Thursday, July 14, 2011

Small Oak Frames

I needed some small 6x6 and 5x7 frames for smaller works and decided to make some. To make these frames all that's needed is a table saw, a palm sander, a large rubber band and some wood glue. I have a mitre saw, or "chop saw", as they are known so I used that to speed up cutting chores.

I purchased red oak strips from Home Depot that measured 1/2" X 2 1/2".
I  ripped that down the middle to make two strips of 1/2" x 1 1/4. I then cut this into an "L" shape on the table saw. All cuts are done at the same time to keep the wood thicknesses identical which is what you want later when glueing the wood pieces together.
At this point you just cut your lengths of the sides of the frames by cutting your mitre cuts at 45 degree angles. To make it easy, cut the end of one strip of wood at a 45 degree angle. Use one of your paintings to measure out where to make the next cut.
After cutting you just glue the pieces together. I used a large rubber band to hold the frame together until the glue dried enough to hold which was about 30 minutes. I let them sit overnight to let the glue dry completely.
The next day I sanded the pieces smooth. Put a slight radius on the edges, which means to just lightly round the edges or the frame and corners
After that I then applied Howards Feed-N-Wax which contains bees wax and orange oil. This is gives the wood a nice luster finish. After that you give yourself a headache trying to decide which painting to frame! If you have a table saw and a bit of time that's really all you'd need to make these frames. You can sand with sandpaper if you didn't have a palm sander. It is an affordable alternative to buying frames. I enjoy wood working, gives me time to think and by the end of a few hours of work I have something in my hands that will outlast me and it looks good. I can say I made it and saved some money too. It might sound like a lot of work but after you do this once you will realise how easy it is to make these.


Marian Fortunati said...

Wow... Those look really nice, Ron!!!

Ron Guthrie said...

Thanks Marian...
I bought 3 pieces of wood and ended up with 8 6x6 and 6 5x7 frames. I need to make some more but have to stop and do some much waited on painting. There is never enough time to get everything done.

Mick Carney said...

Great post and great advice. Hand made frames give an added dimension of intimacy with the work of the artist. I keep putting of trying it but you have inspired me to have a go.

Anonymous said...

Ron, these look great…is there no end to your talents (lol)…… They certainly have a different appeal to your darker frames. Wonder what the y would be like if you stained them really dark?

Jim Serrett said...

Funny thing is I was just commenting yesterday about how artists use to make their own frames and that is one reason when appraising art they ask is it the original frame. These frames will only add value and interest to your work.
Great post.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Mick....They are just a lot of fun to make and get away from painting for a while. You get to concentrate on the finished part of art.

Hi Maggie....I was trying to save money by building these and did so that's actually being cheap! hahaha. I guess being cheap has lead me to finding another talent, hahaha. I'm not really a great frame maker but these look good enough to work out. I'll try some dark ones in the next batch...good suggestion Maggie.

Hi Jim....I'm noticed people asking about original frames with older paintings I've seen in I know why. These little frames are pretty basic but homemade by the struggling artist indeed. Thanks Jim!

Tracie Godri said...

you only use wood glue, no nails? I started making floating frames recently with a nail gun but it's really difficult to get them square and I like the look of your frames better than a floating frame. I just don't know how well they hold up with only glue especially if I am making them larger.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Tracie,
If you make larger frames I'd use nails ro brads. I have a brad gun and shoot them in on the larger frames. These little 6x6 and 5x7's don't weight very much so there isn't much stress to the wood.

Also, on larger frames you can shoot the nails or brads from the top and the bottom so you can't really see them. I'm not painting the frames, just rubbing them with wax so you'd see the nail holes on these little guys.

Since they are smaller and I didn't want to fill and sand nail holes with wood filler I just used a good wood glue.