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A friend of mine asked when she was going to get hand crafted piece from me. After thinking about it for awhile I thought I have this prototype build of the TurnMe kit I developed for my small business, It's just sitting around so I'll give it to her. Well I couldn't just give it to her without some sort of framing. I've never built a picture frame before so I went to my local Woodcraft store and picked up a book explaining how to make picture frames.

After picking the design for the frame I wanted to build my next step was to choose the materials for the frame. I decided to use Yellow Heart as the main portion of my frame with Bubinga and Purple Heart trim. I chose the Bubinga and PH because they were used in the TurnMe Prototype. I made my initial cuts (picture below) and then kind of laid them out to see what it would look like. The 3rd picture above validated the choice of colors… at least it did so in in my mind. :)

The next step in the manufacturing process was to cut the grove for the outer trim piece. I used the router table and used a 1/4" flat cut bit. Prior to making the cuts I drew the profile of the frame on one end of the boards, which is shown later on. Anyway this picture shows what the frame looked like after the first router pass. You can see the router bit in the lower right hand corner of the picture.

The next step was to cut the ogre edge on the frame. Because the bit I have for this has 2" wings I decided to make the cuts in several passes to avoid chipout. The final pass was a slight adjustment so this pass was very smooth. In the picture below you can see the first pass along with the profile I drew on the edge of the frame to remind me what cuts I had still to make.

This picture shows what the frame boards looked like after making Ogre cuts.

After routing the Ogre design on the boards I cut the grove for the inner trim piece. I used a 1/8" flush cut bit for these routes. Finally I had to make an undercut where the TurnMe inlay would be attached to the picture frame.

Prior to doing the glue-up I did a little final sanding of the Ogre cuts. I rounded over and sanded the trim pieces. I also applied a light coating of Tung Oil to the Yellow Heart to make any excess glue clean up easier. The more sanding and finishing you can do prior to assembly the better off you are… IMHO of course!!!

After completing the pre-finishing it was time to glue the accent pieces into the frame. I poured a little glue into a small cap and used a small paint brush to spread the glue in the groves. I used a little extra time and a whole lot of caution because it would have been a drag to have to clean up a bunch of excess glue after assembling the trim pieces to the frame. This picture shows the glue up process for the accent pieces.

The 4th picture in the project shows what the frame assemblies looked like. After the frames were assembled I cut a 45 degree corner on each end of the frames. I made the right hand side of the frame cut first because that is the most dangerous cut to make on a chop saw. I'm right handed so it's difficult for me to operate the saw with my left hand while holding the work piece with my right. I prefer to make the more exacting cuts holding the piece with my left hand and operating the saw with my right. Your choice though as they are your fingers and not mine!!!

Another important aspect of making these cuts is to protect the frame from chipout. To protect my work piece I took some scrap 1/4" plywood and used double sided tape to hold them in place. This picture shows the cuts with the backing scrap wood in place. Notice the backing material is both behind the work piece and below it!!!

After the cuts were made it was a pretty simple assembly using a picture frame clamp, a little final sanding, and finishing. I'm a big fan of Tung Oil so I put a hand rubbed finish on this piece.

Thanks for reading and if you've never built a picture frame before I hope a few of these tips come in handy!!! :)



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excellent photo log of how you built the frame. I like the contrast of the yellow and purple. Keep sharing.