Some ideas are so stupid you just have to try them out, right?
We recently acquired a whimsical yet edgy drawing from acclaimed New York artist Glenn Palmer-Smith. The theme is Russian, and although I have made many picture frames over the years, I felt this piece called for something special. When I thought about Russia, the stark concrete architecture from the Soviet era came to mind, so a frame with the same look seemed just right.
Step 1: Sketch of Cross-section
Illustration (1) is a cross section of the form I had to build. I decided on a frame width of 2 1/2" and a depth of 1 1/2". I also bought a pre-cut piece of glass which closely matched the size of the drawing -- 16" X 24". I bought a pre-cut piece of 1/2 " birch plywood to use as a backing for the form. I had a few odds and ends of 2 x 4s around from which all of the other form materials were made from (table saw needed).
Step 2: Interior Form Edge Installed
On Illustration (2) you see strips ripped to 1" x 1" and nailed in place on the back-board. The dimension of the outer edge of these strips is the inside dimension of the picture frame. Since the glass and artwork were 18" x 24" the outer dimensions of these pieces is 17" x 23" to allow for a 1/2" inset all around for mounting the glass and artwork from the back. I went to the trouble of mitering the corners so the form would be smooth all the way into the inside corners.
Step 3: Outer Form Edge and Form Inset
Illustration (3) shows the outer sides of the form installed. The distance between the outer and inner form walls is 2 1/2". Also shown is the first of four strips which were screwed in place -- these pieces provide the form inset for the 1/2" x 1/2" rear groove where the glass and artwork will go.