The Wood Whisper templates take out all of the guess work and I decided it was time to just do it and git 'r done!
I made two frames, the first frame (prototype) is cherry with ebony plugs.
The second frame is walnut with jatoba "pyramid" plugs. These plugs are much easier to make and install 8^)
I made a few changes to the Wood Whisperer's procedure to speed things up.
To eliminate a lot of the hand work, I used a 1/4" flush trim and 1/8" radius round over (with 1/4" pilot bearings). these bits allowed me to get into the tight corners and recesses. The frame was scaled to 70% while printing so I could use a standard 12" mirror tile and cut it to fit. The mirrors are under $2 each. Getting a mirror cut locally to fit the full scale version would have cost over $50.
These patterns were spray-glued to hard board and shaped, then working templates were cut from this master set.
I went ahead and made additional templates for the puzzle piece shape and upper mortices to eliminate 99% of the hand fitting required for these connections. The mirror and back panel rabbets were cut after the frame was assembled. The corners for the mirror rabbet were squared up so I could cut a simple rectangular mirror from the 12" mirrored tile. A wider rabbet was cut for a hardboard back.
Once these template were made, the entire mirror can be knocked out and assembled in hours.
The finish is danish oil with spray can polyurethane.