John Hall Style picture Frame

  • Advertise with us
Project by sean335 posted 06-17-2014 04:27 PM 2138 views 7 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a small John Hall style picture frame I made for my dad for Father’s Day. I followed the templates provided by Marc Spagnuolo at and modified it slightly to fit an 8×12 photo. It was the first time I did any sort of mortising/half-laps, so the curves were definitely a challenge for me, especially since I made the frame 50% of the original size, so everything was an especially tight curve.

I started with some templates cut out of 1/4” plywood on the bandsaw, then rough cut my walnut pieces to the profile of the templates before finishing up with a template bit on the router. I don’t have a planer, so I had to use my table saw to cut the pieces to thickness (1/2” for the bottom, 5/8” for the sides, and 3/4” for the top). Fortunately the frame is small, so the pieces were easy to handle on the saw.

I shaped the puzzle pieces roughly on the bandsaw then sanded them smooth as best as I could by wrapping sandpaper around a small bolt that would fit between the curves. I then traced the shape onto the bottom rail and routed it as best as I could and finished it up with a lot of chisel work. I really should have done a better job with the router, as it took a ton of chiseling and didn’t look all that great. To top of the stiles was square, so that was a much easier job to shape on the back of the top rail.

I had to forego the ebony plugs that are on the original frame due to a lack of time, but due the small size of this frame, I think it looks okay even without them. All I had on hand was salad bowl finish, so that’s what I used to finish the frame. Then I just had a small piece of glass cut to fit, put some small brass hangers on home depot and printed out one of my pictures from a vacation to Japan and I was all set.

5 comments so far

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 2738 days

#1 posted 06-17-2014 06:53 PM

Very cool.
Thanks for posting your nice work!

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View GerardoArg1's profile


1014 posts in 2762 days

#2 posted 06-17-2014 10:01 PM

Nice job. Like the lines. Good choise of lumber too

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View Mean_Dean's profile


7040 posts in 3915 days

#3 posted 06-18-2014 12:40 AM

Great looking picture frame! I’m sure your dad loves it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Phil Clark's profile

Phil Clark

356 posts in 4563 days

#4 posted 06-18-2014 01:37 PM

Nice work – I’ve made a number of these for family members with Gary Hall’s permission (John Hall’s grandson). I’ve never seen this mentioned but my guess is that the inspiration for the design by John Hall came from stage curtains tied back since most entertainment back in those days was live performances on stage.

-- Legacy Woodcraft

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4362 days

#5 posted 06-18-2014 06:47 PM

awesome design I really dig it

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics