In the last blog the main part of the frame was constructed along with the base for the pilasters. The next step is to apply the embossed molding along the bottom and build the roof. Applying the molding at the bottom seems pretty straight forward but it turned out not to be that way! Since those inside returns are about an inch long my thought was to use the miter box and Japanese saw I use for my kumiko work. That’s a very small piece to hold and with the profile hard to keep secure. Same negative results with my Jorgensen miter box. I have a guillotine trimmer but it was too short to hold it and as the blade did its trimming the piece moved. So decided to use the tablesaw at 45° with a backer board so the piece could be pushed completely past the blade. Then, a block plane and shooting board coaxed the piece to the correct size. You can see the shim that makes the piece level for the inside cut. They were attached with glue and 23 gauge pins, nail holes were concealed with Bondo spot putty.
Next up is to build the roof. Totally new experience so I decided to post a question on the on-line Picture Framers Grumble . This is a site I’ve used for many years to ask for advice and share my work on. A couple of people suggested using CNC programs and offered to build the roof for me if I sent details — sorry, I’m old school and hands-on! One said that unlike a typical mitered corner it’s best to leave the bottom portion square and miter the top to match. That made sense so the first step was to take my full size drawing and locate the center line, over-all width, and height. Then it was simply a matter of calculating the angles and go from there.
Turned out that the angle needed to be 17° on the miter saw and tilt the blade 73° on the tablesaw and use a tenoning jig that slides on the rip fence. Lucked out on the setting, only needed minimal tuning with a block plane to get good fitting corners. Blocks were cut for support and also to give me something to tack a piece of MDF to which fills the front. That piece is trimmed out with what’s actually the scrap piece cut out to create a rabbet for a frame. Angles were drawn in and then trimmed to fit with a chisel.
At this point, the entire frame is assembled and has a coat of red burnisher/sealer that I get from LA Gold, it’s a good product and hopefully one coat will be enough for this frame. It usually is and what I like about it is that it takes a nice burnish with some 4/0, oil free steel wool. There’s so much that needs to be covered with the 12 karat genuine leaf that I’m probably going to break it down into a two day operation. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it came out!