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Painted poplar picture frame #5: Wrapping it up

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 06-26-2021 05:17 PM 619 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Finishing, day 2 Part 5 of Painted poplar picture frame series no next part

I’m a little short on pictures today. I cleaned up the glass, put a coat of shellac on the frame, cut the mat, and then noticed there was dust on everything so I went back and did it again. After a few rounds of this, I just plowed ahead, not taking time for a lot of photos, and wrapped the frame up.

So, the steps…

The glass I use for framing is Tru-Vue Museum Glass.

First up was cutting the glass. I’ve heard folks have trouble with this, but I’ve had pretty good luck. I have a Toyo 17B oiling cutter and it works well, as long as I remember to make sure it has oil in it. I have a piece of fairly clean cardboard that has a straight line drawn on it, and I set the glass on it such that I need to cut on the line. I try to cut in one smooth motion, running off the edge of the glass. Then I pick up the glass, lay my 12” metal ruler below the “keep” side of the cut, and push down gently on the waste. Usually the glass snaps cleanly the entire length of the line, but sometimes I’ll need to tap a small bit with the handle of the cutter.

With the glass cut, it was time to cut the mat. I use a rotary paper cutter to cut the outside dimensions of the mat, and a Logan mat-cutter to cut the bevels of the inside opening of the mat. Just follow the directions that came with the cutter, but make sure to have the mat face-down and put a sacrificial piece of mat under the cut. Doing so will keep a clean surface on the cut.

Then I needed to cut a backing board. Again, the rotary paper cutter gets used.

Then three coats of shellac on the frame, with 5-10 minutes for each coat to dry. Once the third coat was dry to the touch, I set the frame face-down on a clean piece of cardboard and began to assemble things.

Glass goes in first, making sure to get the marked side of the glass (it comes that way from the manufacturer) up, so it’ll be next to the artwork. This is important so the anti-reflective coating will work.

Then the mat goes in. Good side down. I generally stick archival glue-dots on two of the corners of the mat so that when I set the artwork in place, it’s glued to the mat. This isn’t proper archival technique, but it’s easy and keeps me from misaligning the artwork.

Then the art. I use the lines I drew on the back of the mat (which are near the opening, but slightly outside it due to the 45 degree bevel) to align the art.

Then the backing board goes in, and I hold everything together to check it from the front side. If it looks good, I’ll tack the backing board in with some brads or glazing points. They don’t go through that boards, but rather sit on them and are tacked into the frame.

Then a piece of backing paper goes over everything and gets stapled in place.

Finally, I screw on the hangers and a piece of picture hanging wire. Pick up the frame and clean it up and it’s ready to go on the wall.

-- Dave - Santa Fe



11 comments so far

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2322 days


#1 posted 06-26-2021 05:46 PM

Nice job Dave.

I’ve never seen or heard of backing paper before – you still tacked the backing board in, so it’s just to look neat?

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8811 posts in 1869 days


#2 posted 06-26-2021 07:04 PM

Yeah, Mike. It’s to make the back look neat and to help keep dust out.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2322 days


#3 posted 06-26-2021 07:16 PM

It’s on the back, against the wall, dust only matters if you can see it :)

I know from when I had to fix a shelf that nothing above eye-level gets dusted around here.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8811 posts in 1869 days


#4 posted 06-26-2021 07:17 PM

Ahh, but dust matters if it gets in behind the ill-fitting backing board and works its way to between the glass and the art. And then my sweetie says unladylike words, which is best avoided. Thus, backing paper!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2322 days


#5 posted 06-26-2021 07:39 PM

You must have more agressive dust in the desert, ours just kind of lays around.

SWMBO saw my plane and requisitioned the rest of my spalted beech to make a frame for the tiger painting she is currently doing, I’m shamelessly nicking some ideas of your build.
Painting looks finished to me but, from experience, could take anywhere between a day and 5 years before it’s ready to be framed. I’ll post it when it’s done.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8811 posts in 1869 days


#6 posted 06-26-2021 07:45 PM

It is, Mike. And with relative humidity in s the single digits some days, static electricity is worse here in the summer than I was used to in Minnesota winters. I opened a box packed with styrofoam packing peanuts today, and it was almost as bad as a glitter bomb going off.

Feel free to ask any questions you have. I’m not an expert, but my framer back in Minneapolis has been answering my questions so I got to borrow quite a bit of his expertise and get recommendations for the various tools needed.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2322 days


#7 posted 06-26-2021 08:08 PM

Cheers, I think I’m good though, just need to play about with profiles, think I’ll go with a really thick walnut splie for effect but I like the doel plug idea.

I use the mitre jack to make sure the opposite sides are the same length, shoot one end of each and then square them up and shoot the other end of both at the same time to make sure they match. A little slower than doing them individually, but I make a frame or two a year tops so no real worry. Not tried any profiles yet though, just big blocky frames to match the decor.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8811 posts in 1869 days


#8 posted 06-26-2021 08:11 PM

Yeah, for thinner frames, the dowel plugs (or cut plugs with stronger grain orientation) is a pretty neat idea. And using a miter jack to make sure the opposite sides match in length is a good idea. I’m pondering buying a miter trimmer, but unless I do a lot of frames, that’s going to be a hard expense to justify.

As for profiles, Matt Bickford had a great book that was nothing but pictures of profiles. I should email him and see if I can get a reference to it.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

732 posts in 2322 days


#9 posted 06-26-2021 08:38 PM

Not sure I see the advantage of a mitre trimmer? Looks like something made for someone who doesn’t have the skill to use a plane and a shoting board/mitre jack.
Good on an assembly line, but not much use for occasional use.

Pretty good chance I’m missing something though. :)

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8811 posts in 1869 days


#10 posted 06-26-2021 09:29 PM

The nice thing about a miter trimmer is it’s easy to take off a 64th and not accidentally screw up the angle. With a shooting board, it’s harder to keep the irregularly-shaped piece of frame against the guide. The miter trimmer is better about holding the pieces at the correct angle.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3354 posts in 3478 days


#11 posted 06-27-2021 01:44 AM

Nice work, looks great.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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