First Real Picture Frame

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 09-02-2014 10:49 AM 1143 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[EDIT] I added two photos of the frame, now in use. One photo shows the frame better than the picture, the other shows the picture better than the frame.

While I did make a frame for my daughter’s Stampy and Squid mosaics, this is the first time I’ve just made a frame. A few years ago in school, my daughter created an interesting picture of our 3 birds incorporating some feathers from the birds themselves. (birds loose some of their feathers every few months. It’s a natural process called molting.)

So the picture sat protected in a room of our house because my wife wanted to ‘have it framed’. When that process started, sticker shock halted it. I then suggested that I build a frame and learn how to mat it.

I took one of my reclaimed drawer fronts and ran it through my planer and ripped it into 4 pieces. then I cut them to length while mitering them. A test fit showed that the miters were right on. (Thank you Steve Ramsey and your video about making a miter sled!)

I then ran them through the router table and put a Roman Ogee on one edge, then repeated the process with a straight bit to make the rabbet for the plexiglas, mat and artwork. This was the most frustrating process because I kept getting chip out. Seemed that no matter how little I raised the bit, it kept chipping out, visibly on the edge that would be visible when put together.

So I ended up with a nice deep rabbet and used some wood filler to fix it up. I figured that if need be, I would carefully paint that edge black since the frame was to be stained a dark color.

I finally got to successfully use that ‘octopus’ picture frame clamp that I made a few years ago. Every time I tried to use it previously it just wouldn’t work out and I’d switch to my band clamp. Getting the miters aligned was a bit tricky, not the miters themselves mind you, but the back and forth and up and down between the joints. All ended well though and the frame came out good.

I sanded it bu hand, using a pencil wrapped in sand paper to do the ogee. There was a little fudging necessary , but not much. I swear that next time I’d get better results by doing the Ogee after the frame is glued together. We’ll see.

I stained it with some Jacobean I’ve had forever and wiped it down. Now it awaits the supplies for me to install the artwork in it. When that happens, I promise I’ll post a picture with the artwork in it.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

4 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2955 posts in 2959 days

#1 posted 09-02-2014 04:55 PM

Nice work, tight miters all around. Like the clamp you made, looks like a good system.

-- "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

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1942 posts in 2957 days

#2 posted 09-02-2014 05:01 PM

Oldtool, It’s a finicky system, but when I saw one of the claps made a few years ago, I just had to make one too!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CFrye's profile


11003 posts in 2608 days

#3 posted 09-03-2014 10:35 AM

Nicely done, Dave. Steve’s miter sled is on my To Do List. Looking forward to the pic with the art work!

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1942 posts in 2957 days

#4 posted 12-28-2014 09:58 PM

Nicely done, Dave. Steve s miter sled is on my To Do List. Looking forward to the pic with the art work!

- CFrye

Candy, I finally put the artwork in the frame. It wasn’t high on our priority list, plus I had to learn how to cut the mat myself. I come a lot cheaper than the pros. ;-)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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