Well, this didn't turn out so well. The glass I used for the mirror was leftover from my neighbor's installation of an LED fireplace
. To test it, I held my smartphone up against it and the image looked pretty good, so I went ahead and built the mirror in the above picture. Well... when I hung the mirror, the coating on the back of the mirror diffused the image enough that you couldn't read anything through it. So my attempt to speed up things by using what was available had the exact opposite effect. I ordered a proper mirror in the same size, which if I had to do it over again I would have chosen very different dimensions. Namely, something I could fit in my car.
To begin, I had a piece of one way mirror that was 88 3/8" long by 13.5" high. My plan was to mount two monitors behind it and display different information on each. So we start by building a frame to hold a very long piece of glass. I used my router to put a rabbet around the frame to hold the edges of the glass.
Assemble the edges of the frame, holding it together with angle brackets. The plan is to mount the two monitors to the wall and then hang the mirror off of the monitors. A different approach than usual, but I figured the problem of mounting monitors to walls has been solved and I could purchase mounts that could handle two monitors and a heavy mirror (plus frame & trim).
I'll skip the boring parts of staining the frame in case anyone sees it from the side, painting the inside edge black so you won't see it through the glass in the areas the monitor isn't present, etc. Here's the frame with reinforcements attached and weather stripping around the rabbet. This should cushion the glass, plus push it up against the trim pieces. This sandwich design should keep everything rigid.
You saw this earlier. The glass is in place and the trim is installed. My original idea was to wrap the trim with a carbon fiber pattern vinyl sticker. That stuff is harder than it looks and I didn't really get it right. If I had pulled it off, it would have been bad ass. Alas, it looked like an amateur had applied a vinyl sticker to it.
I took down the artwork we had in reception and mounted the backing board and monitor mounts. The board is just a piece of pine with a routed edge design and some stain. I've never mounted anything heavy in an office building. There are no studs to attach anything, just flimsy metal. So you have to use a lot of drywall screws.
The electronics are in place. Two monitors, a power strip, a Raspberry Pi and a Fitlet micro PC.
And finally we hang the mirror over top of the monitors.
You can see the carbon fiber wrap for the trim. And you can also see the blurry image from the monitors. This is unsatisfactory. So... let's order proper one-way glass and while it's being shipped, we can redo the trim as well. This is straight from Home Depot.
Add a little stain and a little polyurethane and it looks much better.
The glass arrived at the office today, so I spent the latter half of a 10 hour day getting a crate up to the 3rd floor office.
Take everything apart. Carefully put the new top & bottom pieces in place and drill holes for the wood screws. Cut side pieces to fit. Carefully drill holes to hold the side pieces in place. Admire your handiwork:
Now I had to take all of the trim off and put the glass in place. I opened the crate and found the glass made the journey intact. Hooray! It also magically shrunk and was half an inch too narrow. So... resize the frame, reinstall the trim, cut the side pieces to their new size, uninstall all the trim, put the glass in place, reinstall the trim and then finally hang that sucker on top of the monitors:
And last but certainly not least... test to make sure it works.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus