Spalted Sycamore Picture Frame

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Project by HerbC posted 02-01-2011 06:32 PM 3555 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of our daughters took this photo of four of our grandchildren. It is a wonderful photo and she had it printed on stretcher mounted canvas and presented it to us for Christmas a couple of years ago. I’d been putting off hanging it because it deserved a nice frame. I finally got around to making one a few months ago.

The frame is made from spalted sycamore. I had several logs milled by a sawyer and this is the first project I made from the lumber. Photo 2 shows the four pieces that were milled from 2” thick lumber to make the frame pieces. Photo 3 shows the profile I created using a router and tablesaw. Photo 4 shows the glueup of one corner using a rough jig I made. Photo 5 shows cutting a slot for corner spline using tablesaw, dado blade and another rough jig I made. Photo 6 shows a closeup of an unfinished corner to give a better view of the spalting.

I used four coats of dewaxed shellac for the finish.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

10 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5716 days

#1 posted 02-01-2011 06:50 PM

Nice looking frame and family!

I had some spalted sycamore a while back. It was gorgeous wood and easy to work with..

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4572 days

#2 posted 02-01-2011 08:06 PM

Great looking picture frame. Spaulted Sycamore is an under appreciated wood. It can be beautiful like this picture frame demonstrates.

b.t.w. Those are great looking grandchildren.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View HerbC's profile


1823 posts in 4357 days

#3 posted 02-01-2011 08:36 PM

Charlie & Rich,

Thanks for the kind comments. Yes, the grandchildren are great and my daughter took a excellent photo of them…

I have over 1000 BF of the sycamore. about half of it is 5/4 and the rest is 8/4. There’s varying degrees of spalting. Unfortunately there’s also moderate amount of damage from a large boring beetle larve that got into the logs and I’ll wind up with a lot of scrap because of that.

Thanks again for the comments.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View roninkokomo's profile


14 posts in 4170 days

#4 posted 02-01-2011 08:58 PM

Am looking at one right now in my office, framing the young Jesus using a hand plane in the shop.

I love spalted sycamore and find it more interesting than spalted maple. Soon I’ll figure out how to upload a photo


-- roninkokomo

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5898 days

#5 posted 02-02-2011 12:19 AM

Herb: A great looking frame. Some very cool looking wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View RWJones's profile


127 posts in 4374 days

#6 posted 02-02-2011 05:00 AM

Hey Herb, nice job on the frame and some good looking grand young’uns too. That must be some of that wood Olen cut for you? Spalted wood of any kind always adds so much to a project.

View HerbC's profile


1823 posts in 4357 days

#7 posted 02-02-2011 06:02 PM


Yes, that’s a little bit of the sycamore he cut. I’m getting ready to start working on a project using some of the cypress. I hope I’ll have enough:

Cypress stacked and stickered for drying.

Sycamore stacked and stickered for drying.

Of course I’ll still have to come up with something to do with the sycamore…

Ya’ll be Careful!

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4786 days

#8 posted 02-02-2011 08:57 PM

wow, that wood has a very nice grain pattern to it. I can only wish i had as much wood as you do in the pics above. The picture frame looks great very nice work.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View HerbC's profile


1823 posts in 4357 days

#9 posted 02-02-2011 09:10 PM


Thanks, I can’t take credit for the beauty of the wood, that belongs to the Creator…

On the other hand, I’m glad I don’t have as much snow as you currently have up there in Mass…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 3821 days

#10 posted 02-04-2013 10:26 PM

Nice work on the frame. The spalted Sycamore is beautiful!

-- Michael and Matthew

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