Frames for Stained Glass

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Project by sras posted 10-31-2017 02:13 AM 2111 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I asked some friends to make a housewarming gift for their new home. They asked me to make new frames for their two pieces of antique stained glass.

The request was for an Art Deco look. I made a design with layered round-overs and rounded corners. Since they were to be hung in windows, I made both sides finished.

The wood for a frame is cut from a single mahogany board. The retainer frame is made from the smaller pieces shown.

Rabbets are cut for the stained glass and the retainer prior to assembly.

The frames are glued up.

And then the retainer frames are fitted and glued in place. Note the plastic wrap to keep the glue where it is supposed to be.

The frames and retainers are cut for splines. This is especially important for the retainer frames since they are so fragile.


The splines for the frame are set extra deep to accommodate the rounded corners.

Filler strips are required to fill in the recess for the stain glass. These end up serving as the guide surface for the router bearing (for some of the cuts).

The outside corners are cut with a bandsaw and sanded to the line. All the outer profiles can be referenced outside edge with the router fence.

Some of the inner profiles need a reference surface. This fence is set up to shape one inside corner at a time. An offset collar is used to achieve the correct spacing of the profiles.

Here is the finished shape (viewed from the front).

A close up of the outside corner.

And the inside corner (viewed from the back). You can see the filler strips still in place.

After shaping, the filler strips can be removed.

The frames are finished with an oxidizing layer of potassium dichromate and then clear polyurethane.

A final detail is a orientation plug set into the frame with a matching recess in the retainer. (See the last picture above)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

15 comments so far

View lew's profile


13127 posts in 4536 days

#1 posted 10-31-2017 03:33 AM

Great series of pictures, Steve! Beautiful frames. I think you really captured the Art Deco style. Love the color of the finished frames. Was the wood mahogany?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sras's profile


5500 posts in 3910 days

#2 posted 10-31-2017 04:19 AM

Thanks Lew! Yes – it is mahogany. I’ll add that to the description.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View shipwright's profile


8562 posts in 3579 days

#3 posted 10-31-2017 04:25 AM

Really nice Steve. You nailed the deco look.
Thanks for the look into your thought process. Well planned and well executed.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Dutchy's profile


3752 posts in 2949 days

#4 posted 10-31-2017 08:31 AM

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9561 posts in 3109 days

#5 posted 10-31-2017 12:41 PM

Wow…. there’s a lot of thought and process steps that went into these frames.

Looks Great!

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4663 days

#6 posted 10-31-2017 01:34 PM

Nice work. Those look amazing.

Wow, “potassium dichromate”, impressive :-)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4358 days

#7 posted 10-31-2017 01:38 PM

Outstanding work Steve


View sras's profile


5500 posts in 3910 days

#8 posted 10-31-2017 02:35 PM

Thanks guys!

Paul – At first I wasn’t sure what an Art Deco frame would look like (especially out of mahogany), but a few days research dialed it in.

Matt – Thanks. This is one of those projects that hides the complexity. In the end they look pretty simple.

Steve – Potassium dichromate is one of the techniques I picked up from LumberJocks. I bought some on eBay for a few bucks and now I have a lifetime supply! I got close to a pint jar of the powder and I only use 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon at a time.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View ralbuck's profile


6547 posts in 3047 days

#9 posted 10-31-2017 03:27 PM

Great product, and great explanations too.

Very nicely done; neighbor!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View hoss12992's profile


4172 posts in 2674 days

#10 posted 10-31-2017 03:32 PM

Absolutely beautiful. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View oldnovice's profile


7570 posts in 4149 days

#11 posted 10-31-2017 04:13 PM

Sure turned out a real beauty!
The art deco, the mahagony, and the stained glass are a beautiful match.
I only see one completed frame, or did I miss something?

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3648 days

#12 posted 10-31-2017 06:03 PM

These frames look great and the glass is wonderful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View sras's profile


5500 posts in 3910 days

#13 posted 10-31-2017 08:28 PM

Thanks guys!

Hans, there are two different pieces of stained glass (See pics 2&3). The second frame is the larger of the two. It took me forever to post this project because I had delivered the larger frame before I ever took a picture of it! Even the picture I have is not that good. Maybe someday I’ll be there with a better camera…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

515 posts in 1723 days

#14 posted 10-31-2017 10:13 PM

Awesome creation… Art Deco is one of my favorite styles and you did a superb job

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself" Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does

View sras's profile


5500 posts in 3910 days

#15 posted 11-01-2017 01:14 AM

Thanks Greg!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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