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Anniversary Gift - Framing

posted Feb 3, 2012, 10:48 AM by Michael Dekker   [ updated Mar 16, 2012, 6:11 AM ]
After finishing the sanding of the three hearts on the 5th anniversary present I intend to give to my wife, I was ready to layout the hearts on a mounting board and frame them.

Didn't catch my earlier posts on this anniversary present? Click on the 5th anniversary tag to the right to see all the posts in this series.

Measuring the proposed layout for a frame
I laid out the hearts in a pattern that I thought was pleasing (representing myself, my wife, and our daughter) on the corner of my router table and "framed" it using a block plane and a measuring tape. I then noted the dimensions of the inside of the frame, then added 1/2" to both width and height to get the size of the mounting board I would need. I had intended to use something interesting as the backer board, something lighter than the hearts to add contrast, but my stock of 1/8" hardwood plywood seems to be missing... I guess I used it all making the bathroom cabinets! I may end up using some spalted birch I have lying around, but I'll need to send it through the bandsaw to make the most of the wood I have. But for now, I set aside the thoughts of the backer board and started to plan for the frame itself.

Ready to cut the curly makore for the frame
I have some beautiful curly makore which is truly a wonder to see. Its curls are really tight and consistent. I wanted a wide frame to show off the curl and give depth to the "artwork", so I calculated to give me the least waste and proceeded to cut the blanks out. If you plan on doing something like this, don't forget that you added approximately 1/2" to the size of the backer board which will actually be inside or behind the frame!

I didn't take any pictures of me cutting out the rails and stiles of the frame, however I did make one interesting feature. I cut the bottom rail slightly larger than the side stiles, and I cut the top rail even larger than the bottom. I then went to the bandsaw and cut out a curve along the top of the frame. The curve has a radius of approximately 30", so while the centre of the rail is full-height, the two ends are only 2/3 of its original height.

The next steps will be to rout the edges to give it a softer profile instead of a hard edge, and to rout a lip on the underside to match the thickness of the mounting board for the hearts. Before I assemble the frame, I will do some basic sanding/planing to ensure the wood is smooth, but that is for another post. In fact, I'll get to show you an interesting tool that you can use to dress the surface of highly figured woods like this curly makore, with little to no risk of damaging the wood with tearouts!