Introduction: Puzzle Piece Picture Frame

About: Hi my name is David, I like to make things out of Wood, also like to take things apart and fixed them.

This week I made a Puzzle shaped picture frame, and I will try and show you how I made this. I have included the video from my Youtube channel.

What you will need:

CNC Router I used the X-Carve CNC

Table router or hand held router

Cad/Cam program I used Vectric Aspire

1/4" Endmill bit

90* V-Bit

1/8" Roundover Bit for Table router

Cabinet grade plywood ( I used Pine from Home Depot)

Minwax Red Oak stain

Minwax Prestain wood conditioner

Rusto-luem Clear Gloss

paint brushes

Black craft paint

rags or paper towels

Push Points

Putty Knife

(3) 5" x 7" picture frames from a dollar store

Tape Measure

Sawtooth hangers


Saw or Knife

Step 1: Design

I designed the project in Vectric Aspire, I started out by opening Aspire and setting job dimensions, I had some Cabinet grade plywood that was 29" long and 15" wide by .720 thick. I then search the internet for a image, found one close, imported it in to Aspire and done a trace on it. Worked with the vectors until I was satisfied with the results. I flipped the image , because we are going to be working on back side for picture pockets.

Then I drew a rectangle with dimensions of 7.1" x 5.1",which is slightly larger than the glass from the dollar store picture frames. Now we need to add some fillets to the corners, because a round cutter will not cut square corners. So you click onto the create fillet tool, check the box for dog-bone fillets and put a tool radius of .5 in the box. Now click on each corner of the rectangle, and it will add fillets to them.

Now we need to add the inside cutout for the picture, I went back to the draw rectangle tool, made the dimensions 6.5" x 4.5" with a radius corner of .25 inch, which is the width of the cutter being used. Then made another one about 1/8" smaller all around.

Step 2: Add Toolpaths

Now we need to add the toolpaths, first I added the pocket toolpath, I selected the outer and inner lines for the picture pockets, used a 1/4" Endmill with a depth of .25 inch. Next I selected the other line and choose the profile toolpath, using the same 1/4" Endmill, with a depth of .725 inch, and selected the inside left, but since this is going to be cuttings all the thru, I had to add tabs, added 2 tabs on each side of the cutouts. Then I selected the outer shaped of the puzzle, used the same profile toolpath, with the 1/4" Endmill and done the outside right cut, using the same depth of .725, and added tabs. For the last cut, I selected the words and choose the V-Carve toolpath, using a 90* V-Bit.

Note for the 90* V-Bit carving, we will flip the piece over before carving.

Step 3: Preview Toolpaths

Next we will preview all the toolpaths , this will give us a preview, check carefully, and adjust according.

Step 4: Carve

Now install the wood into the CNC and carve, I first use the 1/4" Endmill, where we pocketed the picture pockets and then cutout the pieces. Once all the cuts have been made, I flip the piece over and done the V-Carve on the words onto the front side with a 90* V-Bit.

Step 5: Take Apart

Before sawing the tabs off, measure on the back side for your hanging hardware, then use a saw or knife to cut the tabs out.

Step 6: Route Edges

Install a 1/8" radius round over bit into a table router, adjust it to round over the edges. Route the edges of the puzzle piece as shown in the pictures.

Step 7: Sand

Now we have to do some sanding, I used 220 grit with the orbital sander, and also had to do some hand sanding.

Step 8: Prestain

Take a Tack cloth over the piece, after blowing off, to get any fine dust. I then used Minwax Prestain wood conditioner.

Step 9: Stain

After letting the Prestain wood conditioner set for about 15 minutes, I then applied Minwax Red Oak stain, this is what I choose, but you could use other stains.

Let the stain set for about 15 minutes then wipe off excess and let dry over night.

Step 10: Apply Clear

After letting the stain dry over night, apply a couple light coats of Clear.

Step 11: Paint Lettering

After letting the Clear dry over night, I painted the lettering with Black Craft paint.

Step 12: Sand Again

After painting with the Craft paint, let this dry a couple days, then lightly sand over the entire piece. Then blow off and take the Tack cloth back over the piece, before continuing.

Step 13: Clear Coat

Now we are spraying the last coats of Clear, spray as many coats that you want, but be sure and follow directions on can.

Step 14: Install Hardware

Here is where we take apart the cheap dollar store picture frames. All we are going to use is the Glass and Backer board. I use some Push points to hold them in place, using the putty knife to install the push points.

Also at this time install the hanging hardware, I used sawtooth hangers.

Step 15: Finish

Now is time to enjoy your Puzzle piece picture frame, I just left the stock pictures for now, but you can install your favorite 5 x 7 pictures here. Thanks for checking out my Instructable.

Note you can change this up, using 4 x 6 pictures or even 8 x 10 pictures.