Frame Project

Posted by admin on December 2, 2010

My brother and I recently helped a friend with creating a frame for a special project.  There were a few requirements though..

1. The frame would need to be able to display a particular size art/contents from both sides
2. One side of the frame would need to be removable in order to slide in artwork pieces at a later time
3. On each corner the end treatment would have the look of an exposed bridle joint
4. We would try to assist as much as possible but not do the actual work for him.

The project seemed simple enough – – that was until I started working up the exact measurements and design in Sketchup.  I realized that my limited woodworking equipment may not be able to easily accomplish the cuts necessary to make each of the frame parts.   A mortising machine would have probably made the job much easier!

Here’s pictures showing each end of the frame piece.

This is the most difficult end of each of the 4 pieces to create. The initial pass with the dado blade along the bottom of each piece created the groove to hold the glass in place, however the depth of the notch at the end to make up the joint is what made it so difficult. No router bits I had or even my dado blade could go that deep. It was time to make sure the 3/8" chisel was sharp!

The other side, shown below, that is the tounge (or tenon) part of the joint which was much easier to make.  We set up the dangerous old radial arm saw to cut out the material to the appropriate depth with a stop block to help keep it from going to far and help provide some consistency.  Even though the stop block was pretty well clamped to the fence, it experienced a little movement which ended up producing a small crack in one or two of the pieces which we had to re-cut to make even.

Here's the other end of the piece that we cut with the radial arm saw and the dado blade. It sure was noisy. Plus, because our friend had not really used these power tools before, it was a good one to help create a healthy fear for the potential for injury if one isn't careful.

After all the pieces were cut, we used the 1/2″ forstner bit to make holes in each corner for the dowels which would hold the pieces together.  I sure love how nice and clean a hole those bits produce!  In the end I think he was pretty satisfied with the results and I hope it gives him the confidence to try and tackle some projects on his own.

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