Dylan's Frame

On Saturday, my son is displaying in an art show at the Central Park Zoo. One of his pieces is a large painting on canvas. In order to display the painting I was assigned building him a frame.

Can you see the frame yet?

I’ve enjoyed using the rough sawn lumber I picked up from +Kari Hultman last summer on my last few projects, so I began the frame build by heading to the attic and selecting a large slab. I’m not sure what type of wood it is. Once milled, it’s a nice blond color with a mild grain pattern.

To make the frame, I broke the slab into three (3) pieces with my jigsaw and then joined and planed them flat. Though I only planed them until all three (3) were flat and parallel, they ended up being exactly 1” thick when I was done. Once I had ripped them to width, I used my Incra Miter 1000 SE to cut the miters. I call it out so specifically not to brag about it, but to complain. I find the flip stop annoying to use and the face of the fence is not plum, resulting in the leading edge of the work lifting when it is held or pushed against the fence. I had problems with my miters, and I believe this is why. Finally, I cut the rabbet for the picture with two (2) passed on the table saw.

The dreaded 1000 SE (the burning is because the blade desperately needs to be cleaned).

After everything was cut, I set a domino in each miter and glued up the frame. This was the first time I’d used the framing blocks for my parallel clamps. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they worked.

My sloppy miters.

To address the gaps in the miters, I used wood putty mixed with rasp shavings. I decided that rasps would be the quickest way to make the pile of dust I needed. Unfortunately, I decided that a coarse rasp would make the dust quicker, so I used the coarse side of my Shinto rasp. The Shinto rasps leave shavings closer to what you’d get off a jointer than to saw dust. These big shavings didn’t mix very well and some didn’t even fit in the gaps at the miters. Even after puttying the miters aren’t perfect. I’ll probably use a wax stick to fill in the remaining small gaps once I’m done with the finish.

I followed +Marc Spagnuolo’s Simple Varnish Finish instructions and finished the frame with 5 coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. The final coat still needs to be buffed out, but it looks good.

The frame - mid finishing - during a dry run of fitting the picture.


Once the finish is done, all that’s left is to mount the hanging hardware and set the picture inside. Then it’ll be off to Central Park for the Art Show. My Son’s painting will certainly be the star, but I wouldn’t mind if the frame gets a little affection too.