Introduction: How to Make an MDF Frame for Home Depot Tiles With a Laser
This Instructable shows how to make a fast and cheap frame to display 3 3"x6" ceramic tiles using 1/4" MDF. The design was created to get the most frames out of a sheet of 18"x24" MDF. It consists of a backer board of the MDF cut to be the entire size of the frame and then a front "face" frame that is glued to the backer board. The front face frame provides the recess that the tiles sit and be glued into. The front face consists of two vertical runners that are the entire height of the frame with four horizontal runners that interlock into the vertical ones. All of the front pieces were made to interlock so that assembly and glue up would be easier. Fist you will need to decide on the overall dimensions of your frame and lay them out in a CAD program like Corel Draw, Illustrator or Auto Cad. The interlocking parts are just rectangular puzzle pieces with a slight taper on them to lock them into place. Once you have all the parts you need designed you can set up a cut file to send to the laser with all of the parts nested to get the most parts out of your MDF sheet.
Step 1: Laser Cut Out Your Parts!
Now you can laser cut out your all of your parts. Test fit everything and adjust your file accordingly.
Step 2: Glue!
Glue the two vertical runners to your backer board, using the edges of the backer board for alignment. Once that glue has dried, glue in the four horizontal runners. You can use clamps to add pressure while the glue dries.
Step 4: Sand and Paint...
Sand any rough edges and then paint frame using spray paint. Once the paint has dried you can glue the tiles in place.