually places that sell mylar film mirrors- for a boat load, and I don't know why anyone would buy those when polcarbonate mirrors are much cheaper (but still pretty expensive).
So... mylar film. It appears there are many grades out there, but 'optical grade' seems to be choice, and doesn't seem to be too exorbitantly priced. BUT you are going to have to stretch it over a backing (so they say) AND it really needs to have a clear (polycarbonate) protective film over it.
For those two products I came up with approximately $12 per 4'x8' size- NOT including backing, adhesives or shipping. Not bad in my opinion....
07-20-2010, 02:08 PM
btw, the cheapest 4x8 polycarb mirror sheets I could find was this guy @ $104+ship:
04-21-2011, 09:43 AM
Well I decided to try building a mirror on the cheap using regular mylar film just to see what the results would be.
First, making mylar mirrors is not for the impatient...
Second, it can be done, and done well IF you take your time and be precise.
The following picture is of a set of mirrors that are about 40" x 96" each, that I made in under 2 hours with a total cost of less than $25.
These were my first, so they were far from perfect, and they have no protection from attacks, but I may keep them and cover them with a plactic sheet. You can see some wrinkles here and there- these came from twisting the frames while positioning them- very difficult to overcome that little issue.
So I just cut two sheets of 7/16" OSB board to the size of the mirror I wanted, then ripped 2x4's in half, cut to length to create a raised frame and attached them to one side of the OSB with screws. This is where I learned about patience- I should have made sure the all sides of the 2x4's were as smooth and defect free as possible. There were divots, and chunks missing on the outside edges of mine and that translated into wrinkles in the mirror surface.
Then, I cut the mylar to a size about 6 inches larger than the finished size, started at one corner and put a couple staples on the outside edge- not the front. I moved to the next corner and pulled it taught and stapled across. I repeated the next side likewise and then went back and laid duct tape over the stapled area and re-stapled it again for strength.
The last two sides were a bit more trying and I can only say you will have to "work it" to get it right. Essentially it is the same process as the first two sides though.
I can absolutely see a high quality product emerging for low bucks if you use an optical grade mirrored mylar and a sturdy, well built frame.
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