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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing the prices at a frame shop, I'm making a float frame for the customer of one of my pictures.

It's going to be spray painted satin black. Is there a reason not to use the maple I already have? The cost of the wood doesn't matter for such a small amount.

This is probably something I'll be doing a fair amount, so I'd like to streamline the process as much as possible.

TIA
 

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The prices at the frame shop include the labor to put your stuff in it, overhead, etc. You may need a miter saw, router, frame clamps, glue, spray paint. You can probably buy ready-made satin black frames much cheaper if you can use a standard size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Phil, at this point I'm a pretty experienced woodworker and I have all the machines and tools. This is an extremely simple project compared to the very complicated furniture I'm used to making, especially with pocket hole joints (I'm not proud :) ).

And I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like I begrudge the frame shop charging what they need to, I'm just reeling at the amount of money!

Okay, I'll be crass: $400 for a very simple black wood float frame with no glass, no exotic wood, and it's only about 18" x 24". Subtract $40 for their mounting the picture on Gatorboard (which is high-quality foam-core backing board), but this will take me a couple of hours - and the next one less, because I'll have my router table all set up.

My question could also have been put in the Finishing section of this site. The last project I spray-painted was made out of red oak, and it's not first kind of wood I'd choose for painting (although I actually have some I could use for this if I wanted to).
 

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Maple is a good paint grade wood. Though, of the woods you could choose from, it is probably on the more expensive side.
Commonly, lower grades of maple with mineral streaks or darker grain are used for painted projects.
Other common paint grade woods are Birch and Poplar.
Any closed grain hardwood would likely suffice.

For best results use a primer or sanding sealer first coat underneath your final coat. This will give better results.
 

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I'm working on some frames that pretty closely match your description of what you are trying to build. My pictures are prints on metal substrate, but other than that the floating frame look is what I'm going for, and they will be black. I'm using poplar because it is more stable than some other hardwoods and I have a bunch left over from some other projects. I like the way the poplar machines and how well it takes paint plus it is easier on my cutting edges than other hardwoods.
 

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If you have maple use it. If you are going to make more than you might want to switch to a less expensive wood like poplar or alder. Before painting I would first seal the wood with a coat or two of de-waxed shellac like Zinssers seal coat. It dries fast and with a light sanding after is drys (about 30+ minutes) to take care of any raised wood fibers or dust in the finish. Then spray with the paint of choice.
 

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After seeing the prices at a frame shop, I'm making a float frame for the customer of one of my pictures.

It's going to be spray painted satin black. Is there a reason not to use the maple I already have? The cost of the wood doesn't matter for such a small amount.

This is probably something I'll be doing a fair amount, so I'd like to streamline the process as much as possible.

TIA
If you're looking for a really cool black finish for picture frames check out Roasted Oak! Here's a link to my blog about it and the process I use -- sorry, no pocket joinery! Roasted Oak Floater Frame
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone.

Yeah, I was thinking about poplar for the next one, but since I have the maple, why not just use it - based on what people have written here about it taking the paint. What I don't want is the grain showing through the way it does with red oak.

And of course it needs a primer, although the spray paint I've used in the past (will remember which one it was at the hardware store, I think Krylon rather than Rustoleium, but could be the other way around) has it built in and doesn't need it.

Maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you're looking for a really cool black finish for picture frames check out Roasted Oak! Here's a link to my blog about it and the process I use -- sorry, no pocket joinery! Roasted Oak Floater Frame
Very nice. Not the right look for this particular picture, but I like your design.

I'm all for cool joints when they look good (I use dovetails in places they show, example below), but in this application a pocket hole joint underneath the frame is going to work as well as anything else and save time. No clamps, no fuss, easy life.
Rectangle Wood Natural material Floor Flooring
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you have maple use it. If you are going to make more than you might want to switch to a less expensive wood like poplar or alder. Before painting I would first seal the wood with a coat or two of de-waxed shellac like Zinssers seal coat. It dries fast and with a light sanding after is drys (about 30+ minutes) to take care of any raised wood fibers or dust in the finish. Then spray with the paint of choice.
Ah, I missed the part about sealing it with shellac. Good idea. Thanks.
 

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If it’s going to be (spray) painted I would use MDF. Use a good filler/base coat and spray paint for a perfect finish.
But it depends on form and shape, amd of course if you are looking for stsined wood that’s s different game.
 

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After seeing the prices at a frame shop, I'm making a float frame for the customer of one of my pictures.

It's going to be spray painted satin black. Is there a reason not to use the maple I already have? The cost of the wood doesn't matter for such a small amount.

This is probably something I'll be doing a fair amount, so I'd like to streamline the process as much as possible.

TIA
Maple is fine..
 

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I'm all for cool joints when they look good (I use dovetails in places they show, example below), but in this application a pocket hole joint underneath the frame is going to work as well as anything else and save time. No clamps, no fuss, easy life. View attachment 3869290
Thats some nice dowtails!
Hand or machine made?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thats some nice dowtails!
Hand or machine made?
Missed this.

Thanks. I just use a jig.

This one is pretty much foolproof, and it requires no bit changes for half-blind dovetails.


I have two others that I don't use, including an old but very fancy Leigh model that produced swearing from me and no dovetails. :)
 

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I know that I'm way late on this thread, but I would like to see what the OP went with.

I have found that red oak looks great painted black. I REALLY do not like red oak. I get horrible 80's flashbacks of red oak and plastic brass-looking trim. But if you take just some rattle can satin black to it and it looks great!

Here is a picture of a clock cabinet that my parents got back in the 80's in red oak. The clock didn't work anymore and we didn't want to pay to get it fixed. So we turned it into a display cabinet or shadowbox type of thing.

I like that with red oak's grain structure and open pores, you can still see that it is real wood, but that ugly red oak look is completely gone.

Plant Window Building Wood Lamp
 
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