When Kaly told me she needed a picture frame for her desk at work I decided to design a custom profile rather than buy frame moulding and assemble it. I found a nice piece of maple with some pretty grain and went to work.
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Step 1: Cut, Rip, Shape
After you've found the right piece of wood it's time to cross-cut to length, adding a few extra inches for wiggle room. Then rip both the width and thickness to size the rough dimensions. Use a router, table saw and belt sander to create the profile of the moulding for the frame. I went with a stepped roundover on the outside edge and a low angle chamfer on the inside. This is also the time to cut a rabbet on the back side inside edge to take the photo, glass, and backing.
Step 2: Glue-up
Corner clamps are very useful tools for making picture frames. After the moulding was shaped to the desired profile I cut the four sides to length, making sure to angle the mitres in the proper direction. I spread glue on the mating surfaces and clamped up. This was a two step process due to the limiting size of the clamps. After glue up I noticed my corners weren't perfectly tight, so I used the old woodworker's trick of mixing sawdust from cutting the workpiece with wood glue to make a wood filler that matches color perfectly.
Step 3: Wood Finish
I prefer to use home-made finishes to store bought finishes. This frame was finished with a single coat of thinned boiled linseed oil plus two coats of a mixture of boiled linseed oil and finishing paste wax. The top coat was applied with #0000 steel wool to give a nice satin sheen.
Step 4: Assembly
After the wood has been finished, attach the swivel clips to the back. You're then ready to put in your glass, photo, and back stand.
I hope you found this instructable helpful. Please comment below if you tried making this, and be sure to post photos!