Sunday, October 21, 2012

Picture Framing

Earlier this month, I needed to have a picture ready for a show, on short notice. The tight time frame mean that I could not order a frame and have it ready by the deadline. I chose to build the frame on my own, for the first time.

I chose a simple design, that could be made from basic wood stock. The wood I chose to use was poplar. For a decorative flourish, I rounded over and recessed each corner of the frame. This was done using a cover bit on a router table. A recess was also needed for the underside of the frame, in order to hold the picture. This I rough cut first on the table saw, by taking multiple passes, until a quarter inch slot had been cut. This was finished of on the router table so that it was uniform. The work can clearly be seen in this picture of the side profile:

The next step was to cut all four pieces to size, and miter the corners so that the frame could fit together. Getting good miters is a tricky operation. All four corners need to be exactly 45 degrees, and all equal sides must be the same length. Any errors multiply on all four sides.

I did the miter cuts on a table saw, using a miter gauge. The angles were set accurately, using a drafting triangle. Each side of all four pieces were cut in sequential order. To ensure that each side was the same length, I clamped a stop block to the miter gauge. Each piece was held against the block so that they were run through the saw at a fixed distance from the blade.

The finished pieces were carefully glued together using my framing clamp. The frame was left to cure overnight.

I picked out a wood stain that I thought was complementary to the picture. The stain I chose was semi-transparent, so that some of the wood texture and color would show through. I applied several coats and wiped it smooth.

Overall I'm pleased with the results, and I consider making more frames in the future.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halfway Creek

Halfway Creek 
Oil on Panel 10" x 10"