So, I headed out to the shop today to work on a few small projects and I figured that I would honour the request for a picture frame tutorial. So, without further delay, here we go.
There are several things to consider when building a picture frame. First of all, there is the size of the picture. Secondly there is they type of backer that you will be using. Thirdly, is the thickness of glass or plexi that will be used. Fourthly, you will want to know what material you are using and lastly, you will want to decide whether the picture will be held in with brads, photo turns or another method.
The requested size of this frame tutorial was a 5"X7", so that was already decided for me. Next, I decided that I was going to make a walnut frame, with a hardboard backer, 1/16" plexi and I wanted to hold the photo in with small brads when everything was said and done.
With that out of the way, let's get started.
It was a little cold out in the shop today with the thermometer only reading 1 degree. That's 33.8 for my American friends. So I lit the wood stove, threw on my toque and got to work.
Because I decided that I was going to use hardboard as my backer, the first step is to cut the backer board to the same dimensions as the picture that will be in the frame.
The backer board is then checked to ensure that it is the correct dimensions and that the four corners are square. This is important because the backer board is what the frame will be built around and it is the reference point for all measurements from here on in.
I had an off cut of walnut sitting up in the rack and decided that I would use that for my frame. I'm not even sure what the thickness is, but I think that it was around 3/4".
It's time to start squaring things up. There are a lot of factors that can affect the miters in your frame. You want to be sure that you are checking your table saw blade for square before cutting and that you are doing test cuts with your miter gauge to make sure that your final cut on your stock will be 45 degrees. Making perfect 45 degree cuts with your miter gauge is useless if you blade is not square to the table. You will create nothing but gaps and frustration. Take the time to check your equipment. If you are in a hurry, then this tutorial is not for you and maybe you should hit Walmart and give them your money for a piece of junk frame that you will never be happy with. A home made frame might take a lot longer, but the end result will be something that you will be proud of every time that you look at it. With that rant being over, I now head over to the jointer and check that my fence is square to the bed of the jointer.