1st lapped style picture frame

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Project by DaleMaley posted 08-27-2019 02:57 PM 1247 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The latest edition of Wood magazine has 7 alternative ways to make a picture frame, not using the traditional miter joints.

I decided to try out the lapped corner method for this project. I am making 4 red oak frames for some historic 1890 and 1900 Fairbury Fair posters. Two will go to a charity auction and two will go to our local museum. These were the old newspapers with 43 year old creases that I removed with a frame…...and wetting and drying of the fragile newspaper. I posted this project previously here.

The magazine illustration showed using thicker stock for the 2 vertical rails and thinner stock for the 2 horizontal rails. I decided to try 1 inch thick red oak for the verticals….......and regular 3/4” thick red oak for the horizontals. This gave a nice contrast in thicknesses.

I made the 4 pieces about 1/4 inch longer than the plan, so I could flush router trim the excess to exactly match the mating piece. After glue-up, I sawed off most of the excess on the table saw… minimize the amount of material to be routed. This worked fine.

About the only surprise I ran into was when I tried to put in glazing points to hold in the photo and cardboard. I have used these in softer woods fine before, using the hand squeeze tool. Boy, it was a “no go” on using these on hard red oak….....when I squeezed with the tool… just bent the glazing points. So, I went old school and drilled pilot holes for 1 inch long brads. I then used the squeeze tool to push the brads in a little bit.

The first one turned out so nice, that I want to keep it…......but it will go to the charity auction :)

To see my whole process, you can see it at my woodworking web site here.


-- Dale, Illinois,

8 comments so far

View socrbent's profile


1048 posts in 3555 days

#1 posted 08-27-2019 04:24 PM

Simple, effective, good looking result! Thanks for sharing.

-- socrbent Ohio

View MasterSergeant's profile


1441 posts in 3973 days

#2 posted 08-27-2019 07:07 PM

Sharping looking frame, thanks for this idea ;-)

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View DaleMaley's profile


593 posts in 3521 days

#3 posted 08-27-2019 07:41 PM

Sharping looking frame, thanks for this idea ;-)

- MasterSergeant

The only picture frames I ever made were miter joints…..........I never really thought about alternative designs until I saw the magazine article. I also like the Greene & Greene style with the black rectangle inserts…...I may have to try that one too!

-- Dale, Illinois,

View splintergroup's profile


6029 posts in 2508 days

#4 posted 08-27-2019 09:02 PM

Looking good Dale!

I’ve also had issues with the glazing points in hard woods. What I do is use my marking knife (has a triangle shaped point) and push it in to create a “pilot” before pressing in the glazing point.

View therealSteveN's profile


9235 posts in 1859 days

#5 posted 08-27-2019 11:41 PM

I think you picked the best of what they suggested, that dual height adds some depth the others don’t offer. The G&G one is likely a tie or at least #2. I was surprised they didn’t offer a Bridal Joint, back in the days most frames made had them on all 4 corners.

I totally agree glazing points are pretty much worthless, old school wins out, but seems everyone is going with these things. I can’t get past the price yet. Maybe if someone reports they do WO, Hard Maple and some of the standard woods I use. Till then I drill, and brad them.

Looks nice, and a great home for your Fair art. Nice job.

-- Think safe, be safe

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