Art Frame

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Project by Walnut_Weasel posted 03-03-2011 03:40 AM 2118 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Art Frame
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I was inspired by the Greene and Greene frame from an article in the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking written by Robert Lang. The frame is constructed from quarter sawn curly white oak. It was finished by first fuming it with ammonia, then applying several 1lbs cut coats of orange shellac, and completed with a healthy coat of Renaissance paste wax. If I did it over, I would have used garnet shellac – it turned out a tad bit took orange for my taste. I fumed it using a household ammonia and for some reason the ray flecks also darkened up during the process. I am guessing there was some type of additive to the cleaning ammonia that caused this reaction.

Although the original by Robert had the typical Greene and Greene ebony plugs, I felt that due to the very busy grain pattern that they would be overkill and just lost in the background. With the exception of roughing in the outside shape on a band saw, it was completed entirely by hand tools. And let me tell you, getting a tear out free surface on curly white oak was a chore. Luckily the toothed blade on my Lie-Nielsen bevel up jack plane was up to the challenge! It let even a rookie like myself tackle this problem like a pro.

I found a place to hang it in our house. Now I have to wait for my father-in-law to complete the painting that it will display.

Thanks for looking.

-- James -

5 comments so far

View fritzz67's profile


98 posts in 4113 days

#1 posted 03-03-2011 03:58 AM

cool looking frame good job

-- Richie, PA - " from rough cut to fine rustic furniture "

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4285 days

#2 posted 03-03-2011 04:22 AM

Looks good! Really like the figure in the wood….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4805 posts in 4317 days

#3 posted 03-03-2011 05:16 AM

Wheeeewwww, that’s nice! Some of your household ammonia products have lemon in them; this may have been the cause for the difference. I fumed a picture frame awhile back and it took several days to turn color. Then again, it smelled a lot like lemon (and said it had lemon on the label). Lemon is acidic, and would counter the ammonia’s effect, which is caustic. This might be a cause. Regardless, this is a really nice specimen!

ps- I did some patination of a copper piece several years ago, and the fumes were pretty intense when I poured the ammonia. I think that that was a different strength and purity of ammonia- it almost knocked me over when I opened the lid to look at the article I was patinating. It came out nicely, though.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4047 days

#4 posted 03-03-2011 01:39 PM

Can you show me the back of this frame? I got some wood yesterday and I have a kreg tool now and I want to build a couple of frames. Thanks!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 4431 days

#5 posted 03-03-2011 04:25 PM

Here is a link showing the back of the frame prior to finishing. Nothing too fancy. I did chisel pockets for the hardware so that the back of the frame would sit flush to the wall. The rails are mortise and tenonned. I have several other pictures on my (not so detailed) blog.

-- James -

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