Challenging picture frame

  • Advertise with us
Project by jcwalleye posted 04-20-2011 04:52 AM 2151 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When asked to build a picture frame for a friend at work, I knew it was going to be a challenging project. And it was, only not where expected. The picture is 6” x 87” and is a panorama of the Bridger Mountains which forms the north end of the valley I live in. They are only a few miles from town and very prominent.

I expected the hardest part to be making the frame strong enough to support its own weight but light enough to be hung on the wall. We chose alder because it was cheap, there was a good selection, it seemed fairly lightweight, and I wanted to work with alder to see if it would make good bench material. I didn’t care for the alder too much though. Some people working with it have allergic reactions and I could taste and feel something unpleasant about it. Nothing of anything serious though.

Because of the stresses when moving the frame, the joints needed to be strong and so used a bridle joint. And for more strength the corners were doweled. I made a mockup of some different variations to try some techniques and let Jan pick her favorite. I was glad she didn’t choose the mitered bridle, given the problems getting a tight joint on the test piece. I probably influenced that decision a bit. Doweled from the back so they wouldn’t show.

Machined the material down to 2” x 2”, cut the rabbets for the picture and beveled the outside. That’s when I noticed one of the long pieces had a ¼” wow, right in the middle. I couldn’t think of any way to take it out, so decided to hide it. Knowing the picture was going to be hung, I beveled the rear edges, figuring if the frame wasn’t flush to the wall the warp might not be noticed. Someone suggested mounting it with a couple z-clips toward the center and those worked great and pulled the wow right in. Even looking for it, you can’t see any warping.

The picture is held to the frame by a small piece of beading and the finish is a pickling white stain covered with 3 coats of thinned oil polyurethane. All in all, another challenging and fun project.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

3 comments so far

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 4084 days

#1 posted 04-20-2011 05:56 AM

Neat project…what’s a wow?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View mtnwild's profile


4471 posts in 4775 days

#2 posted 04-20-2011 08:27 PM

Nice job on the frame. Good solutions. Alder should work well if you got good straight grain wood. Nice and hard and should hold straight.

Looks like taking a picture of that long thing wasn’t too easy either…...........

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View MontanaBob's profile


874 posts in 3932 days

#3 posted 04-23-2011 03:56 AM

That is a nice frame, for a real nice picture…..I really like the Alder, it’s a great wood to work with…Just be sure to use a mask of some type….the dust can cause allergic reaction, as I’ve found out..

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics