DIY Picture Frame
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DIY Picture Frame

October 4, 2019


I’m making two picture frames out of sapele. The pictures themselves are going to be laminated
between two sheets of acrylic and raised up and supported by dowels. I’m measuring the pieces to be 3″ larger than
the size of the picture. That’s to allow for a 1 1/2″ overhang all
around the outside of it. I’ve got 45 degree mitered corners
and I’m using a biscuit joiner to securely fasten the corners together. Now I’m just doing a test fit to make sure
that everything fits properly. After testing all the joints, I’m ready to
glue it up. I’ll use some corner squares along with the clamps just to help make sure that everything is square. I’ll clamp it up in both directions. I clamp it up lightly and then when I have
all the clamps in both directions, then I’ll tighten it up a little bit more. Now just a light sanding. I’m using 120-grit and then finished with
220. And now just a little bit of light hand sanding
so that the edges are not really sharp. Then I’m applying a coat of tung oil finish. Just one coat on this. Now I’m carefully measuring the positions
of the dowels. They’re going to be centered across the width
of the boards, so 3/4″ in. I’ve got one in each corner and one in the
middle of each piece. On the back side of the frame, I’m drilling
in a little bit of a recess to hold the nut. There are going to be screws that go through
the acrylic sheets, through the frame, and then into the back where a nut is attached. Now I’m drilling through with a small drill
bit just so that I can find the centers on the other side. Now I’ve flipped the frame over — I’m on
the front side — and I’m drilling in the recesses. And I’m using a 3/8″ bit to drill all the
way through for the screws. Now I’m cutting the dowels. These are roughly 2″ long. I’m using a band saw just because I had to
cut so many of these. I’m making two frames. Each frame has eight pieces, so a total of
16 2″ dowels. These are 5/8″ in diameter. Now what I want to do is drill a 3/8″ hole
down the center of each dowel. I’ve taped the bottom because, in my experience,
when you get to the bottom and you’re drilling through it, it will split open. So the tape helps to hold it securely. I’ve hand turned with the drill bit just to
help mark the center and to keep the drill bit from drifting once it starts. It’s pretty easy to cut the acrylic sheets
on a table saw. You just need to wear proper eye protection
because little fragments of the acrylic will fly up into the air. I’m cutting this to be exactly the same dimensions
as the picture frame. I’m using a cross cut sled to cut it in the
other direction. Now I’ve got the acrylic sheets taped into
place so they don’t move around while I’m drilling the holes. You need to do this carefully so that you
don’t melt the acrylic and also so you don’t apply too much pressure and cause it to crack. Now it’s ready for a test fit. I’m inserting all the dowels. I’m inserting the screws just to make sure
everything lines up. Then I’ll have to remove the screws to put
the print in place and put the top sheet of acrylic in place. I put a small amount of adhesive spray on
the back of the print so that it won’t slide out once the frame is mounted vertically on
the wall. I’m putting the top sheet of acrylic on and
screwing it in place. The only thing remaining to be done is to
create some caps for the screw heads. I’m cutting dowel pieces that are about 1/2″
long. The dowels are 5/8″ in diameter, so I’m using a 1/2″ Forstner bit to drill recesses to fit the screw heads inside. Now I’m just smoothing out the tops and bottoms
of the caps. Then I will round over the top edge just using
the sander. It’s pretty easy with a glue gun to attach
the caps. Just put a little bit of glue into the top
and then it will fasten to the screw head. So, I’ve got to ask…. Would You Make It? [theme music playing]

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  1. Very Nice Work both on the Frames and the Prints, and they look great on the wall. Well Done, Barry (from England)

  2. Really interesting and well done. I might have been inclined however to put a coat of oil/stain on the dowels – unless of course you did so before cutting them up!

  3. Great idea…but I think it would look a little better it the support dowels elevating the photo were not as tall/long. The more subtle, the better, I think. Thanks for putting it out there.

  4. Mike where did you find the adapter to hook your sander up to the shop vac? I have a 16 gallon and cant find anything to hook into smaller power tools with sawdust ports.

  5. I would not 'want' that type of frame for 'presenting' my work, however, compliments to you as you did a fabulous job with this video!!  Your work is to perfection!  Very nice!!
    One concern I would have be that the little 1/2" dowel used to 'top-off' the long dowel on top of the plexiglass would not be positioned 'perfectly', and distract from the 'work'!! My comments have little to do with your very well done video….compliments to you!!

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