Three layer 5"x7" picture frames

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Project by splintergroup posted 10-29-2019 06:10 PM 791 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Following a trend lately, I’ve been “raiding” my wife’s stash of project supplies that have sat dormant for some time. The latest score was literally 100’s of mattes with backers, all 5×7.

That settled it, I needed to make some frames post-haste.

I always wanted to try some layered frames that used interesting woods. The center section of these frames are 1/2” BB plywood with veneer. I have gobs of oddball sized veneers that were perfect for this. I could make a pair of frames from a 4” wide by 27” long veneered strip.

In order, the intro photos are padauk/cherry, curly sycamore/walnut, gray dyed bird’s eye maple/maple, dyed BE maple/maple, mahogany/walnut, and cocobolo/cherry.

This strip gets cut down to the proper width (I ended up deciding 3/4” was good). I also figured on a design for the inside and outside accent strips. Most ended up being walnut, the rest are cherry and maple.

This shows the profile of the frame and how the edges overlap to hide any defects that inevitably happen when ripping veneered plywood.
These narrow wood strips were also beveled before assembly of the parts.

The shorter side is where the glass will rest. I clean up this area with a router table skim cut before assembly.

A key to accurate miters is equal length sides. I use a stop block on my miter gauge that references off the beveled end away from the sharp point, which can curl over or have “fuzz” making it a poor choice.

Gluing prep involved a smear of wax around the joint to make any squeeze out easy to clean up. I just did a rub fit to spread the glue then squared and aligned the adjacent sides on a square cornered board. No other clamping was needed.

After drying, I joined the two halves with the same method. Joints were tight! Same-wood splines were added afterwards to make the joints indestructible.

The back shows the backing veneer used for balance and the over-kill use of turn buttons. I made provisions for hanging in either portrait or landscape, the wire ends are crimped on electrical terminals.

Finish is oil on the walnut bordered frames, no oil on the rest and a coat of spray poly.

Thanks for looking!

8 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3287 posts in 3143 days

#1 posted 10-29-2019 06:32 PM

Excellent, the curly sycamore is my favorite.

-- Art

View splintergroup's profile


4059 posts in 2108 days

#2 posted 10-29-2019 06:39 PM

Thanks Art!

It’s the same wood I used on the crokinole board, I’ve got a lot of that stuff!

For me it’s a poor man’s curly maple 8^)

View EarlS's profile (online now)


4015 posts in 3234 days

#3 posted 10-29-2019 07:21 PM

It is a sign of a true craftsman to turn pieces of “scrap” into such nice picture frames.

I need to check with the local sawyer and see what he has for sycamore inventory. It has some really interesting patterns when it is rift or quarter sawn as well.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25346 posts in 3992 days

#4 posted 10-29-2019 10:01 PM

Excellent frames, Bruce !!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View ralbuck's profile


6600 posts in 3152 days

#5 posted 10-30-2019 05:41 PM

Great work.

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

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7931 posts in 1599 days

#6 posted 10-30-2019 09:10 PM

alll these frames are very nice GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

924 posts in 2178 days

#7 posted 11-01-2019 05:33 AM

The contrast of the different woods are what makes these work so well. That’s a nice miter for your table saw. Where did you get it?
The photos of the birds are well done and match the frames perfectly.
Great photography of the project.

-- James E McIntyre

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4220 days

#8 posted 11-03-2019 11:48 AM

I really like these frames. Very nicely done!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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