In this instructable I will show how to make a nice solid wood frame on a small budget. I know that not everyone has electric tools but for this project simple hand tools could be used or you can just make the frame square and simple without the fancy mouldings.
With this frame you will not need to make any complex joints and the final product will last many years on the wall no problem.
This frame could be made from any type of wood hard or soft, it can be painted, stained or left natural each to his taste. In my opinion if you have a big wall it's nice to make different sized frames and just hang them choatic, it looks great.
Safety : When using electric tools use ears and eye protection.
Keep body parts away from sharp blades. WORK SAFE!
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Step 1: Choosing Frame Size and Glass
You can use any size of timber for your frames its just a matter of taste. I chose 2x2 soft wood planed timber for my frames. I wanted to create nice chunky frames of different sizes to cover a big wall. Glass can be bought or you can use glass from old frames that we all have stashed in some dark corner of the house. I used cheap diploma frame glass and some small thick glass from old halogen light. If you want to cut the glass you can do it with a glass cutte, they are not expensive. I used a tile cutter and it did a great job. Just be very careful not to cut yourself and to use safety gloves.
In my opinion it is better to adjust the frame to the glass and not the other way.
Step 2: 2 Ways to Cut 45 Degree Angles
One cutting option is the manual way, using 45deg mitre box with a tenon saw, the other and quicker option is using an electric mitre saw and make sure the blade is set well straight and in correct 45ddeg before cutting. Always test first on scrap timber.
Step 3: Deciding What Moulding Bit to Use for the Frame Design
There are many ways to achieve decorative moulding for the frame. I used a straight bit, a cove bit, round corner bit and a 45deg bit. After setting the bit to the right height and right distance from the table fence I always practice the first cut on a piece of scrap timber to check that the setting and RPM is giving me the nice finish I want. When using a straight bit I always do the cuts in a few shallow passes. NEVER force the timber on the bit in one go, that might burn the bit and the timber finishing will be very poor.
Another option is first to cut all the frame parts and then run them on the router table or take the full lentgh of timber you plan to use and do all the mouldings before cutting it into the frame size, whatever way is easier will do.
In these 2 short videos I am showing you how to work with the frame and the electric router.
The first clip I am showing how to make the rebate and showing the idea of the glass and back support fitting.
In the seconed clip I am making the moulding inside the frame with a cove bit and showing how the parts will fit when frame is assembled.
Step 4: Glue, Clamp, Sand and Stain
After the frame parts are cut to size make dry assembly to check the glass fits correctly.
After having the frame parts ready to be glued use Evo-stik wood Adhesive on all corners, rub the glue evenly no need to use to much glue, clean excess glue witha damp cloth. I used a 90deg steel angles that I welded from metal plates, this is perfect for frames all that is needed is to strap the frame with a ratchet strap and tighten it. Make sure and this is VERY IMPORTANT to keep the frame clamped down to a FLAT surface That will prevent a twist that might ruin all your work.
After the glue is dry open the clamps and give the frame a light sanding working up the grit level.
Optional addition is to drill holes in each corner of the frame, use a screw and close with same hole size wood plug just for additional strength to the frame.
After the frame is sanded clean it well and dust off the frame and use dye or paint or just leave it natural. I used old pine effect dye and the finished frame was awesome.
Step 5: Hole for Hanging the Frame.
The purpose of the washer is just to stop the frame from falling which is unlikely but won't do any harm. Alternative option is just to drill a hole in the center of the top frame.
I used a 16mm bit for shalow hole to fit the washer and 9mm for inner hole. Wood glue will hold the washer in place.
Last thing: cut a 2mm back support for the glass and close with small pins or a few drips of silicon under each corner of the glass.
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